Jewish settlers set up new outpost east of Jerusalem

Israeli PM Netanyahu pledged to expand Jewish settlement if re-elected

Illegal Israeli Jewish settlers started on Sunday setting up new illegal settlement outpost at Jabal al-Mintar area, east of occupied Jerusalem.

Younes Jaafar, head of the local council of nearby Sawahira Village, said that a number of armed settlers proceeded to raze land in the area in the morning.

Then, he said, they placed caravans and other residential and agricultural structures in the Palestinian area, stating that the land occupied by the settlers belongs to Palestinian citizens from the village.

On Saturday, Israeli settlers razed a plot of land outside the nearby town of Abu Dis, aiming to establish another settlement outpost.

The latest measures by Israeli settlers came in the aftermath of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announced threats to annex large swathes of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank if he was re-elected in the upcoming election.

Netanyahu also promised to enhance settlement construction and expansion as well as to annex the Jordan Valley region, which makes up one third of the total area of the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 15.09.2019) 

Israeli settlers attack civilian homes in Al-Khalil

The settlers were protected by the Israeli occupation forces when they attacked the Palestinian homes

Extremist Israeli Jewish settlers on Saturday night attacked with rocks and bottles Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank city of Al-Khalil.

Palestine Post 24 reporter said that dozens of extremist Israeli Jewish settlers descended from the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba, protected by Israeli forces, threw rocks and glass bottles at civilian homes in the neighbourhood of Al-Hareeqa in the Palestinian city.

The reporter also said that the Jewish settlers smashed glass windows and chanted racist slogans, terrorising children and families.

Some 800 Israeli Jewish settlers live in the occupied city of Al-Khalil, which is home of over 200,000 Palestinians.

Harassment of Palestinians in that area is repeated almost everywhere, particularly following the departure of the international monitoring team in February when Israel refused to extend their mandate.

Citizens of the neighbourhood called on international and rights groups to urgently interfere to put an end to the Israeli government-supported settler terrorism and to provide protection for them.

(Source / 15.09.2019) 

Medical negligence by Israel is a major cause of death among Palestinian prisoners

About 700 patient Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are facing the same fate as Bassam al-Sayeh

By Motasem A Dalloul 

In addition to being subject to all forms of physical and verbal torture, the Palestinian prisoners are also subject to medical negligence which ends up with their death inside Israeli jails.

Bassam Al-Sayeh was 47 years old when he died in an Israeli prison on Sunday. His family, rights groups and Palestinian campaigners allege that he died because of maltreatment by the Israeli Prison Service and deliberate medical negligence.

Al-Sayeh was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and was detained while attending his wife’s court hearing on 8 October 2015. He has complained about maltreatment and medical negligence since the start of his detention. Rights groups called for the Israeli occupation authorities to offer him appropriate treatment and medicines, and for international bodies to put pressure on Israel to make sure that this happened.

Commenting on his death, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club (PPC) said that Al-Sayeh’s health deteriorated in the last two months. It also pointed out that he was suffering from heart and lung disease.

On 29 July, Al-Sayeh was moved to Al-Ramleh Prison clinic, which is called “the slaughterhouse” by Palestinian prisoners. As his condition worsened, he was moved to Assaf Harofeh Medical Centre near Tel Aviv on 12 August, where he was pronounced dead.

“The Israeli occupation authorities bear full responsibility for Al-Sayeh’s murder,” said the PPC. Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails, it claimed, are subject to “physical and psychological torture and medical negligence.”

In a detailed chart published on its website, the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said that as of July this year, there were 5,248 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. Al-Sayeh’s case has pushed rights groups to raise the issue of maltreatment and medical negligence affecting many of them, citing frequent complaints from prisoners, lawyers and families.

According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), “[Al-Sayeh’s death] reflects the extent of punitive measures it [Israel] employs against [prisoners], especially in terms of medical neglect and inadequate treatment provided to at least 150 prisoners with chronic and serious illnesses.”

The Centre pointed out that the 47-year-old was the third Palestinian political prisoner to die in an Israeli prison this year, bringing the total since the start of the occupation of the West Bank in 1967 up to 221. Fares Baroud, 51, died on 6 February after spending 28 years in prison. He was pronounced dead, the PCHR explained, just hours after he was admitted to Israel’s Soroka Hospital. “This raised suspicions of deliberate medical negligence.” Baroud suffered stomach, heart and liver pains prior to his death.

After being arrested on 9 June, Nassar Taqatqah, 31, “died while in solitary confinement” just over a month later, on 16 July. Taqatqah was arrested at his home and remained under investigation until his death. His family confirmed that he did not have any health issues — “he was a healthy young man” — when he was taken prisoner by Israeli occupation forces. Family members believe strongly that he must have taken ill in custody and been denied proper medical care.

Claims of medical negligence are not new. Twelve years ago, a Palestinian political prisoner died in his cell in Israel’s Ma’asiyahu Prison on 25 August 2007 due, it is alleged, to medical negligence. Omar Masalma, 23, from the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, was arrested while working illegally in Israel.

He was imprisoned alongside political prisoners but his family, thinking that it would be better for him, asked for him to be taken to Ma’asiyahu in order to be dealt with as an ordinary criminal.

Masalma’s cellmate told his family later on that he had suffered from severe stomach pain and asked to be examined by a doctor. His request was denied and he continued suffering until he could not bear the pain. His cellmate and other prisoners started to knock on their cell doors until Masalma was taken for “treatment”; he returned after five minutes with “a pill”.

“He swallowed this pill, fell asleep, and never woke up again,” his family was told. They insisted that he did not have any health problems prior to his detention. Masalma died just 20 days before completing his 21-month sentence.

Walid Al-Agha from Gaza, who spent 13 years in Israeli prisons and is now an activist for prisoners’ rights, thinks that the pill which was given to Masalma was probably nothing more a painkiller. The Israeli Prison Service, he said, gives painkillers to all prisoners no matter what their ailment is, even if it is something serious like cancer, hypertension or diabetes.

Of course, in several reports and after every such case, the prison service insists that it is offering proper medical care and treatment to all prisoners. The evidence, it claims, is the existence of the clinic in Al-Ramla Prison, the aforementioned “slaughterhouse”.

In all, said Al-Agha, there are around 700 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails in need of serious healthcare. He thinks that they will now be expecting to suffer the same fate as Bassam Al-Sayeh and the other victims of what they all insist is Israel’s deliberate policy of maltreatment and medical negligence. This remains a major cause of death among Palestinian prisoners held by the occupation state.

(Source / 15.09.2019) 

Scholars for dollars sell out Palestine and its people

Past and present, the Palestinians have always shown that they are prepared to pay the ultimate price for justice

By Yvonne Ridley 

Instead of keep the issue of Palestine in the minds and hearts of Muslims, Muslims scholars keep silent or encourage normalising ties with Israeli occupation regardless to its oppression.

Palestine polarises people, of that there is no doubt. Those condemning Palestinians usually do so out of their blind loyalty to the concept of the Zionist State. With today’s backdrop of real and alleged anti-Semitism, and the ever pervasive shadow of the Holocaust, it is easy to see why anyone might go along with the black and white narrative that Israel is a force for good, and Palestine is bad.

However, the cold, hard facts present a somewhat different story: Israel was founded on land stolen from the Palestinians after the indigenous people had been driven from their homes at gunpoint, and anyone who resisted the Zionist militias paid with their lives. The Zionist movement’s quest for a “Jewish state” had been boosted by the British government’s 1917 Balfour Declaration in which a man who had neither the moral nor legal right to do so, glibly promised land in Palestine for a “national home for the Jewish people”.

Such facts cannot be refuted, regardless of some of the insane mutterings of Israeli leaders and their supporters. Former Prime Minister Golda Meir, for example, declared infamously in 1969 that the Palestinians “did not exist”. The UN, of course, established its Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in 1949 specifically for the Palestinians. There are now 5.5 million Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA; they really do exist.

After the 1967 Six Day War, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 242, which called on Israel to withdraw from the land it had taken during the fighting, essentially the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, as well as the Syrian Golan Heights. Israel ignored the resolution, and thus began the military occupation of those territories that is in place to this day. Resolution 242 is one of around 200 which Israel has ignored since its creation on Palestinian land in 1948. In all that time, the people of Palestine have faced a genocidal onslaught against their land, culture and identity. Israel heads the global league table of regimes which take no notice of, or have broken quite deliberately, international laws and conventions.

Just this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brazenly announced plans to annexparts of the occupied West Bank if he wins next week’s General Election. A promise to impose Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea will, he hopes, be a vote winner, despite it being a breach of international law. He added that he would also look to apply sovereignty over all of Israel’s illegal settlements in the rest of the occupied West Bank as well as “other areas of importance to our heritage.”

Given such aggressive rhetoric and destructive Israeli policies since 1948, is it any wonder that Palestinians have used their legitimate right to resist the occupation in many different ways, all of them justified by international law? Over the decades, such resistance has been more or less backed by the Arab states, but that is no longer the case. Regimes like those in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt would rather extend the hand of friendship to Israel, and are increasingly open about this.

You would think that such “normalisation” of relations with the occupying state of Israel would be condemned by the most learned Islamic scholars, but those who enjoy the patronage of Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Cairo are silent. It seems as if these “scholars for dollars”, who are supposed to interpret Islam’s doctrines and laws without fear or favour, have sold out their spiritual and intellectual obligations to the detriment of the land of Palestine and its people. Have such scholars forgotten that Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem is the third holiest site in Islam; the scene of Prophet Muhammad’s miraculous ascension to the heavens; and the Muslims’ first Qiblah, towards which they turned when praying before it was switched by Revelation to the Kaaba in Makkah?

I was reminded of such scholars’ hollow words when watching an interview on France 24 which was circulated on social networks. US-born Sheikh Hamza Yusuf was attending the Forum for Promoting Peace in Islamic Societies in Abu Dhabi. The UAE often hosts Sheikh Hamza, where he is said to be much favoured by the ruling family. In this interview about Palestine, he gives not one word of comfort or sympathy to the Palestinians.

“If Palestinians leave violence,” said the scholar, “and instead said, ‘We are weak and helpless, help us,’ by God, much of the world will sympathise with them. But when they strike with petty weapons against powerful weapons, it destroys everything. Then people will think Palestinians initiated the assault. This is the world’s perception now.”

I watched this interview several times and there was not one crumb of comfort or support for a people who have been dispossessed and displaced, and faced all kinds of oppression, for more than 70 years. Even if it was in the Palestinians’ nature to say “we are weak and helpless” does Sheikh Hamza really think that they would have survived all this time while demanding with great resolution their legitimate right to return to their land?

Without being critical of them in any way, I would call the Rohingya weak and helpless, and look what has happened to them; more than 750,000 have been ethnically cleansed and live in desperate conditions in neighbouring Bangladesh.

Equally as weak and helpless are the people in Indian-occupied Kashmir who have been under a brutal lockdown imposed by the Indian military for more than a month now. The situation is still nowhere near being resolved by the United Nations. The world has not rushed to their aid simply because they are helpless and have right on their side.

So who or what motivated Sheikh Hamza in this interview? Granted, he admitted at the end that, “I cannot judge the Palestinians because I am not in their situation, perhaps the situation has driven some of them mad, it is a tough condition.” Sadly, his views are either endorsed or echoed by half a dozen other US-based scholars.

Political cowardice appears to be the defining feature of some learned Ulema and their institutions, which promote a theology of obedience rather than standing up for what is right and legitimate resistance. Enjoying the financial largesse of their patrons, they opt to ignore the thousands of political prisoners held in dungeons from Cairo through Riyadh to the UAE. Silenced by fear, apathy or greed — I’m not sure which — from East to West these scholars have long forgotten what binds Muslims together around the world.

Funded by some Arab rulers, these spiritual leaders are essentially neutralising the Muslim faithful. If Hamza Yusuf is right about the Palestinians being “driven mad” then little wonder. Could it be because someone so learned assesses their situation and basically tells them to go down on their knees to their oppressors led by a Prime Minister who told the world just a few days ago that he is determined to take the rest of their land?

Yes, it would be easier for all concerned if the Palestinians didn’t exist, or if they abandoned their legitimate rights and handed over control of their future to Israel and America. If the Palestinians had gone quietly, they would now be living in Argentina and Chile according to crackpot planssuggested by the Bush Administration. Condoleezza Rice, the then Secretary of State of George W Bush, wanted to send five million Palestinian refugees to South America rather than allow them to return to their former homes in what is now Israel and the occupied territories. The astonishing proposal was raised in a June 2008 meeting with US, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Berlin.

Moreover, if not for the heroic resistance of the Palestinians, no doubt the Gulf States would today be enjoying open trade and diplomatic relations with Israel. According to an article inMEMO last month, some are already ignoring trade boycotts and doing business under the table. The UAE, for example, has signed a deal to buy sophisticated spy planes from Israel. The deal, first mooted ten years ago, is said to be worth $3 billion and was brokered through Israeli businessman Mate Kochavi. The UAE has already received one of the aircraft.

Relations between Tel Aviv and Riyadh have also thawed, judging from an interview by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman with The Atlantic Magazine in spring last year: “There are a lot of interests we share with Israel and if there is peace, there would be a lot of interest between Israel and the [Gulf Cooperation Council].” This is quite a departure for the Kingdom. Back in 1947, the government of Saudi Arabia was among the first to oppose the creation of the state of Israel, voting against the UN Partition Plan. As the Custodians of the two Holy Mosques (in Makkah and Madinah), the Saudi Kings have always positioned themselves as the leaders of the Muslim world and supporters of the Palestinian cause.

However, under the latest regime in Riyadh, there are well documented reports indicating extensive behind-the-scenes diplomatic and intelligence cooperation with the Zionist State. During the Warsaw Mideast Summit in February, Netanyahu’s office deliberately leaked a video of a closed session in which the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates spoke out in defence of Israel’s right to exist and defend itself. One of them said that confronting Iran is more pressing than solving the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

These are the same men who demand complete obedience around the Muslim world and use Islamic scholars at home and abroad to enforce this. Their “scholars for dollars” and their organisations are being paid to stifle discussion among the masses and prevent talk of political and institutional oppression.

It could be argued that those in the pay and sway of petrodollars are the ones who are really weak and helpless, and deserving of our pity. To their eternal credit, the Palestinians’ cause has become a global concern because of, not despite, their resilience and resistance over eight decades. Thanks to their refusal to become eternal victims, they are demanding the right to return to their ancestral homes from which they were expelled in 1948 when Zionist militias ethnically cleansed 750,000 Palestinian men, women and children and wiped more than 500 towns and villages off the map.

It took great courage to confront the oppressors then, and it takes great courage to stand up to the Israeli army snipers who fire at protesters taking part in the Great March of Return every Friday since March last year. Past and present, the Palestinians have always shown that they are prepared to pay the ultimate price for justice. That must be an alien concept for those “scholars for dollars” whose silence on such matters, apparently, can be bought so cheaply.

(Source / 14.09.2019) 

Israel arrested 120,000 Palestinians after Oslo Accords

Every detained Palestinian was subject to at least one form of torture

Israeli occupation has arrested 120,000 Palestinians since announcement of Oslo Accords between PLO and Israel in September 1993, Abdel-Nasser Ferwaneh, specialist in prisoners’ issues, revealed on Friday.

To absorb this large number of Palestinian prisoners, Ferwaneh explained, Israel built and opened several new prisons.

He noted that detention decreased between 1993 and 2000, but has sharply risen since 2000, when the second Intifada or ‘Al-Aqsa Intifada’ commenced.

Farwaneh, who is a former prisoner, stated that the Israeli detention included men, women, elderly and minors, confirming that about 2,000 women and more than 17,500 children have been detained since the Oslo Accords.

Meanwhile, he disclosed that the Israeli occupation has arrested more than half of the Palestinian MPs, a number of ministers, hundreds of academics, NGOs and international organisations’ staff during this period.

The specialist announced that every detained Palestinian was subject to at least one form of torture, noting that torture and harsh treatment have recently increased.

He also stated that the Israeli Knesset had discussed and approved more than 20 laws targeting the Palestinian prisoners.

Since the Oslo Accords, he added, 107 Palestinian prisoners have died inside Israeli jails due to torture and intentional medical negligence – the most recent being Bassam Al-Sayeh, who passed away last week.

Further to this, Farwaneh confirmed that tens of Palestinian prisoners die after they are released, due to illnesses relating to their imprisonment.

Currently, there are approximately 5,700 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, including 220 children, 38 females (women and girls), 700 patients and 500 under administrative detention.

(Source / 14.09.2019) 

Israel is still planning to displace even more Palestinians

By Adnan abu-Amer

Israeli occupation has never stopped trying to evacuate historical Palestinian from its indigenous residents because any single Palestinian in Palestine poses danger on the state of Israel multiple times more those in diaspora.

Since the 1948 Nakba when Israel was created in the historic land of Palestine, which resulted in the ethnic cleansing of more than 700,000 Palestinians from their homeland, successive Israeli governments have continued to propose political and demographic plans for the displacement of more Palestinians from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and from within Israel itself. This is all with the aim of creating an ethnically pure “Jewish state” emptied of its indigenous population.

Although the majority of these plans were destined to fail, this hasn’t deterred Israel. A few days ago, another plan was unveiled which seeks to encourage Palestinians to leave the Gaza Strip. Israel will open its airports to facilitate this migration and make other travel arrangements to whichever countries are willing to host them. A senior Israeli official stressed that this matter was proposed several times in cabinet meetings, and the government has tried to convince some countries to host Palestinians, but without any success.

Palestinian and Israeli reactions suggested that this is related to the US “deal of the century”. If it is, why did Israel reveal the details now, and which countries have been approached to take Palestinians from Gaza? There are also questions about whether this would be considered as a resettlement of Palestinian refugees, or “merely” emptying Gaza of its inhabitants. What is Hamas’s position on this, and the PA’s in Ramallah? Indeed, what do ordinary Palestinians think about it.

According to Israel’s Minister of Public Security, Gilad Erdan, the government has discussed the displacement of Palestinians from Gaza on five occasions, but it was felt to be unfeasible. The leader of the New Right party and former Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked, believes that such displacement is at the top of Israeli interests. She has called for anyone who wants to migrate from Gaza to be allowed to do so. Apparently, this is because she believes that Gaza is overpopulated, so it is time for Israel to wake up and let people go.

The Palestinian factions have condemned this displacement policy as very dangerous. It should be seen, they insist, in the context of the eventual “transfer” of all Palestinians from their homeland. The theory is that Israel, with US support, wants Palestinians to migrate and obtain other nationalities so that they forget about their rights as Palestinians. It is yet more ethnic cleansing by any other name.

Like its predecessors, this Israeli plan will also fail, because Palestinian perseverance will continue to come to the fore, despite the unjust siege and Israel’s shoot-to-kill policy, ongoing displacement and house demolitions. They will remain steadfast until they achieve liberation and fulfil their legitimate right of return.

The real danger to the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip is the repetition of the mass expulsion that occurred in 1948, but this can only be achieved through a comprehensive war against Palestinian civilians in the territory, under the diplomatic, political and military cover of the United States and some Arab countries. This would make the Rafah Border Crossing the main route to safety in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Israel’s thinking is that the Palestinians can leave Gaza for the Sinai, ending at stroke any chance of a Palestinian state, or even quasi-state, coming into being and posing a strategic threat.

It is a fact that the Zionist ideologues who planned and created the state of Israel always knew that they would have to displace the indigenous population in Palestine. The first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion, believed that the Arabs shouldn’t be there, as did American Jews. He made it his objective to ensure that the Palestinians live in an Arab country.

Moreover, Israel’s Operation Yohanan (1949-1953) intended to provide farms for “Arab Israelis” in Argentina, specifically Christians living in the Galilee. This was followed by a plan to provide jobs for Palestinians in Europe, which needed workers after World War Two. It received support under the US Marshall Plan, but neither plan was implemented and both had disappeared by the mid-1950s.

Similar proposals emerged after the 1967 Six Day War, geared towards the Palestinians in the newly-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. In 1968, the Israeli Foreign Ministry prepared a plan whereby the movement of Palestinians from Gaza to the West Bank, and some to Jordan, would be facilitated, leading to their onward migration to other parts of the Arab world. The intention was for this to appear to be spontaneous, rather than on the orders of Israel. The “El Arish Plan” included the development of projects such as water desalination plants, energy production and factories that would provide jobs for the Palestinians who would move to the Egyptian-Sinai town, but they did not leave.

Also in 1968, a US Congressional Committee considered a plan for the voluntary displacement of 200,000 Palestinians from Gaza to a number of countries, including West Germany, Argentina, Paraguay, New Zealand, Brazil, Australia, Canada and the United States. The plan was never put into effect, not only because the Palestinians did not agree to emigrate, but also because those countries did not agree to host them.

In the same year, the Israeli army collected thousands of Palestinian youths and transported them in hundreds of buses to the Egyptian side of the Suez Canal; Israel occupied the Sinai side from 1967 to 1982. The Israelis then offered money to anyone who would leave Gaza. In 1970, Israeli General Ariel Sharon wanted to empty Gaza of its inhabitants by moving them to El Arish so that he could put an end to the resistance and solve the overpopulation problem in the coastal enclave, where 400,000 Palestinians were then living.

As part of its efforts to encourage migration, Israel claims that 35,000 Palestinians left Gaza last year, although this did not make a dent in the population. That is hardly surprising, given that there were more than 57,000 births in the territory in 2018.

The idea of the “transfer” of Palestinians from their homeland is entirely consistent with the racist Jewish Nation State Law. Gaza may be the focus at the moment, but Israel’s eye is also on the displacement of the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. Its expansion of illegal Jewish settlements is all part of this plan.

Removing the Palestinians from the Gaza Strip makes sense from Israel’s colonial-expansionist perspective, but it will require close coordination with major countries such as the US, Russia and the members of the EU, as well as places closer to home like Egypt. It is ironic that the proposals put forward by the likes of Rabbi Meir Kahane in the 1970s and 1980s, for which he was banned by Israel for being too extreme, are now being discussed in mainstream political circles.

Israel is aware that Western countries have enough problems with migrants on their borders and do not want to add to these. Why do Israeli politicians, therefore, believe that they will now agree to host tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees as part of a new plan to help the state of Israel? Whatever the answer is, rest assured that Israel is still planning to displace even more Palestinians than it has already.

(Source / 12.09.2019) 

UN warns of eminent collapse of Palestine economy

Per capita income fell, mass unemployment increased, poverty deepened and the environmental toll of occupation has been rising in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Tuesday warned of the eminent collapse of the Palestinian economy due to the destructive measures of the Israeli occupation.

In a report, UNCTAD said that the performance of the Palestinian economy and humanitarian conditions reached an all-time low in 2018 and early 2019.

It added: “The depression-level unemployment rate in the Occupied Palestinian Territory continued to climb in 2018, reaching 31 per cent; 52 per cent in Gaza and 18 per cent in the West Bank.”

It also said: “The real wage and labour productivity have been declining. In 2017, the real wage and productivity per worker were 7 and 9 per cent below their levels in 1995, respectively.”

Per capita income fell, mass unemployment increased, poverty deepened and the environmental toll of occupation has been rising in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Due to the Israeli occupation’s measures, “the economy of Gaza contracted by 7 per cent and poverty deepened, investment practically vanished, falling to 3 per cent of GDP, 88 per cent of which was channelled to the rebuilding of structures destroyed during several major military operations in the last 10 years.”

Slowdown of economy in the West Bank, UNCTAD said, “is explained by the decrease in donor support, contraction of the public sector and deterioration of the security environment, which discouraged private sector activities.”

“The overall share of manufacturing in total value added shrank from 20 to 11 per cent of GDP between 1994 and 2018, while the share of agriculture and fishing declined from over 12 per cent to less than 3 per cent.”

“The Palestinian people are denied the right to exploit oil and natural gas resources and thereby deprived of billions of dollars in revenue,” it added.

The UNCTAD added: “The international community should help the Palestinian people to secure their right to oil and gas in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and ascertain their legitimate share in the natural resources collectively owned by several neighbouring States in the region.”

At the same time, the organisation said: “In March 2019, the Government of Israel started to deduct $11.5 million monthly from Palestinian clearance revenues… This fiscal shock is compounded by declining donor support.”

(Source / 12.09.2019) 

Israel carries out 15 airstrikes in Gaza

Gaza has been under Israeli strike for the second consecutive night

Israeli occupation warplanes carried out at dawn several destructive airstrikes across the Gaza Strip, causing much damage but no human casualties.

The Israeli warplanes attacked a building in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, destroying it in total and causing fire while also causing damage to nearby buildings.

In addition, the Israeli warplanes attacked agricultural fields in Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip and in Beit Lahya in the north.

Spokesman of the Israeli occupation army said that the Israeli warplanes had carried out a total of 15 airstrikes throughout the Gaza Strip.

Israel claims the attacks came in response to the firing of two projectiles from Gaza into Asqalan and Asdod in the south of Israel forcing the Israeli prime minister, who was attending an election campaign event, to run to a nearby shelter after.


(Source / 11.09.2019) 

Israel PM allows settlers to take over a Palestinian house in Al-Khalil

Peace Now: ‘After their [settlers] claims of ownership had been denied, the settlers have decided to take the law into their own hands’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has allowed Israeli squatters to take over a Palestinian house about a hundred metres from the Ibrahimi Mosque in occupied Hebron.

During his visit to the West Bank city of Al-Khalil on Thursday, Netanyahu claimed that the house is Israeli property, with the Israeli Civil Administration claiming an Israeli settlement group lawfully bought the property in 2015.

The settlers have squatted in the multi-story Palestinian property, which is called the Machpela House, prior to 2012.

In 2012, the Civil Administration ruled that the settlers did not have sufficient evidence proving that they owned the property.

The families were subsequently removed from the site, according to the Times of Israel, which has since been declared a closed military zone.

Peace Now settlement watchdog called for the Palestinian house to be evacuated and said: “After their [settlers] claims of ownership had been denied, the settlers have decided to take the law into their own hands and establish an illegal settlement that might ignite the region.”

Netanyahu has several times asked the defence ministry to delay or refrain from evacuating settlers from houses they occupy illegally even when the Civil Administration believes they do not have proof of ownership.

As the settlers were entering the Palestinian property, Rabbi Uziyahu Sharbaf said: “This house is an expansion of settlement in the holy city of Hebron, the city of the grandfathers.”

He added: “We will expand here and this will be the real response to those who attack us and kill us.”

(Source / 09.09.2019) 

Israel minister vows next Gaza offensive to include extrajudicial executions

Israel has recently carried out several major offensives in Gaza and killed more than 4,000 civilians under a policy said call ‘targeted killing’

Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz has vowed that a supposedly imminent offensive on the occupied Gaza Strip will see the extrajudicial executions of Palestinians.

Speaking in an interview with Reshet Bet on Sunday, Katz claimed that an assault on the Gaza Strip is inching closer.

“It brings us very close to a comprehensive Israeli campaign against the terrorist organisations in Gaza,” Katz said, “a campaign that will take place at the times and conditions we will decide on.”

The Israeli foreign minister added: “In this campaign, it is clear that the top leaders of the terrorist organisations will be wiped out and its force destroyed.”

The Israeli military has historically used large-scale offensives against the Gaza Strip to conduct extrajudicial executions of Palestinian suspects, described by Israeli officials as “targeted killings.”

(Source / 09.09.2019)