Israel to close Palestinian territories on election day

A man casts his vote during the Israeli general elections in Tel Aviv on 9 April 2019 [Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Anadolu Agency]

A man casts his vote during the Israeli general elections in Tel Aviv on 9 April 2019

The Israeli military will impose a total closure on the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip during Tuesday’s parliamentary election, Anadolu Agency reports.

“According to the security situation evaluation and directives of the political level, total closure will be imposed in the areas of the West Bank and the terminals of the Gaza Strip,” the army said in a statement.

The closure will be applied Monday midnight for 24 hours.

Israel’s parliamentary election is slated for Tuesday, five months after the last general election, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was unable to form a majority government.

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In what many observers saw as a last-minute ploy for votes, last week Netanyahu pledged to annex the Jordan Valley and other settlements in the occupied West Bank if he wins next week’s election. His pledge sparked an international outcry.

Some 650,000 Israeli Jews currently live in more than 100 settlements built since 1967, when Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Palestinians see these territories, along with the Gaza Strip, as integral for the establishment of a future Palestinian state.

International law views both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “occupied territories” and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there illegal.

(Source / 16.09.2019) 

Israel to cut electricity supply in Ramallah, Bethlehem and Jericho

Electricity pylons and power transmission lines [Reuters]

The Jerusalem District Electricity Company (JEDCO) has confirmed today that it has received its third warning from the Israeli Electric Corporation that it will begin cutting electricity to the Palestinian West Bank cities of Ramallah, Bethlehem and Jericho within the coming week.

The Chairman and CEO of the JEDCO, Hisham Al-Omari said that the Israeli electricity supplier will cut the supply to Ramallah on 22 September from 10am to midday. The power cut will affect the Palestinians living in numerous villages and towns around the main West Bank cities. On 23 September, Ramallah and Jericho and more surrounding areas will have their electricity cut between midday and 2pm.

Al-Omari apologised for the measures which are, he explained, beyond the control of his company. He pointed out that power cuts will have a serious effect on living conditions in the occupied West Bank, covering all aspects of life, including education, healthcare, telecommunications and business.

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He urged international human rights organisations to intervene immediately to put pressure on Israel to cancel its proposed measures against the Palestinian territories. At the same time, he appealed to Palestinian customers to pay their bills on time and put to an end to the theft of electricity. Israel’s imposition of power cuts will be just one aspect of its overwhelming control of the Palestinian population.

Another major resource which has faced Israeli supply restrictions is fresh water. The Gaza Strip in particular has suffered from a shortage of clean water and is reliant on supplies coming from Israel. During the many bombardments that Israel has inflicted on Gaza, the enclave’s water system and pipe network has been damaged, and the Palestinians in the territory have been banned from importing the necessary materials to effect repairs, with disastrous results for healthcare provision, in particular.

(Source / 16.09.2019) 

Knesset speaker: Annexing Jordan Valley ‘could bring us closer to peace’

Image of Israeli Knesset Speaker, Yuli Edelstein on 13 September 2013 [Yuri Levin/Wikipedia]

Israeli Knesset Speaker, Yuli Edelstein on 13 September 2013 

Knesset Speaker and senior Likud politician Yuli Edelstein has told CNN that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex the Jordan Valley would be good for peace.

Asked to justify the plan – described by the presenter as “a wanton transgression of international law”, Edelstein claimed Netanyahu’s remarks were not “a campaign pledge”, and that “the sovereignty wouldn’t apply to the town of Jericho, where the Palestinians live”.

Pressed further, Edelstein claimed there were two main arguments in support of annexation.

“One, our historic rights there in the area,” the Knesset Speaker told CNN, “and the other one, every military expert I know and you know would agree that it’s impossible to defend the state of Israel without the military control in this area.”

“With these two issues combined I think that is quite obvious that under no negotiations we will be able to give up the Jordan Valley,” Edelstein continued, “so this is a very simple justification.”

Questioned by the presenter whether the annexation of the Jordan Valley would be unilateral, outside of a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians, Edelstein went as far as claiming that such a development would actually be a positive one for everyone.

Netanyahu: If re-elected I will annex settlements in Hebron 

“I think that as far as the Jordan Valley plan is concerned, it could bring us even closer to peace because things will become more clear,” Edelstein said, adding that some people’s “illusion” about “the future of this area” only makes it “harder to negotiate”.

The senior Likud figure also dismissed the idea that annexing the Jordan Valley would seriously damage Israel’s international standing.

“The move of the American Embassy to Jerusalem, the recognition by the American administration of Israeli sovereignty over the [occupied Syrian] Golan Heights also were met with some condemnations,” Edelstein said, but “right now we see additional countries, some of them moving their embassies, some of them opening all kinds of cultural centres or trade centres in Jerusalem.”

“So I sincerely hope that if we talk and I hope we talk in two, three years from now, it will be quite natural for a country to have an embassy in Jerusalem. By the same token, I would say that probably in a number of years, it would be quite natural that Israel has sovereignty over the Jordan Valley.”

(Source / 16.09.2019) 

PLO will end all agreements with Israel

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds a press conference at the Presidency Building in Ramallah, West Bank on 3 July, 2019

The Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) affirmed yesterday the position of its President Mahmoud Abbas that it would end all agreements signed with Israel, the Wafa news agency reported.

“We will not remain the only party committed to these agreements,” the Executive Committee said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statements on the annexation of areas of the occupied Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea reflect his government’s strategy, it said.

It held Netanyahu and any government that partakes in this decision fully responsible for ending the path of peace.

It stressed that the Palestinian leadership will continue taking practical measures to transform into a statehood and the gradual disengagement from all agreements signed with the occupation.

READ: Israel arrested 120,000 Palestinians after Oslo Accords 

(Source / 16.09.2019) 

PA security officers shoot at Birzeit University students

Birzeit University student stage a protest after Israeli forces take 3 students into custody, near Beit Il Israeli military check point in Ramallah, West Bank on March 27, 2019. [Ä°ssam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency]

Birzeit University student stage a protest after Israeli forces take 3 students into custody, near Beit Il Israeli military check point in Ramallah, West Bank on March 27, 2019

Four of Birzeit University’s student leaders in the occupied West Bank have disappeared after being chased and shot at by Palestinian Authority security officers. The incident happened in Ramallah.

The Hamas student wing, known as the Islamic Bloc, wrote on Facebook that the four students confirmed in their last phone call that they were being chased by PA security officers who had opened fire at them.

The Islamic Bloc put the responsibility for the students’ well-being on the PA. It called upon Birzeit University administration, as well as rights groups, to take immediate action to discover the student’s whereabouts.

Meanwhile, staff from the PA public intelligence agency broke into the home of one of the Islamic Bloc leaders and confiscated papers, posters and documents related to the election campaign slated to start today.

READ: Palestine literacy rate up to 97.2%, says PCBS 

(Source / 16.09.2019) 

OIC: Israeli Government Fully Responsible for Consequences of Colonial Policies

16 SEP 5:42 AM

The Council of Foreign Ministers of the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held fully responsible the Israeli government for the consequences of its colonial policies in the occupied territory of the State of Palestine, including the Israeli Prime Minister’s dangerous pledge deliberately seeking to undermine international efforts for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace to realize the two-state vision, and aiming at blowing up the foundations of peace and pushing the entire region towards more violence and instability.

This came during the 16th extraordinary meeting of the OIC council of foreign ministers held at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah, at the request of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on the “Israeli Prime Minister’s stated intention to annex territories in the Occupied West Bank.”

The council proclaimed absolute rejection and vehemently condemned the Israeli Prime Minister’s stated intention to “apply Israeli sovereignty on all of the Jordan Valley, northern Dead Sea and settlements in the occupied West Bank”, describing it as a dangerous escalation, a further serious encroachment on the historical and legal rights of the Palestinian people, a flagrant breach of the UN Charter, the principles of international law and the relevant UN resolutions, including resolutions 181 (1947), 242 (1967), 252 (1968), 338 (1973), 425 (1978), 465 (1980), 476 (1980), 478 (1980), 681 (1990), 1073 (1996), 1397 (2002), 1435 (2002), and 1515 (2003), along with Security Council resolution 2334 of 2016.

The council decided to respond strongly to “this gravely aggressive statement, while taking all possible measures, both political and legal, such as initiating action with the UN Security Council and General Assembly, international courts and other relevant international organizations and bodies to counter this expansionist colonial policy,” said a statement issued by the council.

It reaffirmed the centrality of the cause of Palestine, renewing principled support to the Palestinian people and their legitimate leadership in their quest to obtain their inalienable national rights, including the right to self determination, the right to establish their sovereign independent state along the lines of 4 June 1967 and with Jerusalem (Al-Quds Al-Sharif) as its capital, and the right of refugees to return to their homes in accordance with resolution 194.

The council “supports and backs up the Palestinian moves and steps to hold accountable Israel, the occupying authority, for its crimes against the Palestinian people, while calling on the Member States to provide all the political, legal, technical and material support necessary for the success of the State of Palestine’s moves with the relevant international bodies,” said the statement.

(Source / 16.09.2019) 

ISRAELI RIGHT-WINGERS VANDALIZE EU EMBASSY AND SPRAY HATEFUL SLOGANS

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Israeli right-winger Sheffi Paz documented herself, alongside others, attacking and vandalizing the European Union Embassy in the occupation state on Sunday.

The group spray-painted hateful English-language slogans in red paint accusing Europe of killing Jews, which read: “EU get out” and “German money kill Jews”.

Paz heads the “South Tel Aviv Liberation Front”, a group that fights for the total expulsion of asylum seekers from the occupation state and in particular from their neighborhood.

Candidate and Chairwoman of a riht-wing party, Ayelet Shaked, announced last week that she signed a deal with Paz, according to which she will only enter a government on the condition that tougher legislation be promoted against migrants. Shaked also stipulated her entry into a coalition on the establishment of special courts that would handle migration issues and which would not accept appeals.

Multiple European ambassadors condemned the incident. “That is deplorable indeed,” the Austrian ambassador to the occupation state, Martin Weiss, said, “In spite of all innovation, the pill against bigotry and stupidity hasn’t been invented yet.”

(Source / 16.09.2019) 

ISRAELI AUTHORITIES DEMOLISH PALESTINIAN PROPERTIES AT AL-WALAJA TOWN AT DAWN

Bethlehem (QNN) – The Israeli occupation forces demolished a house and two agricultural houses in the village of al-Walaja, northwest of Bethlehem.

Clashes erupted between Palestinians and the Israeli forces when they broke into the area. Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. No injuries were reported.

According to the Palestinian activist Ibrahim Awadallah, Israeli occupation forces, accompanied by bulldozers, raided the areas of “Ain Jweiza” and “Khalet al-Hoor”, and demolished a two-story house belonging to Mustafa Abed Rabbo, in addition to two agricultural chambers belonging to Halima Ismail al-Araj, under the pretext of building without a permit.

The Israeli bulldozers also destroyed a road leading to the neighbourhood of “Ain Jweiza.”

It’s worth noting that at least 180 Palestinian properties in the village of al-Walaja are warned to be destructed by the Israeli occupation authorities under the pretext of building without a permit.

(Source / 16.09.2019) 

IOF assaults Palestinian child, kidnap him in East Al-Quds

OCCUPIED AL-QUDS, PALESTINOW.COM — Israeli soldiers assaulted, Sunday, a Palestinian child in the town of al-‘Isawiya, in occupied East Jerusalem, and abducted him.

Local sources said the soldiers assaulted the child, identified as Nabil Mohammad Abu al-Hummus, 12, while he was walking to a shop near his home.

They added that the soldiers then abducted the child and took him to a detention facility in Jerusalem, after alleging that he hurled stones at their jeep.

The soldiers also attacked the child’s father while he was trying to talk to them and was telling them Nabil is just a child who was going to the shop.

On Sunday at dawn, the soldiers abducted four Palestinians, including one woman, from their homes in several parts of the West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported.

(Source / 16.09.2019) 

Striking Prisoner Hospitalized, Another’s Health Deteriorated

A Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike was hospitalized, while the health of another has seriously deteriorated, according to a statement released today by Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Affairs Commission.

It said that hunger-striking prisoner Ramadan Mashahra, 44, was moved to hospital after his health deteriorated.

Mashahra, from Jabal al-Mukabber neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, has been in prison for 18 years for resisting the occupation. He was sentenced to 20 life terms. He has been on hunger strike since September 8 in protest against the installation by the prison administration of jamming devices, which prisoners insist cause cancer.

Additionally, the commission noted in the statement that another prisoner, Sultan Khlouf, 38, from Burqin village in the north of the West Bank, and who has been on hunger-striking for 61 days in a row in protest against his administrative detention, is going through a serious deterioration in his health, according to Khlouf’s lawyer.

She said that Khlouf has entered a critical and difficult stage and that he now suffers from brain dysfunction, severe mouth sores, vision impairment, pain throughout his body, and significant weight loss.

Several prisoners started earlier this month an open-ended hunger strike in protest against installation of jamming devices in the prison, which they fear cause cancer, and demanding better conditions mainly for women prisoners. Several Palestinians held in administrative detention without charge or trial for long periods of time are also observing hunger strike demanding an end to their incarceration.

(Source / 16.09.2019)