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Israel refuses entry to UNESCO group expected to visit Hebron’s Old City

Ma’an – June 26, 2017

BETHLEHEM – Israeli authorities have refused to grant entry visas for a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) investigative team scheduled to conduct a field visit to the Old City in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron in advance of an upcoming vote next month to consider the area an endangered world heritage site, Israeli media reported on Sunday.

While Palestinian authorities had planned to introduce the site for consideration on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for 2018, they decided to fast track the site’s application owing to routine Israeli violence in the Old City, which Palestinians have claimed threatens the integrity of the site, and instead propose the area as an endangered site.

A Palestinian delegation to UNESCO had reportedly expressed the “alarming details about the Israeli violations in Al-Khalil/ Hebron, including the continuous acts of vandalism, property damage, and other attacks,” in a letter to the World Heritage Center.

Since Israel took over the West Bank in 1967 and began advancing Israeli settlements across Palestinian territory in violation of international law, Hebron has been a flashpoint for Israeli settler violence on Palestinians and their properties.

The Ibrahimi Mosque, known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs, in the Old City where the Prophet Abraham is believed to be buried has been a focal point of such violence for decades, as the site is holy to both Muslims and Jews and has been a prime site for Israeli settler activities in the area.

The UNESCO team’s visit is aimed at assessing whether or not the Old City of Hebron is actually endangered, and would submit these findings to the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), a body that provides recommendations to UNESCO involving sites that could be considered on the World Heritage in Danger list.

According to The Jerusalem Post, other protected sites in the occupied Palestinian territory, including the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, the ancient terraces of Battir, and the pilgrimage route in Bethlehem, had also been fast tracked by Palestinian authorities in previous years to include them on UNESCO’s World Heritage in Danger list.

Israel’s Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama Hacohen reportedly said that the UNESCO group was being rejected entry into Israel owing to the fact that ICOMOS had advised against considering the previous sites in the occupied territory as endangered and instead recommended that Palestinian authorities continue with the normal process.

UNESCO, however, had rejected these recommendations by ICOMOS for the Church of Nativity and Battir. Hacohen said that due to these past decisions by UNESCO to ignore recommendations made by ICOMOS, it would be “a shame to waste the time and money” of the committee.

He went on to denounce what he considered “Palestinian political moves under the guise of culture and heritage,” and added that UNESCO’s consideration of the site represented “lies that plot against the state of Israel as well as the history and the connection of the Jewish people to this important holy site.”

The Old City, which is under full Israeli military control, is home to some 30,000 Palestinians and around 800 Israeli settlers who live under the protection of Israeli forces.

UNESCO is scheduled to decide on the status of the Old City during a conference in Krakow, Poland from July 2-12. The vote is expected to include a clause rejecting Israeli sovereignty over occupied East Jerusalem, which Israel annexed in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.

Meanwhile, Israeli media site Ynet reported that Israeli authorities have been scrambling to collect the seven votes needed to block the motion.

Ynet also said that in the “context of a peace process,” the inclusion of Hebron’s Old City into UNESCO’s World Heritage List would “impose limits on Israeli construction, the protection and development of the site and on specific areas in the vicinity,” and expressed worry that Israel would “be condemned each time it erects a security checkpoint or conducts work in the area on the grounds that is is damaging a world heritage site.”

However, Israeli activities in Hebron and the rest of occupied Palestine have long been condemned by rights groups and the international community as human rights abuses against the Palestinian people and a threat to any future peace agreements, while the some 500,000 to 600,000 Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank are residing there in contravention of international law.

Israel has accused the United Nations and its respective bodies of being “anti-Israel” for its stances against the now half-century occupation of the Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.

Such allegations have escalated following the passing of UN Resolution 2334, which condemned Israel’s settlement building in Palestinian territory. The US had taken Israel by surprise at the time by abstaining from the vote, in a split from its typical objections to such moves.

Earlier this month, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that the UN could no longer “bully” Israel over its violations of international law, and said that “we are not going to let that happen anymore.”

US President Donald Trump had also denounced the UN resolution, and even warned in a Twitter post last year that “things will be different” following his inauguration.

Earlier this year, the US House of Representatives even passed a resolution confirming US commitment as a diplomatic ally to the Israeli government, and demanded that the US government dismiss any future UN resolutions they deemed “anti-Israel.”

June 26, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lieberman: Not a single Palestinian refugee will return to their lands in Israel

Ma’an – June 23, 2017

BETHLEHEM – During a speech at Israel’s Herzliya conference, aimed at discussing the country’s national policies, ultraright Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman rejected the possibility of Palestinian refugees from historic Palestine, which Israel was built on, being able to return to their lands within the 1967 borders, a right that is upheld by United Nations Resolution 194.

“We will not agree to the return of a single refugee to within the ‘67 borders,” Lieberman reportedly said. “There will never be another Prime Minister who makes propositions to Palestinians like Ehud Olmert did,” he added, referring to a 2008 peace proposal introduced by the former prime minister.

The right of return for Palestinian refugees is a central demand among Palestinians and their leadership. The demand also represents a powerful symbolic connection to their lands and homes they were displaced from, as many Palestinians still possess original keys to their homes that were consumed by the state of Israel 69 years ago.

According to Israeli media, Lieberman also said that an end to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict would “not solve the problems – it will make them worse,” and noted that Israel should first “reach a regional agreement with moderate Sunni states, and only then an agreement with the Palestinians.”

He also went on to question the legitimacy of Palestinian citizens of Israel being part of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, noting that the Joint List political bloc — representing parties led by Palestinian citizens of Israel in the Knesset — refused to acquiesce to Zionist ideologies.

“The only place they don’t want to leave is Israel. Why? Because it’s good for them here,” he said, referring to Palestinian citizens of Israel, making up approximately 20 percent of the population, whose families lived on the lands of historic Palestine before the creation of the state of Israel.

According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), 66 percent of Palestinians who were living in British-Mandate Palestine in 1948 were expelled from historic Palestine and displaced from their homes and lands during the creation of Israel, referred to as the Nakba, or catastrophe, among Palestinians.

On the topic of Gaza, Lieberman reportedly said “I don’t think we need to get into it. It won’t end soon,” before calling the dire humanitarian situation in the besieged Palestinian territory an “intra-Palestinian crisis,” echoing statements made by US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley who placed full blame of the dire humanitarian situation in the besieged Gaza Strip on Hamas, and absolved Israel of any responsibility for the ongoing crisis.

Lieberman also accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of attempting to influence Hamas to go to war with Israel by exacerbating the crisis in Gaza by cutting Palestinian Authority (PA) payments for electricity supplied to Gaza from Israel.

“Abbas is going to increase cuts and soon stop the payment of salaries in Gaza and the transfer of fuel to the strip as a two-pronged strategy: Hurt Hamas and drag it to war with Israel,” he reportedly said.

Lieberman’s statements came amid an attempted renewal of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by right-wing US President Donald Trump.

Most recently, on Wednesday evening, a meeting was held between Abbas and Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah to discuss reviving peace talks with Israel.

Executive Committee Member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Wasel Abu Yousif said in statement at the time that reviving a political process requires certain determinants based on international law: a time limit for ending the 50-year Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory must be set to establish a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and Palestinian refugees must be granted the right of return to the homes and villages from which they were expelled.

However, Israeli leaders have been public on their rejection of the Palestinian Authority (PA) taking over East Jerusalem, which was officially annexed by Israel in 1980, and have regularly voiced their opposition to the return of Palestinian refugees or even the halting of illegal Israeli settlement expansions in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Naftali Bennett, Israel’s right-wing education minister, has also introduced a bill in the Israeli parliament that would prevent any future divisions of Jerusalem, by mending Israel’s Basic Law on Jerusalem to necessitate the approval of 80 of the 120 Knesset members to make any changes to the law, instead of the regular majority vote.

“The purpose of this law is to unify Jerusalem forever,” Bennett reportedly said, adding that his legislation would make it “impossible” to divide Jerusalem.

While the PA and the international community do not recognize the legality of the occupation of East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank since 1967, many Palestinians consider that all historic Palestine has been occupied since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

A growing number of activists have criticized a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as unsustainable and unlikely to bring durable peace given the existing political context, proposing instead a binational state with equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians.

June 23, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Jerusalem operation carried out by young men from PFLP and Hamas

Palestine Information Center – June 17, 2017

GAZA – The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has mourned the three Palestinian young men who were killed by Israeli soldiers after they carried out a commando operation in Occupied Jerusalem on Friday.

In a statement, the PFLP affirmed that two of those young men were its members, describing them as ex-detainees Baraa Ibrahim Atta, 18, and Osama Ahmed Atta, 19.

The PFLP said the operation was in retaliation to Israel’s crimes and its practices against the Islamic holy sites.

In a related context, senior Hamas official Ezzat al-Resheq categorically denied any ties between the three young men who carried out the Jerusalem operation and the ISIS, affirming that two of them were from the PFLP and one from Hamas.

Resheq accused the Israeli intelligence of being behind the fabricated news saying that the ISIS claimed responsibility for the operation.

He stressed that the Jerusalem operation was one of the individual initiatives made by the Palestinian people in their intifada (uprising) against Israel’s assaults on the holy sites, especially the Aqsa Mosque.

Three Palestinians, One Israeli Police Officer, Killed in Jerusalem

IMEMC News – June 17, 2017

Three Palestinians were shot dead, on Friday evening, after stabbing and opening fire on Israeli soldiers, killing one and mildly wounding another, in Sultan Suleiman Street, near Bab al-Amoud (Damascus Gate), in occupied Jerusalem.

Israeli daily Haaretz said two Palestinians were shot and killed after attacking Police officers with knives and guns, and that a third Palestinian was shot and killed after stabbing an Israeli border policewoman, causing critical wounds that led to her death. Another Israeli officer was wounded in the attack.

The slain Israeli officer has been identified as Hadas Malka, 23; Israeli daily Haaretz said the officer was stabbed while trying to reach for her gun.

The police and the soldiers fired many live rounds, killing the three Palestinians, and wounding two Palestinian bystanders; one suffered a moderate injury, and the other was mildly wounded.

The three slain Palestinians have been identified as Bara’ Ibrahim Saleh, 18, Adel Hasan Ankoush, 18, and Osama Ahmad Ata, 19, all from Deir Abu Mashal village, west of Ramallah, in central West Bank.

Following the incident dozens of Israeli soldiers and officers were deployed in the area, closed all the gates leading to Jerusalem’s Old City, and assaulted many Palestinians, especially in the areas leading to the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Update: The soldiers also assaulted many Palestinains, and clashed with local youths, wounding many with live fire and rubber-coated steel bullets.

One of the wounded Palestinians was shot with a live round in his spine, and another round in his kidney, while the soldiers chased the ambulance to the Al-Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem, but were unable to invade it, after dozens of Palestinians clashed with them, and prevented them from entering the hospital.

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In addition, dozens of soldiers surrounded and completely isolated Deir Abu Mashal village. Local sources said the soldiers imposed a strict siege on the village.

The soldiers warned that they will shoot and kill any Palestinian who is seen walking outside at night, and that the siege will continue until further notice.

June 17, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Major Chilean Universities Heed BDS Call, Cancel Events Sponsored by Israeli Embassy

IMEMC | June 10, 2017

Student-led BDS campaigns resulted in two major Chilean universities canceling events co-sponsored by the Israeli embassy and featuring Joe Uziel, a director of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). On Monday, Alberto Hurtado of the University’s Anthropology Department announced the event’s cancellation, and yesterday the University of Chile’s Social Sciences Faculty did the same.

BDS Chile highlighted the reasons behind the campaign to cancel the event:

Universities cannot be passive accomplices in grave human rights violations. The State of Israel maintains an illegal occupation, colonization and apartheid regime against the Palestinian people, and the Israeli Embassy is this regime’s representative in Chile. In addition, the Israel Antiquities Authority is a government entity illegally based in occupied East Jerusalem that carries out illegal excavations in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. Some of these illegal excavations are directed by the invited speaker, Joe Uziel.

The confiscation and theft of Palestinian cultural heritage are part of Israel’s attempts to erase Palestinian memory and cultural identity. Since 1967, the IAA has been deeply involved in cultural crimes and serious violations of international law, such as illegally removing and plundering hundreds of thousands of precious artifacts from the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), including East Jerusalem. Fearing BDS campaigns, Israel has been trying to prevent information about archeological work in the OPT from being made public and to whitewash these violations by promoting events like these abroad.

Sharaf Qutaifan, from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) said:

Through the Israel Antiquities Authority, Israel attempts to bury the history of the indigenous people of Palestine, which was always home to groups with diverse cultures and religions. This is an extension of Israel’s policies of expulsion and cultural theft that it has carried out against Palestinians since its establishment. Israel has a troubling record of systematically looting Palestinian lands and properties, cultural treasures and even books and artworks, which continues until today.

We salute the Chilean students for pressuring the Anthropology Department of Alberto Hurtado University and the Social Sciences Faculty of University of Chile to take principled positions. Academic institutions should not lend their good names to Israel’s denial of Palestinian rights. We hope to see all Chilean universities fully free of Israeli apartheid.

BDS Chile celebrated the victory:

We welcome the decisions of Alberto Hurtado University and the University of Chile. The Palestinian people expect principled acts of solidarity in support of their human rights and the respect of international law. These cancellations demonstrate Chilean students’ determination to denounce Israel’s oppression and to work towards interrupting our universities’ ties with institutions complicit in Israeli apartheid.

This latest news is another stride in the growing academic boycott of Israel in Chile. Last year, law faculty students at the University of Chile overwhelmingly voted in support of BDS, as did more than 90% of the social sciences students. At the Catholic University of Chile, the Student Council also passed a BDS resolution by a large majority.

The cancellations are also another strike against the Israel Antiquities Authority. At the end of 2016, the 8th World Archaeological Congress published a resolution condemning Israel’s excavations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and called on international academic publishers to refuse publishing works related to archaeological research in those areas.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) was initiated in 2004 to contribute to the struggle for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality. PACBI advocates for the boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions, given their deep and persistent complicity in Israel’s denial of Palestinian rights as stipulated in international law. Visit PACBI at https://bdsmovement.net/pacbi and follow us on Twitter @PACBI

June 10, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel has already Judaised 95% of Jerusalem

MEMO | May 30, 2017

The head of the Islamic and Christian Committee in Jerusalem has stressed the importance of international watchdog reports which condemn Israeli policies in the city, Qudsnet News reported on Monday. Hanna Naser noted that Israel’s occupation authorities have already Judaised 95 per cent of Jerusalem.

“Crimes are not subject to a statute of limitations based on UN treaties,” he pointed out. Israel’s crimes are intended to eradicate the presence of indigenous Jerusalemites in their own city. Although Israel is colonising East Jerusalem with Jewish settlers, said Naser, the demographic balance is in favour of the Palestinians.

He gave details of a number of the Israeli Judaisation projects, including a railway and subway that connect Jewish areas to Al-Buraq (the “Western”) Wall adjoining Al-Aqsa Mosque. He also pointed out that almost $10 million has been allocated to Judaising infrastructure in the Old City.

Commenting on Human Rights Watch’s report that there are 90,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem living in unlicensed homes, Naser told Qudsnet that this proves that the organisation is angry with the fake Israeli pretext used to justify the refusals of licence applications made by Palestinians. At least 12 international laws and conventions, he pointed out, ban the policy of home demolitions as adopted by Israel, including the Declaration of Human Rights.

On a related issue, Naser revealed that the Israeli foreign ministry has issued a statement to Israeli embassies worldwide claiming that its settlements across the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, are “legitimate and legal”. He also revealed that there is a Jewish tourist attraction being built beneath Al-Aqsa Mosque which is due to open in 2020 with the aim of attracting 6 million visitors a year. A number of fake tombs — almost 10,000 — have been created around the mosque area, he added.

May 31, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | 2 Comments

Three Pictures from Jerusalem

May 25, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 1 Comment

UNESCO: Israel is an ‘occupying power’

MEMO | May 2, 2017

UNESCO today voted in favour of a resolution which describes Israel as an “occupying power” and denies its sovereignty over occupied Jerusalem.

Twenty-two countries voted in favour of the resolution which was submitted to UNESCO’s Executive Board by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan.

The text which was voted on included the following phrase:

All legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and in particular the ‘basic law’ on Jerusalem, are null and must be rescinded forthwith.

This led ten countries to vote against the resolution including the Italy, UK, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Greece and Germany, Paraguay, Togo and the Ukraine.

However it does state that Jerusalem is an important city to the “three monotheistic religions”, a clause a previous UNESCO vote passed in October last year did not include.

Twenty-three countries abstained.

Read Also: ‘Israel blackmails developing countries for votes at UN’

May 2, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Silwan Palestinians receive evacuation orders due to damage caused by Israeli tunnels

Ma’an – April 6, 2017

JERUSALEM – The Israeli municipality of Jerusalem issued evacuation orders for three housing apartments in the Wadi Hilweh area of the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Wednesday evening, due to fractures and cracks formed at the base of the houses, as Israeli authorities continued work on a tunnel network expected to be used to provide services to Israeli settlers.

According to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, the houses belong to Hamed Oweida, Abed Oweida, and Suleiman Oweida.

Sixteen family members, including ten children, reside in the houses.

The Oweida family said that Israeli tunnel-digging under their homes has increased over the past three days, adding that loud noises from the digging would last for several hours, while the family could feel their houses shaking during the construction.

They said that the digging had caused severe damage of fractures and cracks in the walls and the bases of the houses.

The family added that they had called the Israeli police, who had then summoned a municipality team to inspect the houses. After taking photographs and inspecting the damage, an architect for the municipality decided to issue an emergency order for the families to evacuate and seal the houses, saying that it was dangerous to remain inside.

Suleiman Oweida had left his house several days ago after fractures in the walls had become more severe.

The information center said that Israeli authorities were creating a tunnel network for Israeli settlers directly under the Oweida family’s house.

Member of the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood committee Ahmad Qarrain said that the Israeli authorities began work under the neighborhood in 2007.

The residents at the time appealed to Israeli courts and were able to halt the construction under their homes for 14 months. However, Israeli courts later issued another order allowing the work to continue on the condition that the digging not endanger the lives of residents.

However, Qarrain said that the digging and work under the houses continued “without any consideration for the safety of residents,” and pointed out that the streets, walls, structures, and houses of the neighborhood have also been fractured and collapsed owing to the tunnel work.

A spokesperson for the Israeli Jerusalem municipality told Ma’an that the municipality had informed the residents that their properties were “unsound and dangerous” out of “concern for their own welfare,” while also being built “without regard for building codes or safety standards.”

The spokesperson added that “claims that the city is attempting to construct underneath this family’s structure are patently false.”

April 6, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 1 Comment

Poll: Majority of Jewish Israelis oppose ending 50-year military occupation

Ma’an – March 28, 2017

BETHLEHEM – A new poll was released by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on Tuesday, revealing that the majority of Israelis oppose any Israeli withdrawal from the occupied West Bank, while 79 percent of Israelis believe its important to maintain a unified Jerusalem under Israeli control, in contradiction to longstanding international peace negotiations and international law.

The poll, which was conducted among 521 Jewish Israelis over the age of 18, is said to represent the adult Jewish Israeli opinion on the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

According to the poll’s findings, Israeli support for a military withdrawal from the West Bank, now in its 50th year under Israeli occupation, has gradually decreased in the last 12 years, with the percentage of those supporting a withdrawal as part of a peace agreement declining from 60 percent in 2005 to just 36 percent in 2017.

When it came to completely withdrawing from the entirety of the occupied West Bank, 77 percent of Israelis opposed such a move. Meanwhile, regarding the withdrawal from the territory — but excluding large Israeli settlements blocs constructed in Palestinian territory in violation of international law — the majority of Israelis (57 percent) still opposed it.

However, opposition to an Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territory slightly subsided (44 percent) if the illegal settlement blocs were annexed into Israeli territory and a future Palestinian state remained demilitarized.

Concerning the Jordan Valley, a crucial area of the Palestinian territory and any future Palestinian state, an overwhelming 81 percent of Israelis said that it was important for the Israeli government to exercise continued sovereignty over the area.

The poll also revealed that Israelis have a committed and long-term expectation of maintaining full security control over the occupied West Bank, with 76 percent of those polled expressing their approval of Israeli authorities continuing to control the West Bank owing to various security concerns.

Meanwhile, 79 percent of Israelis believe its important to maintain a unified Jerusalem under Israeli control, with 52 percent opposing any division of Jerusalem into “Jewish and Arab sectors.” When the status of occupied East Jerusalem and its potential incorporation into an independent Palestinian state as the capital was added to the questioning, the opposition to dividing Jerusalem increased to 59 percent.

The vast majority of Israelis (83 percent) opposed transferring Al-Aqsa Mosque — known as the Temple Mount among Jews — to Palestinians.

The fate of Jerusalem has been a focal point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades, with numerous tensions arising over Israeli threats regarding the status of non-Jewish religious sites in the city, and the “Judaization” of East Jerusalem through settlement construction and mass home demolitions.

With a backdrop of routine Israeli military violence and the escalation of Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise in the Palestinian territory, Palestinians have become disillusioned by attempts at solving the decades-long conflict, with many expressing their lack of hope in any political solution.

The Israeli government has also streamlined bills that many critics have said is specifically aimed at a gradual annexation of the occupied West Bank.

Last month, the Knesset passed the outpost Regularization law, which states that any settlements built in the West Bank “in good faith” — without knowledge that the land upon which it was built was privately owned by Palestinians — could be officially recognized by Israel pending minimal proof of governmental support in its establishment and some form of compensation to the Palestinian landowners.

Meanwhile, right-wing Israeli Knesset members have also spearheaded a bill to annex the massive Maale Adumim settlement. Maale Adumim is the third largest settlement in population size, encompassing a large swath of land deep inside the occupied West Bank’s Jerusalem district. Many Israelis consider it an Israeli suburban city of Jerusalem, despite it being located on occupied Palestinian territory in contravention of international law.

While members of the international community have rested the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the discontinuation of illegal Israeli settlements, Israeli leaders have instead called for an escalation of settlement building in the occupied West Bank, and with some having advocated for its complete annexation.

A number of Palestinian activists have criticized the two-state solution as unsustainable and unlikely to bring durable peace, proposing instead a binational state with equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians.

March 29, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 1 Comment

Palestinian legislator Mohammed al-Tal seized by Israeli forces; Samira Halaiqa indicted by military court

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – March 22, 2017

The number of imprisoned Palestinian Legislative Council members climbed to 11 on Tuesday, 21 March after a pre-dawn raid by Israeli occupation forces seized PLC member Mohammed al-Tal from al-Khalil, along with 19 more Palestinians. Al-Tal has previously spent 11 years in Israeli prisons, half of those in administrative detention without charge or trial.

Also on Tuesday, 21 March, an Israeli occupation military court at Ofer submitted an indictment against PLC member Samira Halaiqa, 53, from al-Khalil, accusing her of participating in political and social activities and engaging in “incitement” for making political posts on Facebook.  Halaiqa was seized on 9 March by occupation forces who invaded her home. She, along with her husband Mohammed Halaiqa, had previously been imprisoned for one year in 2006 under administrative detention, following her election to the PLC.

Both Halaiqa and al-Tal are part of the Change and Reform bloc, the PLC bloc associated with Hamas.

The 11 detained PLC members include: Khaled Tafesh and Anwar Zboun, both from the Bethlehem area, members of the Change and Reform bloc, seized on Monday, 6 March. Zboun spent over six years in Israeli prison, including several months in administrative detention in 2014. Tafesh, a former deportee to Marj al-Zohour, was also previously held in administrative detention in 2014. Tafesh, Zboun, Halaiqa and al-Tal were all arrested in the month of March.

Other detained PLC members include Hassan Yousef and Ahmad Mubarak of Ramallah and Azzam Salhab and Mohammed Jamal Natsheh of al-Khalil. All members of the Change and Reform bloc, they are held in administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmad Sa’adat, is serving a 30-year sentence in Israeli prison, while Fateh leader Marwan Barghouthi is serving several life sentences. Jerusalemite PLC member of the Change and Reform bloc, Mohammed Abu Teir, was subject to expulsion from his home city of Jerusalem and is now serving a 17-month sentence in Israeli prison.

March 22, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Palestinian woman shot, injured by Israeli forces at Qalandiya checkpoint

Ma’an – February 27, 2017

BETHLEHEM – A Palestinian woman was shot and injured by Israeli security guards at the Qalandiya checkpoint between the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem on Monday afternoon, as Israeli police claimed she was carrying a bag in a “suspicious manner.”

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that a “suspicious” Palestinian woman entered the vehicle lane of the checkpoint “seemingly carrying an object.”

419167c“The security guards noticed her and instructed her to stop but she ignored the instructions,” al-Samri said.

“The guards then started arrest procedures and neutralized the woman,” al-Samri added, using an Israeli forces term to indicate that a Palestinian was shot without specifying whether they were injured or killed.

Al-Samri later clarified that the woman had been “lightly injured,” and that she had been “carrying a bag” in a way that raised the security guards’ suspicions.

The police spokeswoman said that the Palestinian was in her thirties and was a resident of the village of Kafr Aqab in the West Bank district of Jerusalem with a Jerusalem ID.

The Qalandiya checkpoint is notorious for being confusing to navigate.

According to Ma’an documentation, five Palestinians were killed at the checkpoint in 2016, including two Palestinian siblings — Maram Salih Hassan Abu Ismail who was 23 years old and five months pregnant, and her 16-year-old brother Ibrahim — in April after Israeli officials claimed the two were attempting to carry out a stabbing attack.

However, witnesses said that the brother and sister posed no threat at the time of their death. Yet the Israeli Justice Ministry later dropped its probe into the killings after it was revealed that a contractor, not a member of the police, had killed the Abu Ismails.

February 27, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Palestinian children attend class in the street after Israel shuts down school

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Ma’an – February 26, 2017

JERUSALEM – After Israeli authorities shut down a Palestinian elementary school in the occupied East Jerusalem town of Sur Bahir last Thursday over alleged “incitement” in its study materials, students attended class in the street on Sunday and protested against Israel’s decision to close the school.

Children who were enrolled at al-Nukhba (“the elite” in Arabic) arrived to the campus with their parents in an action organized by the parent committees of Sur Bahir’s schools, holding posters expressing support for al-Nukhba and denouncing Israel’s closure of educational institutions as “tyrannical.”

Last Thursday, head of the school Luay Jamal Bkirat and the school’s financial manager Nasser Hamed were summoned to an Israeli police station for interrogation, when Israeli intelligence officials informed them that the school was being shut down for carrying inciting content in the teaching materials used at the school.

Bkirat denied the claims, saying that al-Nukhba school was “teaching the Palestinian curriculum used in all schools in Jerusalem and that no one of the faculty had ever been summoned for interrogation before over incitement.”

He added that the school — which serves 250 boys from kindergarten to grade six — was opened last year and gained a temporary operating license from the Jerusalem municipality, and that the license was revoked in November for unknown reasons.

Bkirat condemned the decision and said that he would “conduct procedures to stop this decision which aims to destroy education.”

The Times of Israel reported that the school was shut down for being a “Hamas front,” after a months-long joint probe by Israel’s Education Ministry, Jerusalem police, and Israeli intelligence, the Shin Bet.

Israeli authorities from the education ministry claimed the school was established by Hamas with the aim of teaching “content that undermines the sovereignty of Israel,” and that the school’s aims were “consistent with the ideology of the terror organization, which calls for the destruction of Israel,” the Times of Israel said.

According to the Israeli news outlet, the ministry ordered the school not to open in September “and when it continued to operate, issued the closure order.”

Israeli Jews and Palestinians study in separate school systems in occupied East Jerusalem, with the Palestinian schools run by either Israel’s Jerusalem municipality, the Islamic Waqf and administered by the Palestinian Ministry of Education, private institutions, or UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Education, Palestinian children suffer from routine Israeli interference and political pressure to replace Palestinian curricula with an Israeli one in occupied East Jerusalem, where full Israeli military and civil control deprives students from proper and secure educational services.

A 2016 report by Israeli daily Haaretz also said that Palestinian schools in occupied East Jerusalem received less than half the funds that the Jerusalem municipality transferred to Jewish schools in West Jerusalem.

Though Sur Bahir lies beyond the periphery of occupied East Jerusalem, the town remained under full Israeli security and civil control within Israel’s Jerusalem municipality after the territory was illegally annexed in 1967.

A 2011 report by the Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ) said that due to a lack of some levels of education in Sur Bahir, many students were forced to attend schools in neighboring villages.

February 26, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 1 Comment