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US politicians propose resolution against UNESCO

MEMO | October 17, 2017

Two Republican politicians have submitted a resolution to Congress condemning UNESCO, days after the US announced that it would be withdrawing from the organisation over its “anti-Israel bias”, according to the Times of Israel.

Senator Ted Cruz and Republican Matt Gaetz authored the resolution last Friday which condemns UNESCO for trying to delegitimise the Jewish state and “recognises and affirms the historical connection of the Jewish people to the ancient and sacred city of Jerusalem”.

Last year, UNESCO voted in favour of a resolution that denied any connection between Al-Aqsa Mosque and Judaism; Israel relies on such a claim in recognising the Muslim holy site as the “Temple Mount”.

“The Jewish people, and the people of Israel, have a deep and ancient connection to the holy city of Jerusalem,” Gaetz claimed. “Yet the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) … is actively trying to rewrite history.”

The proposed resolution also calls on the US to partner with its allies in preventing the group from passing similar measures in the future; a sentiment echoed by US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, after the decision to exit was announced last week, when she warned that other UN agencies could face similar action if they did not reform.

Last week, Israel chose to follow the US and prepare for its exit from the international body, but appeared to leave the door open to reconciliation announcing that the change would take at least a year, and would be dependent on UNESCO’s future actions.

In May, UNESCO ruled that Israel is an “occupying power” and condemned illegal Israeli activity in occupied East Jerusalem a month later.

Israelis were angered once again in July following the designation of the Ibrahimi Mosque in occupied Hebron, a site which is stormed regularly by illegal Israeli settlers, as a Palestinian World Heritage Site under threat from Israel.

In response, Israel and the US have cut funding to UNESCO on multiple occasions, accusing it of “anti-Semitism”.

October 17, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel Bans Children from Playing in Al-Aqsa Mosque Courtyard

IMEMC News & Agencies – October 4, 2017

Israeli occupation authorities have prohibited Muslim children from playing in the courtyards surrounding Al-Aqsa Mosque.

A report by the Israeli TV Channel 7 said that orders were issued to police units at Al-Aqsa in occupied Jerusalem not to allow children to play with balls in the courtyards.

It also reported, according to Days of Palestine, that the Israeli Supreme Court issued an order banning Jerusalemite children from playing in Al-Aqsa courtyards.

The order was issued after complaints filed, about a month ago, by settlers who stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque and claimed to have seen children playing football around the schools.

According to the Supreme Court ruling, “ball games on Temple Mount [Al-Aqsa Mosque] are prohibited as it violates its sanctity.”

According to the Israeli police, the order is aimed primarily at the areas adjacent to the Islamic schools located in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Jewish organisations have demanded that such practices be banned and that those found doing so be prosecuted or at least have their balls confiscated.

They claim that playing football “is a violation of the law regarding holy areas. The maximum punishment for this is seven years of imprisonment.”

They also claimed that such practices are considered “a desecration of a holy site and cause emotional distress” to the Jews storming the mosque.

October 4, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel To Commit War Crime Against West Bank Villagers

Israel To Commit War Crime Against West Bank Villagers

“No sanctimonious language… can erase the disgrace or hide the facts: the destruction of Khan al-Ahmar means the forcible transfer of protected persons,
and forcible transfer is a war crime.”

[If Americans Knew notes: Twelve Palestinian communities in an area near Jerusalem are at risk of expulsion. These villages have been living for years without basic health, education, and welfare services, and without proper electricity or sewage systems. They are under constant surveillance for “illegal” construction—structures built without a permit from the Israeli government (permits are impossible to obtain in this region). These structures, many built of necessity to house growing families, are then quickly demolished by Israel’s Civil Administration.

Israel makes life almost unbearable for these Palestinians. Demolishing homes is just the beginning: grazing and farming land is confiscated, making it harder and harder for the residents to feed themselves and make a living; roads are nearly impassable; settlers and Israeli authorities harass them daily.

This is taking place not in Israel, but in the West Bank, on Palestinian land under full control of Israel.

One community that is at risk of imminent expulsion is Khan al-Ahmar. The Bedouin tribe has already been expelled twice since the 1950s.]

IMEMC News | September 26, 2017

Israeli rights group B’Tselem said, on Monday afternoon, that Israeli government is to commit war crimes against Palestinian villagers in Khan al-Ahmar.

B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai el-Ad said, according to Days of Palestine: “Following the state’s response submitted earlier today to the [Israeli] High Court of Justice, that the state was asking the court to authorize a war crime.”

He explained: “No sanctimonious language about a ‘planning, proprietary and realistic’ alternate, or ‘time to prepare’ can erase the disgrace or hide the facts: the destruction of Khan al-Ahmar means the forcible transfer of protected persons, and forcible transfer is a war crime.”

El-Ad added: “Those responsible for it will bear personal criminal liability – exactly as B’Tselem stated two weeks ago, in a letter addressed to the prime minister, defence minister, justice minister, chief of staff and the head of the Civil Administration.”

According to updated data, Khan al-Ahmar community, which lives on land Israel has earmarked for settlement expansion in the area, is home to 32 families numbering 173 persons, including 92 minors.

It has a mosque and a school, which was established in 2009 and serves more than 150 children between the ages of six and fifteen – some of them from neighbouring communities.

Khan al-Ahmar is located around the illegal Israeli settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

The Israeli occupation considers it strategic for building and expanding illegal settlements and establishing a territorial link between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem.


More background on Khan al-Ahmar and the other communities can be found here.

September 27, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 4 Comments

‘Jewish extremists’ condemned for vandalising Jerusalem church

St. Stephen Church in occupied Jerusalem was vandalised on 21 September 2017 [Richard Hardigan‏/Twitter]
MEMO | September 22, 2017

The Council of Catholic Churches in Jerusalem yesterday condemned the attack by “Jewish extremists” on one its houses of worship and called on the Israeli government to do more to curtail the escalating violence against Christians in the holy land.

Wednesday’s attack on St. Stephen Church in occupied Jerusalem resulted in the destruction of glass artwork and statues that depict the life of Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary.

The new patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine, Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, speaking to AsiaNews said that the incident “fits in with the pattern of past incidents” and was carried out by “some fanatics” whom he described as most likely being “Jewish extremists”.

In addition to the “huge damage” caused by the destruction of statues and windows, there is the deep pain caused by “the fanaticism of these groups who do not want to accept diversity and the faith of others,” the patriarch said.

The attack took place near a chapel dedicated to St Stephen where a group of nuns and some members of the communities of the monastic family of Bethlehem live.

The Council of Catholic Churches moved swiftly to condemn the attack by releasing the statement calling on the State of Israel to punish those who were responsible for the acts “because” they said “it could easily lead to serious and unpredictable consequences, which would be most unwelcome in the current tense religious climate.”

Attacks by Jewish extremists on Christian and Muslim sites have been on the rise in recent years.  Earlier this month church leaders united in their condemnation of Israel for its systematic attempt to undermine the integrity of the Holy City of Jerusalem and weaken its Christian heritage in Palestine.

They appealed to Christians, as well as the heads of governments “and all people of good will” to support them in their efforts to stop the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian Christian community.

Read also:

Patriarch warns of Christian flight from holy land

September 22, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 3 Comments

Jewish settlers hold provocative evening march in Silwan

Palestine Information Center – August 25, 2017

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Dozens of Jewish settlers along with officials on Thursday staged a provocative evening march in the Palestinian Silwan district of Occupied Jerusalem and entered a house that had been already sized and turned into a synagogue in Baten al-Hawa neighborhood.

A reporter for the Palestinian Information Center said the settlers were carrying Torah scrolls and Israeli flags as they were marching to the house that was appropriated a few years ago at the pretext that it was once a synagogue.

Member of the Silwan Land Defense Committee Fakhri Abu Diyab said that scores of Israeli police forces were deployed throughout the area and on rooftops of homes to protect the participants in the march.

Abu Diyab affirmed that Israeli agriculture minister Uri Ariel, right-wing Knesset members, and officials from the Jewish Home Party, and Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Jerusalem Aryeh Stern were among the participants.

He pointed out that it was the first time for the settlers to hold a march in Silwan district.

Silwan and its neighborhoods have always been a target of Judaization projects. The Israeli occupation authority still seeks to demolish several Palestinian homes in the district in order to build a park for its settlers.

In 2005, it started to notify local residents of its intent to raze their homes for the park project, but it had to delay its step several times after home owners managed to extract court verdicts freezing demolition orders.

However, the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem now threatens again to demolish the homes in Silwan after it rejected all the structural blueprints they submitted for their neighborhoods.

August 25, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Israel charges Palestinian cleric Sheikh Salah with incitement of terror

Press TV – August 24, 2017

The Tel Aviv regime has indicted Sheikh Raed Salah, a cleric who supported Palestinian protests over Israel’s controversial security measures imposed last month at a holy site in occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.

The Israeli court formally charged Salah on Thursday with incitement of terror over speeches he delivered encouraging Palestinians to protest for the right of holding prayers inside the Haram al-Sharif compound, which is home to the revered al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.

Israel had earlier in the week extended Salah’s detention, nearly a week after he was arrested. Prosecutors had demanded the renewed detention, saying they intended to bring charges against the 58-year-old cleric.

Israel’s security measures, which came after the July 14 deadly shooting and killing of two Israeli policemen, sparked some unprecedented protests and sit-in gatherings in occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds as Palestinians refused to accept the restrictions for nearly two weeks.

Israel was later forced to remove metal detectors and cameras installed at the gates and Palestinians ended sit-ins and prayers outside the mosque.

Salah had served for nine months in Israeli jails before he was released in January. He was previously charged with “incitement of violence” and “incitement of racism.” His latest arrest sparked condemnations in the occupied territories as his supporters said it was part of a political witch hunt aimed to silence dissent.

Israelis have also banned Salah’s group, the Islamic Movement in Israel, in 2015 for allegedly stoking violence.

August 24, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | Leave a comment

Netanyahu Alarms Umm al-Fahm with Talk of Population Swap

By Jonathan Cook | Dissident Voice | August 4, 2017

Israel’s crackdown on access to the al-Aqsa mosque compound after two Israeli policemen were killed there last month provoked an eruption of fury among Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem and rocked Israel’s relations with the Arab world.

Three weeks on, the metal detectors and security cameras have gone and – for now, at least – Jerusalem is calmer.

But the shock waves are still reverberating, and being felt most keenly far away in northern Israel, in the town of Umm al-Fahm. The three young men who carried out the shootings were from the town’s large Jabareen clan. They were killed on the spot by police.

Umm al-Fahm, one of the largest communities for Israel’s 1.7 million Palestinian citizens, a fifth of the population, had already gained a reputation among the Jewish majority for political and religious extremism and anti-Israel sentiment.

In large part, that reflected its status as  home to the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, led by Sheikh Raed Salah. In late 2015, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu outlawed the Movement as a terror organisation, despite his intelligence agencies failing to find evidence to support such a conclusion.

More likely, Netanyahu’s antipathy towards Salah’s group, and Umm al-Fahm, derives from its trenchant efforts to ensure the strongest possible presence of Muslims at al-Aqsa.

As Israel imposed ever tighter restrictions on Palestinians from the occupied territories reaching the mosque, Salah organised regular coaches to bring residents to the compound from Umm al-Fahm and surrounding communities.

Thousands attend funeral

Nonetheless, the three youths’ attack at al-Aqsa last month has served to bolster suspicions that Umm al-Fahm is a hotbed of radicalism and potential terrorism.

That impression was reinforced last week when the Israeli authorities, at judicial insistence, belatedly handed over the three bodies for burial.

Although Israel wanted the funerals as low-key as possible, thousands attended the burials. Moshe Arens, a former minister from Netanyahu’s Likud party, expressed a common sentiment this week: “The gunmen evidently had the support of many in Umm al-Fahm, and others seem prepared to follow in their footsteps.”

Yousef Jabareen, a member of the Israeli parliament who is himself from Umm al-Fahm, said such accusations were unfair.

“People in the town were angry that the bodies had been kept from burial in violation of Muslim custom for two weeks,” he told Middle East Eye. “There are just a few extended families here, so many people wanted to show solidarity with their relatives, even though they reject the use of violence in our struggle for our civil rights.”

Nonetheless, the backlash from Netanyahu was not long in coming.

In a leak to Israeli TV, his office said he had proposed to the Trump administration ridding Israel of a region known as the Little Triangle, which includes some 300,000 Palestinians citizens. Umm al-Fahm is its main city.

The Triangle is a thin sliver of Israeli territory, densely packed with Palestinian citizens, bordering the north-west corner of the West Bank.

As part of a future peace deal, Netanyahu reportedly told the Americans during a meeting in late June, Umm al-Fahm and its neighbouring communities would be transferred to a future Palestinian state.

‘A double crime’

In effect, Netanyahu was making public his adoption of the long-standing and highly controversial plan of his far-right defence minister, Avigdor Lieberman.

This would see borders redrawn to allow Israel to annex coveted settlements in the West Bank in exchange for stripping hundreds of thousands of Palestinians of their Israeli citizenship and reassigning their communities to a highly circumscribed Palestinian state.

Jamal Zahalka, another member of the parliament, from Kafr Kara in the Triangle, said Netanyahu was supporting a double crime.

“He wins twice over,” he told Middle East Eye. “He gets to annex the illegal settlements to Israel, while he also gets rid of Arab citizens he believes are a threat to his demographic majority.”

Lieberman lost no time in congratulating Netanyahu for adopting his idea, tweeting: “Mr Prime Minister, welcome to the club.”

With his leak, Netanyahu has given official backing to an aspiration that appears to be secretly harboured by many Israeli politicians – and one that, behind the scenes, they have been pushing increasingly hard with Washington and the leadership of the Palestinian Authority.

A poll last year showed that nearly half of Israeli Jews want Palestinians expelled from Israel.

With Netanyahu now publicly on board, it looks suspiciously like Lieberman’s role over many years has been to bring into the mainstream a policy the liberal Haaretz newspaper has compared to “ethnic cleansing”.

Marzuq al-Halabi, a Palestinian-Israeli analyst and researcher at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem, believed the move was designed with two aims in mind.

It left a “constant threat” of expulsion hanging over the heads of the minority as a way to crush political activity and demands for reform, he wrote on the Hebrew website Local Call. And at the same time it cast Palestinian citizens out into a “territorial and governmental emptiness”.

Inevitably, the plan revives fears among Palestinian citizens of the Nakba, the Arabic word for “Catastrophe”: the mass expulsions that occurred during the 1948 war to create Israel on the ruins of the Palestinian homeland.

Jabareen observed that the population swap implied that Palestinian citizens “are part of the enemy. … It says we don’t belong in our homeland, that our future is elsewhere.”

Backing from Kissinger

The idea of a populated land exchange was first formalised by Lieberman in 2004, when he unveiled what he grandly called a “Separation of the Nations” programme. It quickly won supporters in the US, including from elder statesman Henry Kissinger.

The idea of a land and population swap – sometimes termed “static transfer” – was alluded to by former prime ministers, including Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon, at around the same time.

But only Lieberman set out a clear plan. He suggested stripping as many as 300,000 Palestinians in the Triangle of their Israeli citizenship. Other Palestinian citizens would be expected to make a “loyalty oath” to Israel as a “Jewish Zionist state”, or face expulsion to a Palestinian state. The aim was to achieve two states that were as “ethnically pure” as possible.

Jabareen noted that Lieberman’s populated land exchange falsely equated the status and fate of Palestinians who are legal citizens of Israel with Jewish settlers living in the West Bank in violation of international law.

Lieberman exposed his plan to a bigger audience in 2010, when he addressed the United Nations as foreign minister in the first of Netanyahu’s series of recent governments. Notably, at that time, the prime minister’s advisers distanced him from the proposal.

Mass arrests

A month after Lieberman’s speech, it emerged that Israeli security services had carried out secret exercises based on his scenario. They practised quelling civil disturbances with mass arrests following a peace deal that required redrawing the borders to expel large numbers of Palestinian citizens.

Behind the scenes, other Israeli officials are known to have supported more limited populated land swaps.

Documents leaked in 2011 revealed that three years earlier the centrist government of Ehud Olmert had advanced just such a population exchange during peace talks.

Tzipi Livni, then the foreign minister, had proposed moving the border so that several villages in Israel would end up in a future Palestinian state. Notably, however, Umm al-Fahm and other large communities nearby were not mentioned.

The political sympathies between Lieberman and Livni, the latter widely seen as a peacemaker by the international community, were nonetheless evident.

In late 2007, as Israel prepared for the Annapolis peace conference, Livni described a future Palestinian state as “the answer” for Israel’s Palestinian citizens. She said it was illegitimate for them to seek political reforms aimed at ending Israel’s status as a “home unto the Jewish people”.

Demographic reduction

The first hints that Netanyahu might have adopted Lieberman’s plan came in early 2014 when the Maariv newspaper reported that a population exchange that included the Triangle had been proposed in talks with the US administration, then headed by Barack Obama.

The hope, according to the paper, was that the transfer would reduce the proportion of Palestinian citizens from a fifth of the population to 12 per cent, shoring up the state’s Jewishness.

Now Netanyahu has effectively confirmed that large-scale populated land swaps may become a new condition for any future peace agreement with the Palestinians, observed Jabareen.

At Lieberman’s request in 2014, the Israeli foreign ministry produced a document outlining ways a land and population exchange could be portrayed as in accordance with international law. Most experts regarded the document’s arguments as specious.

The foreign ministry concluded that the only hope of justifying the measure would be to show either that the affected citizens supported the move, or that it had the backing of the Palestinian Authority, currently headed by Mahmoud Abbas.

Anything short of this would be a non-starter because it would either qualify as “forced transfer” of the Triangle’s inhabitants, a war crime, or render them stateless.

The problem for Israel is that opinion polls have repeatedly shown that no more than a quarter of Palestinians in the Triangle area back being moved into a Palestinian state. Getting their approval is likely to prove formidably difficult.

Zahalka rejected claims by Israeli politicians that this was a vote of confidence from Palestinian citizens in Israeli democracy.

“Israel has made the West Bank a living hell for Palestinians, and few [in Israel] would choose to inflict such suffering on their own families. But it also because we do not want to be severed from the rest of the Palestinian community in Israel – from our personal, social and economic life.”

Jabareen agreed. “We are also connected to places like Nazareth, Haifa, Acre, Jaffa, Lid and Ramle.”

And he noted that Netanyahu and Lieberman were talking about redrawing the borders to put only their homes inside a future Palestinian state. “Umm al-Fahm had six times as much land before Israel confiscated it. We still consider those lands as ours, but they are not included in the plan.”

Recognise Jewish state

It is in this context – one where Palestinians citizens will not consent to their communities being moved outside Israel’s borders – that parallel political moves by Netanyahu should be understood, said Jabareen.

Not least, it helps to explain why Netanyahu has made recognition of Israel as a Jewish state by Abbas’ Palestinian Authority a precondition for talks.

Aware of the trap being laid for it, the PA has so far refused to offer such recognition. But if it can be arm-twisted into agreement, Netanyahu will be in a much stronger position. He can then impose draconian measures on Palestinians in Israel, including loyalty oaths and an end to their demands for political reform – under threat that, if they refuse, they will be moved to a Palestinian state.

At the same time, Netanyahu has been pushing ahead with a new basic law that would define Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, rather than of Israel’s entire population. The legislation’s intent is to further weaken the Palestinian minority’s claim on citizenship.

Netanyahu’s decision to ban the Islamic Movement as a terror organisation fits into the picture too.

In a 2012 report by the International Crisis Group, a Washington and Brussels-based conflict resolution group, an official in Lieberman’s party explained that one of the covert goals of Lieberman’s plan was to rid Israel of “the heartland of the Islamic Movement”.

Conversely, Netanyahu’s Likud allies and coalition partners have been pushing aggressively to annex settlements in the West Bank.

Zahalka noted that the prime minister gave his backing last week to legislation that would expand Jerusalem’s municipal borders to incorporate a number of large settlements – a move that would amount to annexation in all but name.

“The deal is Israel takes Jerusalem and its surrounding areas, and gives Umm al-Fahm and its surroundings to the PA,” he said.

The pieces seem to be slowly falling into place for a populated land exchange that would strip hundreds of thousands of Palestinians of their Israeli citizenship.

Paradoxically, however, the ultimate obstacle may prove to be Netanyahu himself – and his reluctance to concede any kind of meaningful state to the Palestinians.

August 4, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

Russian envoy: Hamas national movement

Palestine Information Center – August 1, 2017

TEHRAN – Hamas is a national liberation movement and Moscow does not consider it a terrorist organization, Russian Ambassador to Tehran Levan Dzhagaryan said Tuesday.

Reporting from Tehran, a PIC news correspondent said Dzhagaryan told Hamas representative in Iran, Khaled al-Kaddoumi, that Hamas is a national resistance movement and one of the Palestinians’ main legitimate representatives.

The Russian ambassador reiterated his country’s support for the Palestinian cause and people.

Al-Kaddoumi briefed the Russian envoy on the Israeli violations in Occupied Jerusalem and the crimes committed against the Palestinian people and holy sites.

August 1, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 1 Comment

MK calls for building synagogue in Al-Aqsa

MEMO | July 25, 2017

Extremist Israeli Jewish MK from the Jewish Home party, Bezalel Smotrich, has called for building a synagogue inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard, Al-Resalah newspaper reported yesterday.

The Palestinian newspaper said that the Israeli TV Channel 7 reported Smotrich saying that the best Zionist response to the Palestinian rejection to the Israeli measures at Al-Aqsa Mosque is to let them understand that they had paid a “high price” for their acts.

He said that the best response would be to build a synagogue in the yards of Al-Aqsa Mosque in response to the attack on the settlement of Halamish, where three Israeli settlers were killed.

“I would set up a synagogue on the Temple Mount today, this morning.”

“The Zionist response would largely be to make the other side understand and feel that they have lost. They must understand that they gain nothing from terrorism. They are the only ones who will lose, and this will happen on three levels,” Smotrich told Arutz Sheva. “If I am the Prime Minister – this morning I would close the Temple Mount to Arab prayer and establish a Synagogue for Jews.”

Palestinians have been rejecting Israel’s latest security measures at Al-Aqsa Mosque which include metal detectors and advanced surveillance cameras. The metal detectors were removed late last night however more cameras were setup at the mosque. Mass protests have been held against the latest Israeli policies with occupation forces responding in a heavy handed manner. Seven Palestinians were killed in the ten days since 14 July and 1,090 were injured.

July 25, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | 2 Comments

‘Palestinians reject Israel’s system of apartheid and racial discrimination’

RT | July 24, 2017

The escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict isn’t religious, it’s about the rights of Palestinian people to be free from the longest occupation in modern history, says Mustafa Barghouti, the General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas suspended all ties with Israel on Friday after deadly clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli police. Protests broke out after Israeli authorities installed security cameras and metal detectors at the revered Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site.

Temple Mount, or Haram esh-Sharif as it is known to Muslims, is one of the most contested religious sites in the world. For Jews, it is believed to have been the site of two biblical temples, the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the hill is Islam’s third holiest site.

The Arab League has warned Israel about crossing “a red line” in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the sacred city of Jerusalem. Meanwhile, an Israeli minister said the metal detectors that triggered the violence will remain.

The League’s foreign ministers will hold an emergency meeting in Cairo on Wednesday.

RT: Palestinian President Abbas suspended all relations with Israel. How would you comment on that? Are you surprised?

Mustafa Barghouti: No, I am not, actually. He should have done that some time ago because the Israeli behavior is a behavior that wants to kill any possibility of peace in this place. Its policy is directed at destroying the two-state solution either by the measures they are taking at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is a very provocative act or by the law they have just passed which prohibits even negotiations over Jerusalem or by the increased settlement activities which have exceeded any previous expansion before. All these factors have led to this reaction. They have killed three of our people and injured no less than 432 demonstrators. All the people were just praying peacefully, I was there myself, and I saw myself – there was no violence from the Palestinian side and suddenly we were attacked with bullets, with the clubs, they were very aggressive toward the Palestinian prayers.

RT: Surely Israel has the right to step up security given what has happened [two Israelis policemen were killed at the entrance to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on July,14]? Can you understand Israel’s nervousness?

MB: No, I think Netanyahu has heard his own security people advising him to take away these metal detectors and stop changing the status quo in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, but he didn’t listen to them. He proceeded by listening to the extreme ministers in his cabinet. The result is this explosion that we see. Not only in Jerusalem but all over the West Bank. You must understand this is not a religious conflict. This is about national rights; this is about the right of the Palestinian people to be free from occupation. To get their freedom after 50 years of occupation which is the longest occupation in modern history. This is about people rejecting to be treated as third class citizens; this is about rejecting a system of apartheid and racial discrimination that Israel has created. To people in Jerusalem and the rest of the Palestinian territories, people are saying “enough is enough, we cannot take it anymore, we want our freedom, we want our independence.”  This is the essence of what is happening.

‘Palestine freezing contacts with Tel Aviv is right move amid constant Israeli provocations’

RT: What is your reaction to the move by Palestinian President Abbas to freeze all contacts with Israel?

Miko Peled, peace activist: It is certainly the right move. Israeli provocations have led to these massive protests; this is definitely the right approach and the right move. We need also to remember Israel has been denying two million people in Gaza water and electricity in this terrible heat – people are dying of thirst and heat just a 45-minute drive away from Jerusalem. Israel has been engaged in serious provocations against the Palestinians.

RT: What is your opinion about the Israeli argument that more security measures are needed?

MP: The presence of the Israeli security forces in the old city of Jerusalem, around the Al Al-Aqsa Mosque are a constant provocation to the Palestinians and an infringement of the Palestinians’ right to practice their faith, to worship at the Al-Aqsa Mosque… And the provocation is not just an existence of this huge number of forces but also the way they behave, the way they treat the Palestinians, the way they arrest youth, the constant harassment as people try to get in and out of the old city, in and out of the holy sanctuary. So, to expect that there will be such oppression on the rights of Palestinians and there will be no violence in return is a little naïve. But we have to look at the fact that the main form of resistance has been in a form of civil disobedience with thousands of worshipers refusing to go through the metal detectors, standing outside the mosque and praying peacefully albeit standing under the weapons and the guns of the Israeli security forces…

July 24, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Palestinian killed, 67 injured in Jerusalem clashes

Palestine Information Center – July 22, 2017

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – A Palestinian youth was pronounced dead on Saturday evening after he was injured in clashes with the Israeli police in al-Eizariya town in Jerusalem.

A local source reported that Yousuf Kashour, 24, died of a serious injury to the chest.

Violent confrontations erupted on Saturday evening between the Israeli police and the Jerusalemite worshipers protesting at Bab al-Asbat near al-Aqsa Mosque.

The PIC reporter said that the Israeli police attacked worshipers with sound bombs and putrid water, and added that a cordon was later imposed around the scene after large police reinforcements were summoned in a bid to prevent worshipers from performing evening prayer there.

Earlier, 3 Palestinians were injured with rubber bullets in clashes with the Israeli police at Qalandia checkpoint in Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society announced that its crews treated 67 injuries this evening in Jerusalem.

Head of the Heritage and Manuscripts Department at al-Aqsa Mosque, Radwan Amr, said that the Israeli police assaulted worshipers and started to force them out of the Old City of Jerusalem, describing what is happening at al-Asbat as a “real massacre against a peaceful sit-in”.

Despite the Israeli attacks, hundreds of Palestinians coming from Jerusalem, the West Bank and the 1948 occupied territories protested for the 9th day in a row at Bab al-Asbat and outside the Old City against closing al-Aqsa Mosque and installing metal detectors at its gates.

On 14th July, the Israeli authorities banned Friday prayer at the Mosque following an anti-occupation shooting attack in which two Israeli police officers were killed.

Later, the Old City was closed and prayer was banned at the shrine until further notice for the first time since 1969, and on 16th July, 9 metal detectors were erected at al-Aqsa gates.

Since then, Palestinian worshipers have refused to enter the Mosque through these metal detectors and decided to perform their prayers at its entrances.

July 22, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli authorities demolish Palestinian-owned building in East Jerusalem

Ma’an – July 17, 2017

JERUSALEM – Israeli authorities demolished a Palestinian-owned building on Monday morning in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Zaayyem, according to witnesses.

Bulldozers escorted by Israeli police forces and employees of Israel’s Jerusalem municipality razed the home to the ground for lack of a building permit.

A spokesperson for the municipality told Ma’an that the demolition was not within its jurisdiction. However, a spokesperson for COGAT, the Israeli agency responsible for enforcing demolitions in the occupied West Bank, later told Ma’an to contact the municipality.

Last week, Israeli forces targeted Palestinian-owned buildings in occupied East Jerusalem for two consecutive days.

Construction licenses are very expensive and difficult to obtain for Palestinians, notably in the Jerusalem area, in a bid by Israeli authorities to force Palestinians out and change the demographic balance of the city.

While Palestinians frequently take their cases to Israeli courts after Israeli land confiscation and home demolition notices are ordered, they seldom win their cases in court.

Thirty-three percent of all Palestinian homes in the occupied city lack Israeli-issued building permits, potentially placing at least 93,100 residents at risk of displacement, the United Nations reported in 2012.

Only 14 percent of East Jerusalem land is zoned for Palestinian residential construction, while one-third of Palestinian land has been confiscated since 1967 to build illegal Jewish-only settlements, according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).

According to UNOCHA, Israel demolished a record 1,093 structures in the occupied Palestinian territory in 2016, including 190 in East Jerusalem, displacing 1,601 Palestinians. They were the highest West Bank demolition and displacement figures recorded by OCHA since it started doing so in 2009.

July 17, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 3 Comments