Thursday, September 23, 2021 (WAFA) – Palestinian representatives of national and Islamic forces and refugees meeting in Ramallah today have rejected a recent framework agreement signed between the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and the United States, saying it cancels the rights of return for the refugees.
Wasel Abu Yousef, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and coordinator of the National and Islamic Forces, told the meeting that “from the very first moment of (former US President Donald) Trump’s term in office to the (current Joe) Biden administration, steps have rolled out to abolish UNRWA, halt aid to refugees, redefine the refugee, and now this dangerous agreement, which is an attempt to abolish the rights of the Palestinian refugees.”
He stressed that the right of refugees to return to their homes and land they were forced out from when Israel was created in Palestine in 1948 is firm and is one of their inalienable rights as defined in UN resolution 194.
There is a consensus among the Palestinians on rejecting this “dangerous agreement which abolishes the right of return for refugees,” he said.
The agreement, said one of the participants in the meeting, stipulates that any refugee who is proven to be involved in what it terms “terror” activity, meaning resisting the occupation, or proven to have received military training will not receive UNRWA aid and if employed by the UN agency will be fired from his work and lose all his rights.
Washington (QNN)- The U.S. House of Representatives approved on Thursday a stand-alone bill to provide $1 billion to ‘Israel’ to replenish its Iron Dome missile-defense system, just two days after the funding was removed from a final House-passed bill to prevent a government shutdown.
The measure passed 420 members voting in favour of the bill, and nine against.
The bill is now headed to the Senate, which will need to approve it as well.
Some of the most liberal House Democrats had objected to the provision and said they would vote against the broad spending bill if it was included.
Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Pramila Jayapal were among those who threatened to vote against the bill if the Iron Dome funding was included.
That threatened the bill’s passage, with Democrats only narrowly controlling the House, because Republicans have opposed the plan to fund the federal government through Dec. 3 and raise the nation’s borrowing limit.
In response to the U.S. House of Representatives’ decision to provide the $1 billion to ‘Israel’, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett thanked “all members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democratic and Republican alike, for their sweeping support for Israel and the commitment to its security.”
Bennett added that “those who try to challenge this support got a resounding response today,” apparently referring to the Progressive Democrats who had removed on Tuesday the extra $1 billion.
Following the removal, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that he would bring a suspension bill, which requires support from two-third of members, to approve the provision with support of members from both parties.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut), chair of the House Appropriations Committee, introduced the bill on the House floor today.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the first Palestinian Progressive Democrat and was born in Detroit to Palestinian immigrant parents, called the Israeli occupation government an “apartheid regime,” and announced she would oppose the bill.
“I will not support an effort to enable and support war crimes, human rights abuses and violence. We cannot be talking only about Israelis’ need for safety at a time when Palestinians are living under a violent apartheid system,” she said. Rashida Tlaib@RashidaTlaibI will not support a standalone supplemental bill of $1 billion to replenish the bombs Israel used to commit war crimes in Gaza.
Rashida Tlaib@RashidaTlaibI plan on casting a no vote. We must stop enabling Israel’s human rights abuses and apartheid government.
Rasha@RashaMK · 23 sep.UNBELIEVABLE tomorrow the House leadership will be bring up a separate supplemental to fund Israel’s state sanctioned violence. They failed to get the Iron Dome funded yesterday & here we are CALL TO ACTION: Call Congress & tell them this unacceptable! https://appropriations.house.gov/news/press-releases/delauro-introduces-iron-dome-supplemental
Rep. Ilhan Omar expressed her disapproval of the funding tweeting on Thursday, “Given the human rights violations in Gaza, Sheikh Jarrah, and ever-growing settlement expansion, we should not be ramming through a last-minute $1 billion increase in military funding for Israel without any accountability.
Ilhan Omar@IlhanMNGiven the human rights violations in Gaza, Sheikh Jarrah, and ever-growing settlement expansion, we should not be ramming through a last-minute $1 billion increase in military funding for Israel without any accountability.
As of November 2020, the United States had provided $1.6 billion to ‘Israel’ for Iron Dome batteries, interceptors, co-production costs and general maintenance, according to Congressional Research Service.
Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Over 80 Palestinian Islamic Jihad prisoners are protesting in Israeli Ktzi’ot Prison in protest against the punitive and repressive measures taken by the Israeli prisons’ administration following the Gilbou’s prison break.
The Palestinian prisoners in Ktzi’ot Prison have demanded that the situation in the prison be returned to how it was before restrictions were implemented after six Palestinian prisoners managed to free themselves from Gilbou prison earlier this month.
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad warned Israel Prison Service against suppressing the protest, saying it held ‘Israel’ for responsible for any harm to the prisoners.
The prisoners have demanded the Israeli prisons’ administration to end its policy of repression, abuse, and arbitrary transfers and release isolated prisoners to regular sections, return detention conditions to what they were before September 5, and to end the policy of arbitrary administrative detention and stop the renewal policy for administrative detainees, among other demands.
Such tensions came after the heroic act of six Palestinian prisoners who managed to free themselves on September 6 2021, from Gilbou prison, a high-security Israeli prison, through a secret tunnel they had reportedly dug beneath the prison.
The six prisoners were identified as:
Mahmoud Arda, 46 years old, from Arraba town in Jenin, imprisoned since 1996, sentenced to a life and 15 years and belonged to the Islamic Jihad movement.
Mohammad Arda, 39 years old, from Arraba town in Jenin, imprisoned since 2002, sentenced to a life and belonged to the Islamic Jihad movement.
Yaaqob Qadri, 49 years old, from Beir al-Basha town in Jenin, imprisoned since 2003, sentenced to a life and belonged to the Islamic Jihad movement.
Ayham Kamanji, 35 years old, from Kufr Dan town in Jenin, imprisoned since 2006, sentenced to a life and belonged to the Islamic Jihad movement.
Zakaria Zubaidi, 46 years old, from Jenin refugee camp, imprisoned since 2019, was not sentenced, and is a former commander of Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
Munadel Infeiat, 26 years old, from Yabad town in Jenin and imprisoned since 2019, was not sentenced and belonged to the Islamic Jihad movement.
Four of the six breakers were rearrested by the Israeli occupation on September 11, after five days of large-scale sweep operations throughout occupied Palestine using high-tech systems and the two others were rearrested on September 19, after 13 days of sweep operations.
The financial which the Palestinian Authority is suffering from is likely to get even more complicated during the coming period unless Israel releases tax revenues it has withheld, the finance minister said.
Speaking during a meeting with donors and foreign representatives, Shukri Bishara reviewed the financial situation of the Palestinian Authority and the pressures exerted by the Israeli government, including withholding and illegally deducting Palestinian tax revenues.
“Mr. Bishara explicitly informed representatives of the international community that the [Palestinian] government had exhausted all available options to secure financing, and will not resort to more borrowing from banks,” a statement issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Finance said.
According to the statement, Bishara stressed on the need to reform the financial relationship with Israel and the tax clearance mechanism, which he said “has become a tool to perpetuate the occupation”.
“Bishara urged the international community to take all necessary diplomatic efforts to urge Israel to respond to the Palestinian demands and called for the return of foreign support to what it was before 2018,” it added.
The minister has also urged donor countries to restore their aid to the Palestinian treasury to the level it was in 2018, explaining that this aid has fallen by 90 per cent in 2021 compared to 2020.
The PA has struggled with finances since 2018 when the US administration of President Donald Trump cut aid to it and to UNRWA, the UN body which supports Palestine refugees in the region.
Israel also began deducting some of the tax revenues it collects on behalf of the PA, which it says was used to pay stipends to the families of martyrs and prisoners who ‘committed terror attacks’ against the occupation.
Current US President Joe Biden restored aid to the tune of $200 million to the Palestinians when he took office earlier this year.
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has confirmed, Wednesday, that a cancer-stricken former Palestinian political prisoner who was recently released from an Israeli prison after his condition seriously deteriorated, has died at a Palestinian hospital in Ramallah, in central West Bank.
The PPS stated that the detainee, Hussein Masalma, 39, from the al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, was released from an Israeli prison in February of this year when his condition became extremely serious after he was denied the right to receive the urgently-needed specialized medical treatment for his Leukemia.
The PPS added that the detainee was first moved to Hadassah Israeli medical center, before being sent, a week ago, to the Istishari Arab Hospital in Ramallah.
The PPS held Israel fully responsible for his death, especially since he was subject to medical neglect while in prison, and only started receiving treatment when his condition became serious.
It is worth mentioning that Masalma started suffering from complications and sharp pain in late 2020, and it took Israel more than a month to send him to the clinic of the Negev Desert detention camp and was only moved to an Israeli hospital when his condition became very serious, and the physicians found out that he has End-Stage Leukemia.
The Palestinian was abducted by the Israel army in the year 2002 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He spent 19 years in prison before he was released due to his serious medical condition.
His release came after various appeals, deliberations, and delays by Israeli courts before his lawyer filed an appeal with the Israeli High Court.
In an interview with the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic), in February of this year, Masalma stated that he has been suffering for two years and that the Israeli physicians didn’t render an accurate diagnosis to his condition.
“For more than two years I have been suffering, and they couldn’t diagnose my condition currently,” he said, “It is not just me, there are so many detainees suffering from serious conditions.”
The PPS said that many Palestinian political prisoners, especially those who have been held captive by Israel for more than 20 years are facing serious health conditions, including cancer.
It called on various regional and international human rights and legal groups, including the World Health Organization, to act on ensuring the release of all ailing Palestinian detainees from Israel prisons and to send an independent medical committee to look into these cases.
After the detainee’s death, various Palestinian political factions declared a general strike, Thursday, and called for massive popular protests across the occupied West Bank, during and after his funeral procession which will be held on Thursday at 11:30 before noon.
Israeli sources have reported, Wednesday, that the police detained a Palestinian man after he allegedly rammed an Israeli colonialist settler with his car, near occupied Jerusalem. The injured woman made the allegation that two hours after she was injured.
The sources said that the “incident appears to be hit and run”, and took place near Maale Michmash colony, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem.
They added that the woman suffered a moderate injury before she was moved to a hospital in Jerusalem.
According to the injured woman, who remained alert, a car passed her on the road near the colony, “before turning back and accelerating towards her.”
However, the woman only made the allegation to the police and the medical crews two hours after she was injured.
The Israeli police said they located the Palestinian vehicle, and detained the driver in the al-Ezariyya town, east of Jerusalem, before moving him to an interrogation facility.
It is worth mentioning that Mikhmas, inhabited by about 1700 persons, is a Palestinian village, southeast of Jerusalem, and is surrounded by three illegal Israeli colonies (Michmash, Psegot, and Adam( that were built after Israel occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in the year 1967.
Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday at dawn, three young Palestinian men from Ya’ad town, west of the northern West Bank city of Jenin.
Samer Abu Bakr, the head of Ya’bad Municipality, stated that several army jeeps invaded the town at dawn before the soldiers stormed and ransacked homes.
He added that the soldiers abducted three young men identified as Samih Sa’id Amarna, Yazan Sa’id Kabaha, and Ahmad Zoheir Hirzallah.
On Wednesday at night, the soldiers closed placed sandhills at the western entrance of the town, in addition to various minor roads leading to it.
Abu Bakr stated that the army frequently invades the town, in addition to the constant violations against the Palestinian farmers and their lands, especially during the olive harvest season.
It is worth mentioning that large areas of farmlands and olive orchards are completely isolated behind the illegal Annexation Wall, an issue that forces the Palestinians to apply for permits from the Israeli army just to be able to enter their lands.
Israeli soldiers invaded and bulldozed, Thursday, Palestinian farmlands, north of Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
Media sources said several military vehicles, and bulldozers, invaded the farmlands near the perimeter fence while firing live rounds and smoke bombs to force the farmers away.
They added that the military bulldozers uprooted the lands and installed sand hills close to the fence.
The attacks are part of frequent Israeli violations against the Palestinians, especially the fishermen, farmers, shepherds, and workers in the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip, and have led to dozens of casualties, including fatalities, in addition to serious property damage and the confiscation of many boats after abducting the fishermen.
Israeli soldiers abducted, earlier Thursday, eight Palestinians from their homes in several parts of the occupied West Bank, including the occupied capital, Jerusalem.
The soldiers invaded Ya’bad town, west of Jenin, in northern West Bank, searched homes, and abducted three young men, identified as Samih Sa’id Amarna, Yazan Sa’id Kabaha, and Ahmad Zoheir Herzallah.
In occupied Jerusalem, the soldiers abducted a woman, identified as Randa Sa’id, and a young man, Saif Qawasmi, in the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The soldiers also invaded Silwan town, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and abducted a young man, identified as Ahmad Jamil Silwadi, from his home in Batn al-Hawa neighborhood.
Also in Silwan, the soldiers and intelligence officers invaded the home of Jamal Gheith in the same neighborhood, and violently searched it, causing excessive damage. The soldiers also used a K9 unit in the search.
In Ramallah, in central West Bank, the soldiers invaded and searched homes, before abducting Sameh Abdul-Hadi Rammaha, 18, from the al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah, and Nihad Eyad Hamdan, from Beit Sira town, west of the city.
In related news, the soldiers invaded and bulldozed Palestinian farmlands, north of Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.