Palestinian minister: IOF to build 17,000 settlement units in Jerusalem

Israeli settlements in West Bank

Israeli settlements in West Bank

West Bank-Gaza Post – A Palestinian official on Thursday reported that Israeli occupation authorities intended to build over 17,000 settlement units in several parts of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Affairs Minister Fadi al-Hadmi described in a press statement the Israeli settlement plan as a “crazy tsunami.”

He clarified that the rising in  settlements buildings through a series of projects eliminates “any possibility of a two-state solution.”

Al-Hadmi said: “The Israeli government is progressing toward implementing a series of major settlement projects in the north, south, and east of the city, with the aim of isolating it completely from its Palestinian surroundings in the West Bank.”

The Palestinian minister stated the projects include a plan to build 10,000 housing units on the land of Jerusalem International Airport, in Qalandia, in the northern part of the city.

Israeli occupation authorities also plan to build 3,500 housing units within the E1 area in eastern Jerusalem, 1,250 units within the Givat Hamatos settlement, 2,000 in the French Hill settlement and 470 in the Pisgat Zeev settlement, he said

“Since the beginning of this year, over 140 buildings have been destroyed in Jerusalem,” al-Hadmi added, urging the international community to “transform its words into actions, and work to stop the settlement, annexation, demolition, displacement and forced eviction of the population, and to save the two-state solution before it is too late.”

(Source / 26.11.2021)

Extremist settlers close entrances to Nablus-area village

Settlers closed Palestinian villages
Settlers closed Palestinian villages

Nablus-Gaza Post – Israeli settlers on Thursday night backed by Israeli forces, closed the main entrances connected to the al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village to the south of Nablus, according to local sources.

Sources reported that a group of settlers, under the protection of Israeli forces, closed the main entrance to the village of al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya with their cars, as well as the northern entrance, and prevented Palestinians from entering or leaving the area.

Settlers always gathered at the entrances to the village, dancing and singing in a provocative manner while raising the Israeli flag.

(Source / 26.11.2021)

Israel places Palestinian governor in Jerusalem under house arrest

Governor of Jerusalem for the Palestinian Authority Adnan Ghaith poses for a photograph in his office at the Palestinian Ministry of Jerusalem affairs' headquarters in the occupied West Bank town of al-Ram, near Jerusalem, on 4 November 2018. [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images]
Governor of Jerusalem for the Palestinian Authority Adnan Ghaith poses for a photograph in his office at the Palestinian Ministry of Jerusalem affairs’ headquarters in the occupied West Bank town of al-Ram, near Jerusalem, on 4 November 2018 

The Israeli authorities released the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem on Thursday hours after detaining and interrogating him, only to place him under renewed house arrest.

A statement issued by the Jerusalem governorate said that Adnan Ghaith faces a number of charges. They include refusing to comply with the military bans issued against him, communicating with Palestinian leaders, and providing aid to the people of Jerusalem, as well as threatening Israel’s security.

“In light of this, Ghaith has been informed of the Israeli Minister of Internal Security’s decision to renew the house arrest imposed on him since 2018 for another four months.” This means that the official is prevented from travelling to the West Bank and prohibited from communicating with the Palestinian leadership. Bail has been set for him by the Israel occupation authorities.

On Monday and Tuesday, Israeli police raided Ghaith’s house in the Silwan neighbourhood to the south of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and beat him and members of his family. They summoned him for interrogation on Thursday morning.

Israel has prevented Governor Ghaith from entering the West Bank for three years. During the same period, he has been arrested 28 times.

READ: Jerusalem’s Sheikh Ekrema Sabri calls for defending Al-Aqsa Mosque

(Source / 26.11.2021)

Israel sentences Palestine teen to 10 years in jail

Israeli police in East Jerusalem on May 10, 2021. [Eyad Tawil - Anadolu Agency]
Israeli police in East Jerusalem on May 10, 2021

The Israeli Central Court in Jerusalem yesterday sentenced a Palestinian teen from the occupied city of Jerusalem to ten years imprisonment and issued him a fine of 17,000 Israeli shekels ($50,000) for allegedly planning to attack soldiers with a knife.

The Palestinian Commission for Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs condemned the court’s ruling against Muhammad Khaled Abu Sneina, 17, saying it demonstrates the extent of the Israeli authorities’ disregard for international laws and human rights.

The head of the commission, Hassan Quneita, described the verdict as “more evidence” of the Israeli judiciary and courts’ involvement in establishing Israeli hegemony as an occupying entity in the occupied Palestinian state.

READ: Palestinian mother recalls emotional abuse in Israeli jail

Muhammad was arrested on 28 October 2019 after Israeli soldiers shot him in the Old City of Jerusalem.

According to Palestinian prisoners’ groups, Israel has arrested nearly 19,000 children under the age of 18 since the outbreak of the Second Intifada in September 2000, including children under ten years old.

#Israel arrests up to 700 Palestinian children each year in which 97% of them had no parent or lawyer present during interrogation

(Source / 26.11.2021)

UK MP: Hamas has a legal right to resist

Crispin Blunt MP, the Member of Parliament for the Reigate constituency in Surrey speaks at MEMO and Al-Sharq Forum's event in London 'Remembering Jamal' on 29 October 2018 [Jehan Alfarra/Middle East Monitor]
Crispin Blunt MP, the Member of Parliament for the Reigate constituency in Surrey speaks at MEMO and Al-Sharq Forum’s event in London ‘Remembering Jamal’ on 29 October 2018

British Member of Parliament, Crispin Blunt, yesterday warned the UK against proscribing the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, saying it will have “a terrible chilling effect on putting anything into Gaza”.

As the besieged enclave is governed by Hamas, banning the movement would mean the government could not deal with it, and therefore could not provide aid to the millions of Palestinians in dire need in Gaza.

Blunt also suggested that Hamas had “under international law, a legal right to resist”. He explained, however, that the weapons used by the Palestinians were “unlawful because they are untargeted and they are indiscriminate”.

READ: How will Britain’s designation of Hamas affect Palestinians and British policy?

“My own personal position is that the two-state solution is long gone. That in the end, the only way this is going to be resolved is actually by the people coming together and us enabling that to happen, helping it to happen, and I fear that this measure today does precisely the opposite,” Blunt said during a debate on the British government’s proposal to designate Hamas a “terrorist group”.

Last week the British government announced plans to label Hamas as a terrorist organisation in its entirety, it had previously proscribed the movement’s military wing the Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades.

Home Secretary Priti Patel will push for the change in parliament arguing that it is not possible to distinguish between Hamas’ political and military wings.

(Source / 26.11.2021)

Palestinians favour a one-state over a two-state solution, poll finds

A picture taken on February 23, 2017 shows a billboard, of unknown origin, on a main road leading to the West Bank city of Ramallah, reading in Arabic: "If the choice is between one state or two states, then I am choosing the one state." [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images]
A picture taken on February 23, 2017 shows a billboard, of unknown origin, on a main road leading to the West Bank city of Ramallah, reading in Arabic: “If the choice is between one state or two states, then I am choosing the one state” 

Palestinians in Israeli occupied West Bank favour one bi-national state over a two-state solution, a new opinion poll conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre (JMCC) shows. Support for the international status quo is losing ground, in favour of a solution based on equal rights for the 12 million people in historic Palestine, found the survey conducted in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), a foundation associated with the Social Democratic Party of Germany.

The report on the findings of the polls explained the declining trend in support for the two-state solution as a consequence of the impasse on the political horizon and the failure of the peace process, which began nearly three decades ago in 1993 during the Oslo Process.

Though it was meant to end Israel’s decades-long military occupation and complete takeover of Palestine, the Oslo Process is generally seen by Palestinians as a miserable failure. Instead of ending the occupation, the Oslo period saw Israel further entrench its colonial domination through the construction of illegal settlements and the transfer of its population to Jewish only territory in the West Bank.

The percentage of Palestinians who believe that the two-state solution is the best way forward has dropped from 39.3 per cent in April to 29.4 per cent today. While the percentage of those who support the bi-national one-state solution rose from 21.4 per cent to 26 per cent in the same period.

‘One state is a game changer’: A conversation with Ilan Pappe and Awad Abdelfattah on the one democratic state campaign

Support for one-state is higher amongst Palestinians in the Israeli occupied West Bank. Of the three million pooled, 30.2 per cent said they favoured a one-state solution compared to 23.6 per cent who said that they favoured a two-state solution. With 37.9 per cent, the two-state solution remains the preferred option for the besieged population of Gaza.

Polling revealed a thirst for Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and presidential elections. Some 70.6 per cent of those polled said President Mahmoud Abbas should announce a new date for general elections while 18.6 per cent said he should not.

Results show a huge drop in the level of satisfaction over Abbas. Satisfaction over the 86-year-old, who earlier this year cancelled the first election in 15 years, slummed by 15 per cent. Abbas had a surprising 50 per cent approval rating in April, which has dropped to 35 per cent. Meanwhile, the percentage of those dissatisfied with his performance rose to 57.5 per cent from 42 per cent last April.

Asked about the most pressing problem they face in their lives, the vast majority of Palestinians, 62.7 per cent, said that it was the Israeli occupation. Long way down in second place is corruption with 47.6 per cent and in third was the lack of economic opportunities at 45 per cent.

(Source / 26.11.2021)

Israel stalls plans to build 9,000 settlement units in occupied Jerusalem

A general view shows the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev, near the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on 28 October 2021 [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images]
A general view shows the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev, near the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on 28 October 2021

Israeli occupation authorities appear to have stalled plans to build 9,000 settlement units on the site of the deserted Qalandia Airport in the occupied West Bank, according to a rights group.

Peace Now activist, Hagit Ofran, said a district planning committee meeting at which the project was expected to be approved has been cancelled, meaning “the plan is off the table for now.”

This comes after a local committee had voted in support of it on Wednesday.

The project plans to transform the 124-hectare airport site, which operated from 1924 to 2000, into a new settlement, with parks, hotels, public buildings, commercial areas and housing.

READ: Israel’s theft of Palestinian water must be stopped

On Monday, a delegation of European Union officials visited the site. The EU Representative to the PA, Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff, said that the plan jeopardised a potential two-state resolution to the conflict and helped sever Jerusalem from the West Bank.

“Jerusalem is a living, breathing, growing capital city of the state of Israel,” Deputy Mayor, Fleur Hassan-Nahoum said. “The housing project will provide thousands of much-needed housing units.”

The Times of Israel said the site was designated as a Palestinian tourism zone in former US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century“.

Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories are illegal under international law and have previously been criticised by US President Joe Biden, as “eroding” prospects of a two-state solution, but Israel has continued to advance settlement plans.

READ: UK lists Israel among countries with human rights concerns

The PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that “this settlement plan aims to complete the separation of Jerusalem from its Palestinian surroundings from the north as part of a process to Judaise the city and change its historical, legal and demographic reality and remove it from any future negotiations.”

The Ministry said that it considers it “extremely dangerous to complete the process of separating Jerusalem from its Palestinian surroundings, especially because of the repercussions of this move on the chances of implementing the principle of the two-state solution.”

The PA Ministry called on the international community, the US administration and the countries that claim to adhere to the two-state solution to intervene immediately and urgently to stop the implementation of Israel’s “colonial projects and schemes that perpetuate the occupation, settlement and apartheid regime.”

(Source / 26.11.2021)

Jordan: Thousands protest against water-for-power deal with ‘Israel’

Amman (QNN)- Thousands of Jordanians on Friday flocked to the streets in protest against a water-for-power deal with the occupation state of ‘Israel’ and the UAE, which the country has signed last week under American auspices.

Over two thousand gathered in Amman’s downtown and chanted slogans against the deal. “They’ve put our security in danger and tomorrow Amman would get occupied”, “water from the enemy is humiliation”, and “shame on the government of businessmen” the protesters chanted.

The protesters also called for ending the Wadi Araba peace treaty with the occupation state.

Earlier this week, Jordanians were shocked when international media announced the deal under which Jordan will receive 200 million cubic meters of desalinated water in exchange for building solar PV plants with a total capacity of 600MW that will export output to the occupation state. The UAE will pay for the project.

Jordanian officials denied the reports before pictures of the Jordanian Minister of water, signing the deal, surfaced.

Protests also took to the streets of other cities. Last week also saw spontaneous protests in which 36 protesters were arrested.


(Source / 26.11.2021)

Israeli forces injure 2 Palestinian journalists with rubber-coated metal bullets in Nablus

Nablus (QNN)- Two Palestinian journalists were injured on Friday with Israeli forces’ rubber-coated metal bullets while covering weekly protest against Israel’s settlement expansion in Beita village in Nablus.

Local sources said the two journalists, Najla’a Zaitoun and Baker abd-Elhaq, were injured after the occupation forces soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets against the peaceful protesters and the journalists were covering and documenting the protest in Beita.

The forces have been firing rubber-coated metal bullets, live ammunition and tear gas canisters directly towards the peaceful Palestinian protesters to suppress them.

Beita village becomes a site of weekly protests against the Israeli occupation and settlement expansion, which are often suppressed by Israeli forces.

The occupation authorities evacuated dozens of Israeli settlers from the illegal settlement of Evyatar in Beita, after a deal was reached between a settler leader and the occupation government of new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

Yossi Dagan, head of settler organisation the Shomron Regional Council, struck a deal with Israel’s defence minister, Benny Gantz, and interior minister Ayelet Shaked, that will turn Evyatar into a religious school and a military base for the Israeli forces.

‘Israel’ will keep about 50 caravan houses settlers installed in May on Palestinian lands belonging to the residents of the occupied West Bank village of Beita, while settlers would “return” to the land when Israeli occupation authorities designate it as “state-owned.”

In early May, a group of Israeli settlers set up caravans on Jabal Sabih, and with the help of Israeli occupation forces have since prevented any Palestinian access to the area.

Within days, settlers installed mobile houses, built roads and raised an Israeli flag over the settlement.

Since then, Beita has witnessed several protests against the new settler outpost on Jabal Sabih, which lies on the southern outskirts of the village and comprises an estimated 30 percent of Beita’s entire land area.

The Israeli forces, however, have suppressed, detained, and assaulted the protesters, resulting in injuring hundreds and killing others as they have fired rubber-coated metal bullets, teargas canisters, and live ammunition.

Since the start of the protests, 8 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli forces while defending their land: Issa Barham, Tariq Sanbar, Ahmed Bani Shams, Shadi Shurafa, Emad Dweikat, Mohammed Hamayel, Zakaria Hamayel, Mohamed al-Kabisa.

The livelihoods of at least 17 Palestinian families – more than 100 people – are threatened as they depend on harvesting their olives on land they have owned for generations.

(Source / 26.11.2021)

Democratic lawmakers warn against ‘doomsday’ Israeli settlement plan

Washington (QNN)- Twenty-six House Democrats on Monday urged U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to pressure the Israeli Occupation government to prevent illegal settlement construction in the E1 area between Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The lawmakers who signed the letter, led by progressive Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, expressed their “immense concern” about the advancement of a plan to build some 3,400 illegal housing units in the E1 area of the West Bank, highlighting how settlements entrench the occupation, undermine the prospects of a two-state solution, diminish the viability of a Palestinian state, and represent a violation of international law.

The lawmakers note that there was a 28 percent increase in settlement construction during the Trump administration, a stark departure from previous U.S. administrations from both parties.

They describe efforts to advance the approval of 3,400 housing units in E1 as “an irreconcilable challenge to a lasting peace solution,” describing the plans as “doomsday settlements.”

“Frozen for years, plans to build settlements in E1 have been referred to as ‘doomsday settlements’ because they would threaten the territorial contiguity necessary for a viable independent Palestinian state by dividing the north of the West Bank from the south, as well as the West Bank from East Jerusalem,” they wrote.

“Israeli settlements in the West Bank further entrench the occupation and undermine the prospects of a two-state solution,” they warned.

“Settlements diminish the viability of a contiguous Palestinian state, thereby also threatening the future of a negotiated two-state solution that guarantees the civil and political rights, safety, and self-determination of both peoples.”

They urged the US State Department “to exert diplomatic pressure” to prevent the E1 settlement construction and demanded an update on those efforts by December 15.

An Israeli military body has recently scheduled two meetings in the next few weeks to discuss the plans for 3,400 illegal settlement houses in E1.

The plan was initiated last year under the previous government of Benjamin Netanyahu and, at the time, drew widespread international criticism.

Construction in E1 is in the east of Jerusalem beyond the 1948-Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories and has long been considered a red line as a point of no return for a potential two-state solution.

Construction in the 12-square-kilometer (4.6-square-mile) area, which the lawmakers describe as “a vital corridor to Palestinian life,” would effectively split the West Bank in half, impeding traffic between the northern and southern parts of the West Bank and between the West Bank and East Jerusalem—effectively dooming a potential Palestinian state.

The other lawmakers to sign onto the letter include Reps. Don Beyer, Earl Blumenauer, Andre Carson, Andy Levin, Joaquin Castro, Alan Lowenthal, Steve Cohen, Jim McGovern, Judy Chu, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Debbie Dingell, Don Payne, Anna Eshoo, Chellie Pingree, Jared Huffman, David Price, Sara Jacobs, Jan Schakowsky, Pramila Jayapal, Maxine Waters, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Peter Welch, Mondaire Jones, John Yarmuth and Barbara Lee.

Americans for Peace Now’s President and CEO Hadar Susskind described E1 settlement construction as “the textbook example” of unilateral actions that make achieving a two-state solution more difficult, saying “it is vital that Israel halt the approval process. We are grateful to Congressman Pocan and the 25 other signatories for their bold leadership against this. I hope the Biden Administration will use every diplomatic tool to prevent this from happening.”

(Source / 26.11.2021)