Sabbagh: Syria Spared No Efforts to Stand by the Palestinians to Restore their Rights

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

23 June، 2022
New York, SANA

Syria’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Bassam Sabbagh, reiterated that Syria spared no effort to stand by the Palestinians in their struggle to restore their occupied lands and their legitimate rights.

In a statement at the UNRWA Donations Conference, Sabbagh said “Palestine was and still the central cause of Syria, for which Syria spared no effort to stand by the brotherly Palestinians, especially their right to establish their independent state on their land whose capital is Jerusalem, and for Bassam Sabbagh to obtain their rights to return to their homeland in accordance with international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, foremost of which is Resolution No. 194 of 1948.

Ambassador Sabbagh indicated that “terrorism’s destruction of a large part of the infrastructure and vital sectors in a number of Palestinian camps calls for an urgent need to rehabilitate these sectors, which we hope will take place as soon as possible, including schools and health care centers, and UNRWA restores its headquarters and offices to resume managing activities through them”.

Fedaa al-Rhayiah/Amer dawa

LONG MARGINALIZED, THE RIGHT OF RETURN IS ONCE AGAIN A PALESTINIAN PRIORITY

MAY 25TH, 2022

Source

By Ramzy Baroud

The Nakba is back on the Palestinian agenda.

For nearly three decades, Palestinians were told that the Nakba – or Catastrophe – is a thing of the past. That real peace requires compromises and sacrifices, therefore, the original sin that has led to the destruction of their historic homeland should be entirely removed from any ‘pragmatic’ political discourse. They were urged to move on.

The consequences of that shift in narrative were dire. Disowning the Nakba, the single most important event that shaped modern Palestinian history, has resulted in more than political division between the so-called radicals and the supposedly peace-loving pragmatists, the likes of Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority. It also divided Palestinian communities in Palestine and across the world around political, ideological and class lines.

Following the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, it became clear that the Palestinian struggle for freedom was being entirely redefined and reframed. It was no longer a Palestinian fight against Zionism and Israeli settler colonialism that goes back to the start of the 20th century, but a ‘conflict’ between two equal parties, with equally legitimate territorial claims that can only be resolved through ‘painful concessions’.

The first of such concessions was relegating the core issue of the ‘Right of Return’ for Palestinian refugees who were driven out of their villages and cities in 1947-48. That Palestinian Nakba paved the way for Israel’s ‘independence’, which was declared atop the rubble and smoke of nearly 500 destroyed and burnt Palestinian villages and towns.

At the start of the ‘peace process’, Israel was asked to honor the Right of Return for Palestinians, although symbolically. Israel refused. Palestinians were then pushed to relegate that fundamental issue to a ‘final status negotiations’, which never took place. This meant that millions of Palestinian refugees – many of whom are still living in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, as well as the occupied Palestinian territories – were dropped from the political conversation altogether.

If it were not for the continued social and cultural activities of the refugees themselves, insisting on their rights and teaching their children to do the same, such terms as the Nakba and Right of Return would have been completely dropped out of the Palestinian political lexicon.

Palestinian refugee
A Family warms themselves by a fire during cold weather in a slum on the outskirts of a Gaza refugee camp, Jan. 19, 2022. Khalil Hamra | AP

While some Palestinians rejected the marginalization of the refugees, insisting that the subject is a political not merely a humanitarian one, others were willing to move on as if this right was of no consequence. Various Palestinian officials affiliated with the now-defunct ‘peace process’ have made it clear that the Right of Return was no longer a Palestinian priority. But none came even close to the way that PA President Abbas, himself, framed the Palestinian position in a 2012 interview with Israeli Channel 2.

“Palestine now for me is the ’67 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. This is now and forever … This is Palestine for me. I am [a] refugee, but I am living in Ramallah,” he said.

Abbas had it completely wrong, of course. Whether he wished to exercise his right of return or not, that right, according to United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194, is simply “inalienable”, meaning that neither Israel nor the Palestinians themselves, can deny or forfeit it.

Let alone the lack of intellectual integrity of separating the tragic reality of the present from its main root cause, Abbas lacked political wisdom as well. With his ‘peace process’ floundering, and with the lack of any tangible political solution, he simply decided to abandon millions of refugees, denying them the very hope of having their homes, land or dignity restored.

Since then, Israel, along with the United States, has fought Palestinians on two different fronts: one, by denying them any political horizon and, the other, by attempting to dismantle their historically enshrined rights, mainly their Right of Return. Washington’s war on the Palestinian refugees’ agency, UNRWA, falls under the latter category as the aim was – and remains – the destruction of the very legal and humanitarian infrastructures that allow Palestinian refugees to see themselves as a collective of people seeking repatriation, reparations and justice.

Yet, all such efforts continue to fail. Far more important than Abbas’ personal concessions to Israel, UNRWA’s ever-shrinking budget or the failure of the international community to restore Palestinian rights, is the fact that the Palestinian people are, once again, unifying around the Nakba anniversary, thus insisting on the Right of Return for the seven million refugees in Palestine and the shattat – Diaspora.

Ironically, it was Israel that has unwittingly re-unified Palestinians around the Nakba. By refusing to concede an inch of Palestine, let alone allow Palestinians to claim any victory, a State of their own – demilitarized or otherwise – or allow a single refugee to go home, Palestinians were forced to abandon Oslo and its numerous illusions. The once-popular argument that the Right of Return was simply ‘impractical’ no longer matters, neither to ordinary Palestinians nor to their intellectual or political elites.

In political logic, for something to be impossible, an alternative would have to be attainable. However, with Palestinian reality worsening under the deepening system of Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid, Palestinians now understand that they have no possible alternative but their unity, their resistance and the return to the fundamentals of their struggle. The Unity Intifada of last May was a culmination of this new realization. Moreover, the Nakba anniversary commemoration rallies and events throughout historic Palestine and the world on May 15 have further helped crystallize the new discourse that the Nakba is no longer symbolic and the Right of Return is the collective, core demand of most Palestinians.

Israel is now an apartheid state in the real meaning of the word. Israeli apartheid, like any such system of racial separation, aims at protecting the gains of nearly 74 years of unhinged colonialism, land theft and military dominance. Palestinians, whether in Haifa, Gaza or Jerusalem, now fully understand this, and are increasingly fighting back as one nation.

And since the Nakba and the subsequent ethnic cleansing of Palestinian refugees are the common denominators behind all Palestinian suffering, the term and its underpinnings are back at the center stage of any meaningful conversation on Palestine, as should have always been the case.

Since the Nakba: More than 100,000 martyrs, 6.4 mln refugees

15 May 2022

Source: Agencies + Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

Palestine’s Central Bureau of Statistics reveals shocking numbers related to Palestine, its martyrs, prisoners, and lands, from the Nakba until the present day.

By the end of 2020, Palestinians around the world numbered 14 million, marking a tenfold increase from their numbers in the Nakba

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) says the number of UNRWA’s Palestinian refugees reached 6.4 million by December 2020.

The center’s statistics showed that 28.4% of Palestinian refugees are currently living in 58 official UNRWA camps, with 10 in Jordan, 9 in Syria, 12 in Lebanon, 19 in the West Bank, and 8 in the Gaza Strip.

These estimates show the minimum number of Palestinian refugees, seeing as some refugees are not registered, like those forcibly displaced from Palestine after 1949 until the war of June 1967, according to UNRWA, and this also does not include those who were displaced during the 1967 war, who weren’t refugees.

According to UNRWA’s official definition, Palestinian refugees are defined as “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.”

The number of Palestinians increased more than tenfold since the Nakba

The PCBS revealed that historical Palestine’s population reached around 690,000 in 1914, 8% of whom were Jews. In 1948, the population rose to more than 2 million, around 31.5% of which were Jews, as 225,000 flocked to Palestine between 1932 in 1939’s organized migration waves. 

Between 1940 and 1947, more than 93,000 Jews entered Palestine, and by 1975, the total number of Jews that immigrated to Palestine reached more than 540,000.

As for the total number of Palestinians around the world, the number was estimated in 2021 to have reached around 14 million, a tenfold increase of their numbers since the Nakba, especially since 7 million of them were living in historical Palestine, including 1.7 million living in 48-occupied territories.

Nakba cause of overpopulation in Palestine

The Palestinian Nakba turned the Gaza Strip into the world’s most densely populated area. While the population density in Palestine reached 878 persons/km2 by the end of 2021, with a density of 557 persons/km2, the Gaza Strip’s density reaches 5,855 persons/km2, knowing that 66% of Gaza’s citizens are refugees.

Furthermore, the occupation’s establishment of a buffer zone on the periphery of the Gaza Strip allowed it to seize control over 24% of the strip’s 365 km2 area, which further exacerbated the city’s economic difficulties, and impoverished over a half of its citizens, with Gaza’s poverty rate reaching 53% in 2017.

Over 100,000 martyred since the 1948 Nakba

Since the Nakba in 1948, both inside Palestine and out, close to 100,000 people were martyred, with the number of martyrs since the beginning of the Intifada reaching 11,358 between 29/9/2000 and up to 30/4/2022.

It is noted that 2014 was the bloodiest year, as 2,240 people were martyred, 2,181 of whom were martyred in Gaza during an Israeli aggression.

The number of martyrs in Palestine reached 341 in 2021, including 87 children and 48 women, whereas the number of wounded reached 12,500.

Close to 1 million arrests since 1967

The occupation has kept 25 Palestinians under arrest for over a quarter century, whereas the total number of detainees in Israeli prisons reached 4,450 in April, including 160 child prisoners, 32 women, 570 sentences to life, 700 prisoners who are in ill health, six Palestinian lawmakers, and 650 prisoners placed in administrative detention.

The overall number of arrests in 2021 reached 8,000 in Palestine, including 1,300 children and 184, while 1,595 people were sentenced to administrative detention without any charges being brought up against them.

226 prisoners have been martyred since 1967, either because of torture inflicted upon them following their arrest or due to medical neglect; these include 103 prisoners that were martyred since September 2000.

Continued colonialist expansion of Israeli occupation

By the end of 2020, 712,815 illegal settlers were living in the West Bank, around 47% of whom (246,909) were living in Al-Quds. The settler/Palestinian ratio reached 23/100 in the West Bank and surged to 71/100 in Al-Quds.

Moreover, 2021 also witnessed a large increase in the speed at which Israeli settlements were built in the West Bank, as Israeli occupation forces approved the building of more than 12,000 new settlement units in 2021, including 9,000 on the lands of Al-Quds’ Qalandia airport.

Continued confiscation of land

The Israeli occupation abused the categorization of lands according to the Oslo Accords (A, B and C) in order to further its control on Palestinian C-classified lands, which are completely under Israeli control in terms of security, planning, and construction, and close to 76% of their area are currently being exploited.

Al-Quds: Displacement and settlement policies

In 2021, Israeli occupation authorities approved the building of more than 12,000 settlement units, most of which were in Al-Quds. Meanwhile, it demolished more than 300 buildings and gave orders to demolish more than 200 others, in addition to approving a project to seize 2,050 Palestinian properties, including those of the Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighborhoods in eastern Al-Quds, whose area is estimated at 2,500 acres.

Last year also saw close to 1,621 cases of attacks by settlers protected by occupation forces against Palestinians and their properties, marking a 49% increase in attacks from 2020. Israeli settlers are also exploiting around 120,000 acres of Palestinian lands for agriculture.

20% of water in Palestine is bought from Mekorot

Israeli measures against Palestinian water resources force them to compensate for their lack of water by buying 20% of their water from Israeli company Mekorot, meaning around 448.4 million m3. The main reason behind Palestinians’ inability to use surface water is due to the Israeli occupation’s control over the Jordan River and Dead Sea’s waters.

79% of available water drawn from groundwater

Palestine mainly relies on water extracted from surface and groundwater, which constitutes around 79% of all available water resources. In 2020, the amount of water pumped from groundwater wells (eastern, western, and northeastern basins) in the West Bank amounted to 108.6 million m3.

Palestinian Refugees are Struggling to Survive amid Lebanon’s Deepening Crisis

December 23, 2021

– Katarzyna Rybarczyk is a Political Correspondent for Immigration Advice Service, an immigration law firm based in the UK but operating globally. Through her articles, she aims to raise awareness about security threats worldwide and the challenges facing communities living in low and middle-income countries. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

By Katarzyna Rybarczyk

As a result of the ongoing Israeli occupation, more than seven million people have fled Palestine to nearby countries. Unfortunately, leaving Palestine does not always mean that their dreams of finding peace and better quality of life are fulfilled. On the contrary, often they find themselves living in degrading conditions and being pushed to the margins of host societies that were supposed to protect them.

In Lebanon, for example, there are nearly half a million Palestinian refugees registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and almost half of them live in the country’s twelve official refugee camps for Palestinians. Not only are the living conditions there very poor but refugees receive practically no support from the state.

The situation of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon was concerning even before the crisis but now, faced with meager savings, limited employment opportunities, and skyrocketing inflation, they are destitute and unable to meet their basic needs.

Ghetto-like Settlements

Some Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live in informal tented settlements, but the twelve official camps have turned into permanent dwellings that resemble small impoverished cities with tall concrete houses.

One of the places that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon now call home is the Shatila refugee camp, located on the outskirts of southern Beirut. Shatila, established in 1949, is known primarily for the Sabra and Shatila massacre that lasted for approximately thirty-six hours from 18:00 on 16 September to 08:00 on 18 September 1982. During this time the Lebanese Christian militia, which was under the command of the Israel Defence Forces, slaughtered as many as 3,500 civilians. The exact number of victims is not and most likely will never be known, though.

Initially, Shatila was supposed to temporarily house five hundred people but since its establishment, the camp has grown tenfold. The biggest problem associated with that is that, as refugees in Lebanon are not allowed to build outside of the state assigned camp areas, the growth has mainly been vertical. To accommodate the rapidly expanding population of the camp, new stories keep being added randomly without careful planning or solid foundations being laid first.

Flags with Yasser Arafat in Shatila. (Photo: Katarzyna Rybarczyk, supplied)

Since Shatila was frequently targeted during the civil war in Lebanon, a significant proportion of the camp was destroyed. To this day, the infrastructure has not been renovated and those who reside there often live in buildings that pose a threat to their lives or that have no windows, doors, or running water.

Furthermore, the Lebanese government does not get involved in what is happening in refugee camps, so there is no garbage collection system in place, no security forces, and no education or healthcare services provided by the state.

The situation is similar in all other Palestinian camps, or even worse in the ones that house more people such as the Ein El Hilweh Camp, which has the largest concentration of Palestinian refugees in the country.

Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon Lack Fundamental Rights

The exclusion of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon is apparent not only when looking at the conditions they live in but also at their legal status. They are not entitled to Lebanese citizenship and they pass on the refugee status to their children. That means that even new generations of Palestinians born and raised on the Lebanese territory are stuck in the limbo of limited employment opportunities and being stuck in refugee camps.

Palestinian refugees in Lebanon do not have the right to own property and work in certain skilled professions. Even if they want to undertake menial jobs in agriculture or construction, they face obstacles as many of the Lebanese exercise pressure on them to return to violence-ridden Palestine rather than try to settle down in Lebanon. Consequently, Palestinian refugees work mainly in the informal sector where abuses and exploitation are common.

Moreover, to avoid closing their doors completely during Lebanon’s almost total collapse of the economy, employers often have no choice but to lay off some employees. Sadly, unskilled Palestinian workers are usually the first ones to be let go.

Not being able to obtain Lebanese citizenship, Palestinians cannot get Lebanese identity cards and therefore, they cannot access social assistance and government services. To receive medical help or any other form of humanitarian aid, they need to turn to UNRWA and charities.

But as the demand for their services is rising and the costs of preparing food baskets or distributing medicines are going up, UN agencies and aid groups are struggling to cope with helping all those who need it.

The Palestinian Issue is Not a Priority

With seventy-eight percent of the Lebanese living below the poverty line, the economic meltdown and political crisis have caused unimaginable suffering for a significant part of the country’s population, not only for refugees.

Lebanese families desperately need support to cover basic needs, including food. After all, as the Lebanese lira loses value each day, going grocery shopping often means spending one’s whole monthly wage, now equivalent to around $34.

Hence, aid organizations have been focusing primarily on reaching out to the vulnerable Lebanese. Still, more attention needs to be given to the alarming situation of Palestinian refugees as Lebanon is now their home too.

And yet, looking at the Shatila camp reveals the fact that the conditions Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live in are humiliating. Walking around the narrow streets paved with garbage, one is under the impression that those living there are not just ill-treated but have been completely abandoned.

A narrow street filled with waste in the Shatila refugee camp. (Photo: Katarzyna Rybarczyk, supplied)

These people have been in Lebanon for more than seventy years, waiting for the moment when Palestine is stable enough for them to go back. Now, Lebanon is becoming unlivable so thousands fear that they might lose their newly found safety and have to once again seek protection elsewhere.

In Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Palestinian flags can be seen at every corner but instead of representing pride, it seems like they signify longing to return to their motherland. As the prospects of that happening are currently slim, however, Lebanon needs to at least give refugees a chance to live in dignity.

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China, Russia and India: Foreign Ministers Joint Communique

November 27, 2021

Joint Communique of the 18th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, the Republic of India and the People’s Republic of China

November 26, 2021

1. The 18th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, the Republic of India and the People’s Republic of China was held in the digital video-conference format on 26 November 2021. The meeting took place in the backdrop of negative impacts of the global Covid-19 pandemic, on-going economic recovery as well as continuing threats of terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking, trans-national organized crime, natural and man-made disasters, food security and climate change.

2. The Ministers exchanged views on further strengthening the Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral cooperation and also discussed various regional and international issues of importance. The Ministers recalled their last meeting in Moscow in September 2020 as well as the RIC Leaders’ Informal Summit in Osaka (Japan) in June 2019 and noted the need for regular high level meetings to foster closer cooperation among the RIC countries.

3. Expressing their solidarity with those who were negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministers underlined the importance of a timely, transparent, effective and non-discriminatory international response to global health challenges including pandemics, with equitable and affordable access to medicines, vaccines and critical health supplies. They reiterated the need for continued cooperation in this fight inter-alia through sharing of vaccine doses, transfer of technology, development of local production capacities, promotion of supply chains for medical products. In this context, they noted the ongoing discussions in the WTO on COVID-19 vaccine Intellectual Property Rights waiver and the use of flexibilities of the TRIPS Agreement and the Doha Declaration on TRIPS Agreement and Public Health.

4. Emphasizing the need for collective cooperation in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministers noted the measures being taken by the World Health Organization (WHO), governments, non-profit organisations, academia, business and industry in combating the pandemic. In this context, the Ministers called for strengthening the policy responses of WHO in the fight against Covid-19 and other global health challenges. They also called for making Covid-19 vaccination a global public good.

5. The Ministers agreed that cooperation among the RIC countries will contribute not only to their own growth but also to global peace, security, stability and development. The Ministers underlined the importance of strengthening of an open, transparent, just, inclusive, equitable and representative multi-polar international system based on respect for international law and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and central coordinating role of the United Nations in the international system.

6. The Ministers reiterated that a multi-polar and rebalanced world based on sovereign equality of nations and respect for international law and reflecting contemporary realities requires strengthening and reforming of the multilateral system. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to upholding international law, including the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. The Ministers acknowledged that the current interconnected international challenges should be addressed through reinvigorated and reformed multilateral system, especially of the UN and its principal organs, and other multilateral institutions such as International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), World Trade Organization (WTO), World Health Organization (WHO), with a view to enhancing its capacity to effectively address the diverse challenges of our time and to adapt them to 21st century realities. The Ministers recalled the 2005 World Summit Outcome document and reaffirmed the need for comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, and to increase the representation of the developing countries so that it can adequately respond to global challenges. Foreign Ministers of China and Russia reiterated the importance they attached to the status of India in international affairs and supported its aspiration to play a greater role in the United Nations.Foreign Ministers of Russia and China congratulated India for its successful Presidency of the UNSC in August 2021.

7. Underlining the significance they attach to the intra-BRICS cooperation, the Ministers welcomed the outcomes of the 13th BRICS Summit held under India’s chairmanship on 9 September 2021. They agreed to work actively to implement the decisions of the successive BRICS Summits, deepen BRICS strategic partnership, strengthen cooperation in its three pillars namely political and security cooperation; economic and finance; and people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Russia and India extend full support to China for its BRICS Chairship in 2022 and hosting the XIV BRICS Summit.

8. In the year of the 20th Anniversary of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) the Ministers underlined that the SCO as an influential and responsible member of the modern system of international relations plays a constructive role in securing peace and sustainable development, advancing regional cooperation and consolidating ties of good-neighbourliness and mutual trust. In this context, they emphasized the importance of further strengthening the Organization’s multifaceted potential with a view to promote multilateral political, security, economic and people-to-people exchanges cooperation. The Ministers intend to pay special attention to ensuring stability in the SCO space, including to step up efforts in jointly countering terrorism, illicit drug trafficking and trans-border organized crime under the framework of SCO-Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure. They appreciated the Ministerial meeting in the SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan format held on 14th July 2021 in Dushanbe.

9. The Ministers supported the G-20’s leading role in global economic governance and international economic cooperation. They expressed their readiness to enhance communication and cooperation including through G-20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and other means, through consultations and mutual support in areas of respective interest.

10. The Ministers stand for maintaining and strengthening of ASEAN Centrality and the role of ASEAN-led mechanisms in the evolving regional architecture, including through fostering ties between ASEAN and other regional organizations such as the SCO, IORA, BIMSTEC. The Ministers reiterated the importance of the need for closer cooperation and consultations in various regional fora and organizations, East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus), Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), to jointly contribute to regional peace, security and stability.

11. The Ministers consider it important to utilize the potential of the countries of the region, international organizations and multilateral associations in order to create a space in Eurasia for broad, open, mutually beneficial and equal interaction in accordance with international law and taking into account national interests. In that regard, they noted the idea of establishing a Greater Eurasian Partnership involving the SCO countries, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other interested States and multilateral associations.

12. The Ministers condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The Ministers reaffirmed that terrorism must be comprehensively countered to achieve a world free of terrorism. They called on the international community to strengthen UN-led global counter-terrorism cooperation by fully implementing the relevant UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. In this context, they called for early adoption of the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. The Ministers stressed that those committing, orchestrating, inciting or supporting, financing terrorist acts must be held accountable and brought to justice in accordance with existing international commitments on countering terrorism, including the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the FATF standards, international treaties, including on the basis of the principle “extradite or prosecute” and relevant international and bilateral obligations and in compliance with applicable domestic legislation.

13. The Ministers emphasized the importance of the three international drug control conventions and other relevant legal instruments which form the edifice of the drug control system. They reiterated their firm resolve to address the world drug problem, on a basis of common and shared responsibility. The Ministers expressed their determination to counter the spread of illicit drug trafficking in opiates and methamphetamine from Afghanistan and beyond, which poses a serious threat to regional security and stability and provides funding for terrorist organizations.

14. The Ministers reiterated the need for a holistic approach to development and security of ICTs, including technical progress, business development, safeguarding the security of States and public interests, and respecting the right to privacy of individuals. The Ministers noted that technology should be used responsibly in a human-centric manner. They underscored the leading role of the United Nations in promoting a dialogue to forge common understandings on the security of and in the use of ICTs and development of universally agreed norms, rules and principles for responsible behaviour of States in the area of ICTs and recognized the importance of strengthening its international cooperation. The Ministers recalled that the development of ICT capabilities for military purposes and the malicious use of ICTs by State and non-State actors including terrorists and criminal groups is a disturbing trend. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to principles of preventing conflicts stemming from the use of ICTs, as well as ensuring use of these technologies for peaceful purposes. In this context, they welcomed the work of recently concluded UN-mandated groups namely Open Ended Working Group on the developments in the fields of Information and Telecommunications in the context of international security (OEWG) and the Sixth United Nations Group of Governmental Experts (UNGGE) on Advancing responsible State behaviour in cyberspace in the context of international security and their consensual final reports. The Ministers supported the OEWG on the security of and in the use of ICTs 2021-2025.

15. The Ministers, while emphasizing the important role of the ICTs for growth and development, acknowledged the potential misuse of ICTs for criminal activities and threats. The Ministers expressed concern over the increasing level and complexity of criminal misuse of ICTs as well as the absence of a UN-led framework to counter the use of ICTs for criminal purposes. Noting that new challenges and threats in this respect require international cooperation, the Ministers appreciated the launch of the UN Open-Ended Ad-Hoc Intergovernmental Committee of Experts to elaborate a comprehensive international convention on countering the use of ICTs for criminal purposes under the auspices of the United Nations, pursuant to the United Nations General Assembly resolution 74/247.

16. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to broadening and strengthening the participation of emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs) in the international economic decision-making and norm-setting processes, especially in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. In this regard, they emphasized the importance of constant efforts to reform the international financial architecture. They expressed concern that enhancing the voice and participation of EMDCs in the Bretton Woods institutions remains far from realization.

17. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for a transparent, open, inclusive and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core. In this context, they reiterated their support for the necessary reform which would preserve the centrality, core values and fundamental principles of the WTO while taking into account the interests of all members, especially developing countries and Least Developing Countries (LDCs). They emphasized the primary importance of ensuring the restoration and preservation of the normal functioning of a two-stage WTO Dispute Settlement system, including the expeditious appointment of all Appellate Body members. The post-pandemic world requires diversified global value chains that are based on resilience and reliability.

18. The Ministers agreed that the imposition of unilateral sanctions beyond those adopted by the UNSC as well as “long-arm jurisdiction” were inconsistent with the principles of international law, have reduced the effectiveness and legitimacy of the UNSC sanction regime, and had a negative impact on third States and international economic and trade relations. They called for a further consolidation and strengthening of the working methods of the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee to ensure their effectiveness, responsiveness and transparency.

19. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in its three dimensions- economic, social and environmental in a balanced and integrated manner – and reiterated that the Sustainable Development Goals are integrated and indivisible and must be achieved ‘leaving no one behind’. The Ministers called upon the international community to foster a more equitable and balanced global development partnership to address the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and to accelerate the implementation of 2030 Agenda while giving special attention to the difficulties and needs of the developing countries. The Ministers urged developed countries to honour their Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments, including the commitment to achieve the target of 0.7 percent of gross national income for official development assistance (ODA/GNI) to developing countries and to facilitate capacity building and the transfer of technology to developing countries together with additional development resources, in line with national policy objectives of the recipients.

20. The Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to Climate action by implementation of Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement adopted under the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including the principle of Equity, Common But Differentiated Responsibilities, the criticality of adequate finance and technology flows, judicious use of resources and the need for sustainable lifestyles. They recognized that peaking of Greenhouse Gas Emissions will take longer for developing countries, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty. They stressed the importance of a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework that addresses the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in a balanced way. They welcomed the outcomes of the 26th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-26) and the 15th Conference of Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-15).

21. The Ministers underlined the imperative of dialogue to strengthen international peace and security through political and diplomatic means. The Ministers confirmed their commitment to ensure prevention of an arms race in outer space and its weaponization, through the adoption of a relevant multilateral legally binding instrument. In this regard, they noted the relevance of the draft treaty on the prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space and of the threat or use of force against outer space objects. They emphasized that the Conference on Disarmament, as the single multilateral negotiating forum on this subject, has the primary role in the negotiation of a multilateral agreement, or agreements, as appropriate, on the prevention of an arms race in outer space in all its aspects. They expressed concern over the possibility of outer space turning into an arena of military confrontation. They stressed that practical transparency and confidence building measures, such as the No First Placement initiative may also contribute towards the prevention of an arms race in outer space. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for enhancing international cooperation in outer space in accordance with international law, based on the Outer Space Treaty. They recognized, in that regard, the leading role of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). They agreed to stand together for enhancing the long-term sustainability of outer space activities and safety of space operations through deliberations under UNCOPUOS.

22. The Ministers reiterated the importance of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BTWC) as a key pillar of the global disarmament and security architecture. They highlighted the need for BTWC States Parties to comply with BTWC, and actively consult one another on addressing issues through cooperation in relation to the implementation of the Convention and strengthening it, including by negotiating a legally binding Protocol for the Convention that provides for, inter alia, an efficient verification mechanism. The BTWC functions should not be duplicated by other mechanisms. They also reaffirmed support for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and called upon the State Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to uphold the Convention and the integrity of the CWC and engage in a constructive dialogue with a view to restoring the spirit of consensus in the OPCW.

23. The Ministers showed deep concern about the threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) falling into the hands of terrorist groups, including the use of chemicals and biological agents for terrorist purposes. To address the threat of chemical and biological terrorism, they emphasized the need to launch multilateral negotiations on an international convention for the suppression of acts of chemical and biological terrorism at the Conference on Disarmament. They urged all States to take and strengthen national measures, as appropriate, to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and materials and technologies related to their manufacture.

24. The Ministers noted rising concerns regarding dramatic change of the situation in Afghanistan. They reaffirmed their support for basic principle of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and called for formation of a truly inclusive government that represents all the major ethnic and political groups of the country. The Ministers advocated a peaceful, secure, united, sovereign, stable and prosperous inclusive Afghanistan that exists in harmony with its neighbors. They called on the Taliban to take actions in accordance with the results of all the recently held international and regional formats of interaction on Afghanistan, including the UN Resolutions on Afghanistan. Expressing concern over deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, the Ministers called for immediate and unhindered humanitarian assistance to be provided to Afghanistan. The Ministers also emphasized on the central role of UN in Afghanistan.

25. They stressed the necessity of urgent elimination of UNSC proscribed terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda, ISIL and others for lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region. The Ministers acknowledged the widespread and sincere demand of the Afghan people for lasting peace. They reaffirmed the importance of ensuring that the territory of Afghanistan should not be used to threaten or attack any other country, and that no Afghan group or individual should support terrorists operating on the territory of any other country.

26. The Ministers reiterated the importance of full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and UNSC Resolution 2231 and expressed their support to the relevant efforts to ensure the earliest reinvigoration of the JCPOA which is a landmark achievement for multilateral diplomacy and the nuclear non-proliferation.

27. The Ministers reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and unity of Myanmar. They expressed support to the efforts of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) aimed at implementation of its Five-Point Consensus in cooperation with Myanmar. They called on all sides to refrain from violence.

28. The Ministers underlined the importance of lasting peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. They expressed their support for a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to resolve all issues pertaining to the Korean Peninsula.

29. The Ministers welcomed the announcement of the Gaza ceasefire beginning 21 May 2021 and stressed the importance of the restoration of general stabilization. They recognized the efforts made by the UN and regional countries to prevent the hostilities from escalating. They mourned the loss of civilian lives resulting from the violence, called for the full respect of international humanitarian law and urged the international community’s immediate attention to providing humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population, particularly in Gaza. They supported in this regard the Secretary General’s call for the international community to work with the United Nations, including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), on developing an integrated, robust package of support for a swift and sustainable reconstruction and recovery as well as for appropriate use of such aid. The Ministers reiterated their support for a two-State solution guided by the international legal framework previously in place, resulting in creating an independent and viable Palestinian State and based on the vision of a region where Israel and Palestine live side by side in peace within secure and recognised borders.

30. The Ministers reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic. They expressed their conviction that there can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict. They also reaffirmed their support to a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process in full compliance with UNSC Resolution 2254. They welcomed in this context the importance of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva, launched with the decisive participation of the countries-guarantors of the Astana Process and other states engaged in efforts to address the conflict through political means, and expressed their support to the efforts of Mr. Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for Syria, to ensure the sustainable and effective work of the Committee. They reiterated their conviction that in order to reach general agreement, members of the Constitutional Committee should be governed by a sense of compromise and constructive engagement without foreign interference and externally imposed timelines. They emphasized the fundamental importance of allowing unhindered humanitarian aid to all Syrians in accordance with the UN humanitarian principles and the post-conflict reconstruction of Syria that would contribute to the safe, voluntary and dignified return of Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons to their places of origin thus paving the way to achieving long-term stability and security in Syria and the region in general.

31. The Ministers expressed grave concern over the ongoing conflict in Yemen which affects the security and stability not only of Yemen, but also of the entire region, and has caused what is being called by the United Nations as the worst humanitarian crisis currently in the world. They called for a complete cessation of hostilities and the establishment of an inclusive, Yemeni-led negotiation process mediated by the UN. They also stressed the importance of providing urgent humanitarian access and assistance to all Yemenis.

32. The Ministers welcomed the formation of the new transitional Presidency Council and Government of National Unity in Libya as a positive development and hoped that it would promote reconciliation among all political parties and Libyan society, work towards restoration of peace and stability and conduct elections on 24 December 2021 to hand over power to the new government as per the wishes of the Libyan people. They also noted the important role of UN in this regard.

33. The Ministers noted that some of the planned activities under the RIC format could not take place in the physical format due to the global Covid-19 pandemic situation. They welcomed the outcomes of the 18th RIC Trilateral Academic Conference organized by the Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi (ICWA) in the video-conference format on 22-23 April 2021. In this context, they also commended the contribution of the Institute of Chinese Studies (New Delhi), Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow) and China Institute of International Studies (Beijing) in establishing the RIC Academic Conference as the premier annual analytical forum for deepening RIC cooperation in diverse fields.

34. The Ministers expressed their support to China to host Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

35. Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China and the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation thanked the External Affairs Minister of India for successful organization of the RIC Foreign Ministers Meeting. External Affairs Minister of India passed on the chairmanship in the RIC format to the Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China. The date and venue of the next RIC Foreign Ministers Meeting will be agreed upon through the diplomatic channels.

Save Sheikh Jarrah: The online campaign giving hope to Palestinian refugees in East Jerusalem

Residents of Karm al-Jaouni live under the threat of forcible eviction that would see them replaced by Israeli settlers

Nabil al-Kurd, a long-time resident of Karm al-Jaouni, stands next to a wall graffitied with “We will not leave” in Arabic (MEE/Aseel Jundi)

By Aseel Jundi in Sheikh Jarrah

Published date: 22 March 2021 16:06 UTC 

At first glance, everything looked seemingly normal in Karm al-Jaouni in the Sheikh Jarrah district, but the clamour of gathering news outlets and legal institutions last week told another story of a neighbourhood in turmoil.

The Sheikh Jarrah district is inhabited by refugees who were expelled from their towns and villages by Zionist militia during the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe) in 1948. But due to Israel’s push to populate the area with Israeli settlers, Palestinian residents are now, once again, facing the spectre of expulsion.

In an effort to garner international support, activists launched an online campaign, #SaveSheikhJarrah, in Karm al-Jaouni on Monday to help save the residents, who have lived in the neighbourhood for decades, from forcible removable, which many of their neighbours have already endured. 

Nabil al-Kurd, a 70-year-old Jerusalemite and resident of Karm al-Jaouni, sees the campaign as a glimmer of hope that could help him retain his current home, and avoid reliving the experience of having been forced out of his family house in Haifa in 1948.

Karm al-Jaouni
Israel’s judicial system has repeatedly shown bias toward Israeli settlers (MEE/Aseel Jundi)

“We want to relay our voices to Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, the United Nations and international law organisations because all these parties are involved in our issue, which has certainly reached the level of war crime,” he said.

In 1956, the Jordanian government, together with the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, reached an agreement to settle these families in Jerusalem in return for their UNRWA documents.

Some 28 families were selected and provided with housing units, built by the Jordanian government, for three years, after which the ownership of the property will be automatically theirs. The lease contracts expired in 1959 and the residents became the owners of the property.

‘Their dogs attack us, their trash floods the entrance, they have killed the trees and turned the house into ruins’

– Nabil al-Kurd, resident

However, after the occupation of Jerusalem in 1967, with the eastern part of the city coming under Israeli control, the inhabitants of Sheikh Jarrah district were taken by surprise when two Jewish committees registered their ownership of the 18-dunums of land at the Land Department in 1972.

Thereafter, dozens of judicial cases were raised in Israeli courts, as the 28 nuclear Palestinian families expanded and the number of residents facing eviction in favour of settlers rose to around 600 Palestinians.

In 2019, lawyer Sami Ershied told MEE that Sheikh Jarrah eviction cases are discriminatory because the legal procedures do not take into account that East Jerusalem is an occupied territory.

Under international law, an occupying state cannot forcibly transfer residents of occupied territories because it has an obligation to preserve the demographic composition of the inhabitants.

Another point of contention has been claims made by religious Israelis that a sacred shrine belonging to Shimeon al-Siddiq (founder of the Israelite Tribe of Simeon) is located in the heart of the Karm al-Jaouni district.

Palestinian residents refute this claim, asserting that the shrine is Islamic, and known as the saint Saad al-Din Hijazi, who was buried there 400 years ago, and that “Ottoman maps” prove their narrative.

Relentless harassment

Al-Kurd’s experience with the Israeli occupation is a flagrant example of Palestinians suffering at the hands of settlers.

In 2001, he built a house adjacent to the one he already had, only for Israeli occupation authorities to confiscate the keys to the new house, just four days before he was planning to move in. In 2009, settlers came and occupied the house, turning Kurd’s life into hell. 

At the time, al-Kurd erected a tent at the entrance of the house where Palestinian, European and Jewish activists came to demonstrate their support. Settlers harassed the activists by spraying them with spoiled milk, hitting them with rotten fruits, vegetables, and waste and setting rodents on them while they slept.A decade in, Palestinian family fights on against East Jerusalem eviction

Five years later, the settlers set fire to the tent and burned it down, but the harassment of the family did not stop, even after the sit-in ended.

“Settlers would take their clothes off and stand at the windows overlooking our home. I had to hang a fabric barrier to protect my wife and daughters,” Nabil said. 

“Their dogs attack us, their trash floods the entrance, they have killed the trees and turned the house into ruins.”

Since his retirement several years ago, this elderly Jerusalemite has divided his time between keeping an eye on settlers, lest they suddenly attack his family, and countering the Israeli judicial system.

The Israeli district court has recently issued a verdict giving al-Kurd a grace period to vacate his house before May.

Al-Kurd said that although the settlers lack any proof of ownership of the land, they are adamant to evacuate its residents in accordance with the Judaisation policies in occupied East Jerusalem.

Residents of the neighbourhood, he said, have had no means of defending themselves except resorting to the law, but that avenue has been marred with challenges as the judicial system has repeatedly shown bias toward the settlers.

‘I did not surrender’

The online campaign, which has been trending in both Jordan and Palestine, has given hope to Fawziah al-Kurd, who was forcibly removed from Karm al-Jaouni in 2008, that an international campaign would stop Israel from expelling these refugees for a second time, and allow her to return to her neighbourhood.

Fawziah, who is better known as Um Kamel al-Kurd, said that although it has been 13 years since she was forced to leave, she still visits the place three times a week. 

Fawziah al-Kurd
A 2008 photo shows the tent that Fawziah al-Kurd lived in for a year after she was expelled from her home in Sheikh Jarrah (provided)

She said she passes by her house, which is currently occupied by settlers, as a show of resilience and to reiterate her refusal to abandon it. 

“I lived in the house for 40 years, the last five of which were the hardest because Israelis took half of my house by force before practically throwing me out on the street along with my ailing husband,” Fawziah told MEE. 

“Despite all of this, I did not surrender and I lived in a tent adjacent to my house for a whole year.”

Save Sheikh Jarrah

One of the coordinators of #SaveSheikhJarrah, Karmel al-Qasim, who lives in the area, said that his family was given until early May to vacate their house in which they have been living since 1956.

‘Our one and only demand is to let us live peacefully in our homes just like any normal family anywhere in the world’

– Karmel al-Qasim, resident

He pointed out that the goal behind the campaign is to convey the voice and the suffering of Karm al-Jaouni residents to the whole world and generate international political pressure to stop the displacement and dispersion of its inhabitants, once again.

“Our one and only demand is to let us live peacefully in our homes just like any normal family anywhere in the world, without the threat of eviction and displacement,” Qasim said. 

“Through the #SaveSheikhJarrah campaign, we call upon UNRWA and Jordan to assume their legal and moral responsibilities toward us because we have been living here in compliance with an agreement that both parties reached in the 1950s.” 

Karmel said he will not abandon his right to resist the policy of eviction and will continue to follow in the footsteps of his late mother Amal al-Qasim, a refugee who was expelled from Jaffa in 1948. 

He, along with his brothers and sisters, intend to stand fast in their neighbourhood, which is strategically located near the Old City of Jerusalem.

Aref Hammad, a member of Sheikh Jarrah Refugees Housing Units Committee, told MEE that the Skafi, Qasim, al-Kurd, al-Jaouni, Hammad, al-Daoudi and al-Dijani families are in the process of filing an appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court, in a last push in the legal recourse against the eviction verdicts recently issued by the district court. 

Hammad said that 169 residents of the neighbourhood have received orders to vacate their homes, including 46 children from 12 different families. 

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Blockbuster: Biden Rolling Back Israel’s ‘Free Ride,’ Ready to Recognize Palestinian State

Plans for ‘reset’ of PA ties include rollback of Trump policies legitimizing settlements, $15 million in COVID-related aid to Palestinians

Times of Israel: The Biden administration will reportedly push for a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 lines, with mutually agreed upon land swaps, reinstating US policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to more traditionally held positions than those of former president Donald Trump.

memo titled “The US Palestinian Reset and the Path Forward,” which was revealed Wednesday to the Abu Dhabi-based The National, also showed that the Biden administration is planning on announcing a $15 million aid package in coronavirus-related humanitarian assistance for the Palestinians as early as this month.

Drafted by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr, the memo also details plans to roll back various Trump policies that Washington believes made reaching a two-state solution more difficult, such as US legitimization of the settlement enterprise.

Amr recommends in the memo that the White House back a two-state framework “based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps and agreements on security and refugees.”

Hady Amr, now US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs, speaks at the Brookings Institute, where he was a fellow, on December 3, 2018. (Screen capture/YouTube)

While behind closed doors, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has participated in peace negotiations based on the 1967 lines, publicly the formula is not very popular in Israel, particularly among the right wing, which is expected to further expand in the Knesset after next week’s election.

The memo discusses “rolling back certain steps by the prior administration that bring into question our commitment or pose real barriers to a two-state solution, such as country of origin labeling.”

The memo was referring to a last-minute policy change announced by Trump’s secretary of state Mike Pompeo, which requires all US exports from the settlements to be labeled as having been “made in Israel.”

Since 1995, US policy had required products made in the West Bank and Gaza to be labeled as such. That directive was republished in 2016 by the Obama administration, which warned that labeling goods as “made in Israel” could lead to fines. Prior to the Oslo Accords, however, all products manufactured in these areas were required to mention Israel in their label when exporting to the United States.

The Pompeo order went into effect in December, but manufacturers were given a 90-day grace period, until March 23, to implement the change.

“As we reset US relations with the Palestinians, the Palestinian body politic is at an inflection point as it moves towards its first elections in 15 years,” the new memo reads. “At the same time, we [the US] suffer from a lack of connective tissue following the 2018 closure of the PLO office in Washington and refusal of Palestinian Authority leadership to directly engage with our embassy to Israel.

The Washington office of the Palestine Liberation Organization, pictured in 2017. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trump closed the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s diplomatic mission in Washington in 2018, against the backdrop of the PA’s boycott of his administration following the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

In 2019, the Trump administration shuttered the US consulate in Jerusalem, which served as the de facto embassy to the Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. The mission was folded into the US embassy to Israel in Jerusalem and the previous position of consul-general was dissolved.

Before the Trump administration began tightening the screws on the PA in 2018 for refusing to engage with its peace efforts, the United States was the single largest donor country to the PA.

The US paid hundreds of millions of dollars a year to the PA’s creditors, such as the Israeli state utility companies from which the Palestinians purchase water and electricity. They paid for training for the PA’s security forces and numerous infrastructure projects.

Washington also gave hundreds of millions a year in funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency — known as UNRWA — which is in charge of administering the daily needs of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees and their descendants across the Middle East.

The memo, which was passed along to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, highlights UNRWA in particular as one of the organizations the Biden administration plans to back in order to aid the Palestinians.

Israel accuses UNRWA of perpetuating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, criticizing the agency’s practice of extending refugee status to millions of descendants, rather than only to the original refugees as is the norm with most refugee populations worldwide.

Then-US president Donald Trump (L) and PA President Mahmoud Abbas leave following a joint press conference at the presidential palace in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on May 23, 2017. (AFP/Mandel Ngan)

Noting major economic disparities between Israelis and Palestinians, the memo states that the Biden administration is “planning a full range of economic, security and humanitarian assistance programs [for Palestinians], including through UN Relief and World Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).”

“State and USAID are working towards a restart of US assistance to the Palestinians in late March or early April,” the memo says, adding that the COVID-related humanitarian relief package will be announced beforehand.

The memo reveals the administration’s plans to “take a two-fold approach of maintaining and ideally improving the US relationship with Israel by deepening its integration into the region while resetting the US relationship with the Palestinian people and leadership.”

It notes Amr’s “listening sessions” with senior officials in the Israeli Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry who “welcomed the restart of US-Palestinian relations.”

The United States consulate building in Jerusalem, March 4, 2019. (AP/Ariel Schalit)

Notably, those two offices are controlled by Blue and White ministers Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi who hold more moderate public stances on the Palestinian issue than Netanyahu and his Likud party. Gantz and Ashkenazi have taken pride in their efforts to block Netanyahu’s West Bank annexation plans last year.

One section of the memo likely to please both sides of the political spectrum in Israel is its support for expanding the normalization agreements brokered by the Trump administration between Israel and its Arab and Muslim neighbors.

However, Amr also writes of using such agreements “to support Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and improve the quality of life for the Palestinian people.” Netanyahu has sought to divorce the normalization deals from the Palestinian issue, arguing that the peace deals prove that Israel can expand its diplomatic ties in the region without making concessions to the Palestinians.

As previously pledged by Biden officials, the memo floats the idea of reopening an independent consulate akin to the one that served as the de facto mission to the Palestinians and operated out of the western part of Jerusalem until 2019. Doing so would signal US recommitment to a two-state solution, the document says. However, no final decisions have been made yet on the matter.

Benny Gantz (left) and Gabi Ashkenazi of the Blue and White party arrive to give a joint a statement in Tel Aviv on February 21, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

The memo notes the Biden administration’s commitment to engaging the international community via the UN and the Middle East Quartet, which consists of the United Nations, United States, European Union and Russia.

The document notes the upcoming Palestinian legislative elections in May and presidential elections in July, adding that it has been 15 years since Palestinians have been able to elect their representatives.

“But the implications of an election remain uncertain: the collapse of a power-sharing agreement after the prior elections led to the Hamas takeover of Gaza [in 2007],” the memo says, noting the PA request that the US push Jerusalem to allow elections to take place in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem, but not stating Washington’s position on the matter.

“We are analyzing the evolving situation and will propose a US posture together with the inter-agency,” the memo reads.

The lack of position on elections is likely to disappoint Ramallah as Palestinian officials have been lobbying Washington in recent weeks to come out in support of the democratic process, sources familiar with the matter told The Times of Israel.

Mahmoud Abbas, left, and Joe Biden after their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, March 10, 2010. (AP/Bernat Armangue)

Amr recommends the Biden administration push the PA to clamp down on incitement while also calling out Israeli settlement expansion on land that Palestinians hope will be part of their future state.

The memo reveals that talks are underway with the PA leadership aimed at altering Ramallah’s controversial payment of stipends to Palestinian security prisoners, including those convicted of terror attacks against Israeli civilians.

The altered policy currently being discussed in Ramallah would base the stipends on prisoners’ financial need rather than the length of their sentence, senior Palestinian officials told The Times of Israel in January.

The Biden administration will also seek to boost Palestinian institutions. “This includes strengthening civil society, media watchdogs and other elements of the fourth estate, such as emphasizing to the [Palestinian Authority] the need to protect civil society through the reductions of arrests of bloggers and dissidents,” the memo reads.

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VT Editors is a General Posting account managed by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff. All content herein is owned and copyrighted by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duffeditors@veteranstoday.com

US Congressman Pledges to Resume US Aid to Palestinians

January 7, 2021

US Congressman Gregory Meeks, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs. (Photo: File) Committee

US Congressman Gregory Meeks, the new Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has said he was looking forward to resuming humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, as part of a push by President-elect Joe Biden for a two-state solution.

Speaking to the Agence France-Presse on Tuesday, Meeks said he supports the return of the Palestinian diplomatic representation to the United States after the administration of outgoing President Donald Trump closed the PLO office in Washington.

“I’m a firm believer in the two-state solution, providing both parties with self-determination… So we may need to restart the US assistance to Palestinian people, demonstrating that the United States is ready to lead again,” said Meeks.

“We may therefore need to mobilize US aid to the Palestinians to show that the United States is ready to take over the leadership again,” he added.

In 2018, the Trump administration canceled more than $200 million in aid intended for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Trump administration also stopped the US contribution to financing the budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), and canceled aid worth $25 million for Palestinian hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem.

Trump provided unswerving support to the Israeli occupation, violating the international consensus, and in 2017 recognized both parts of Occupied Jerusalem as its capital. This position led the Palestinian Authority to cut off all contacts with the US administration, and the United States responded by closing the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

The raging pirate is down! no sorry about him! القرصان الهائج سقط! لا أسفَ عليه!

The raging pirate is down! no sorry about him!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Untitled-382.png

Dr. Adnan Mansour

A few days ago, the American people said their word. His boss, Donald Trump, dropped, and refused to be re-elected.

It is Donald Trump, who has not stored the world in voluntarily within him, like the hatred and abhorrence he has stored for a president who has left only the traces and filth of his abusive, unjust, tyrannical, savage decisions, which have tampered with international laws, customs and conventions, and the world’s customary assets and laws.

He is with the leaders and rulers of his friendly states, he was blunt, rude, opportunistic, heavy-handed, dictated, ordered, blackmailed, imposed arbitrary decisions on them, to serve his policies, without relying on the rights of others and taking their interests.

They would be slow, poured his anger upon them, and they were watching. His behavior towards the countries that reject his policies is clear, as it was between two options: either to bow to and bear his fierce and unjust decisions against their peoples, or to wait for many sanctions, the blockade and work by all means to overthrow their rulers and regimes.

It is Trump who violated the Charter of the United Nations and ignored its resolutions, and exceeded international laws, by his unilateral actions, which violated the rights of peoples, the sovereignty of states, imposed a financial embargo, an economic and commercial blockade, and resorted to the application of strict policies against it, which led to serious humanitarian repercussions and consequences, which directly reflected on the lives of civilians in all its aspects.

It is Trump, a model of moral degradation, and a human conscience, which once prevented the export of medicine to Iran and Syria, which were most needed, to treat civilians, infants, children, and the elderly, at the height of their fight against the Corona pandemic. Indifferent, indifferent to any sense, human attitude, moral duty, or responsibility of a man of a great power, who is full of freedom, justice and human rights everyday.

It is Trump who has counted thousands of lies by the media that have marked his character in power. He is a rebel, a renegade, a violator of international conventions, and a withdrawal from them, flouting the obligations and signatures of the United States, and respecting them.

It is Trump who withdrew from the Paris Climate Change Agreement three years after. it came into force, which was approved on December 12, 2016.

It is Trump who decided to withdraw from the International Organization for Education, Science. and Culture (UNESCO), where the withdrawal came into effect on December 31, 2017.

On June 17, 2017, Trump imposed new economic restrictions on Cuba and reconsidered the measures taken by former President Barack Obama’s administration that would normalize diplomatic relations with Havana.

It’s Trump who vetoed the international nuclear deal.

He withdrew in 2018, after the five Security Council countries and Germany signed it with Iran, which was approved and supported by the United Nations and the UN Security Council, which was considered a major achievement at the time by the countries of the world, and all the signatories, and is in the service of security and worldpeace.

It is Trump who on February 2, 2019, decided to end Washington’s commitment to the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Power Treaty with Russia, causing a new opening toa dangerous arms race.

It is Trump, who overthrew international resolutions and agreements related to the Palestinian issue, revealed his blatant bias towards the occupied Zionist entity, his abhorrent hostility towards then at Palestinian Arab people, the Arab people as a whole and their legitimate rights, through a series of resolutions and actions he took and implemented, consisting of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, the nat-nat in it as the capital of the Zionist occupation state, stopping financial support to the Palestinian Authority, and also stopping supporting the Palestinian Refugee Relief Agency (UNRWA), in addition to his decision to close the Palestinian Embassy in Washington.

It is Trump who has acknowledged the sovereignty of the Zionist occupation authority over Jerusalem and the Golan, and supported and supported its resolutions and practices in the construction of settlements and the confiscation of land, in violation of the insolent and flagrant disregard of the relevant UNresolutions.

It is Trump, who has ordered the EUROPEAN Union to increase its military budget within NATO, under threat and threat of action against some of its countries, if not responding, where the EU had no choice but to bow to its demands.

It is Trump, who has imposed harsh sanctions without adopting humanitarian standards that have had a bad impact on more than one country. His immoral and inhuman sanctions against Iran, Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Russia and China were against officials, bodies, institutions, companies, individuals, economic, industrial, scientific, medical, Russian, Chinese, Indian, Iraqi, Syrian, Lebanese, Venezuelan, Korean and other personalities.

It is Trump, who has challenged the nations of the world by taking unilateral decisions, outside the framework of the United Nations organization and the international community, against countries that are opposed to hegemony and hegemony, to impose them on the countries of the world against their will, even if they see in these resolutions as illegal, fair and legitimate. Their acquiescence to his will, their obedience to him, and whatever they are, have been visible. Because she is well aware that if he rejects his decisions, he will put them under the guillotine of U.S. sanctions. Many U.S. resolutions have been scaled up, and have hit the core of the dignity, prestige, and prestige of major allies, as they have been shackled, and revealed the extent of their “sovereignty” and freedom of decision, their commitment and respect for international conventions, and their open acquiescence to their decisions. Perhaps the 5+1 nuclear agreement, the living example, to show the whole world the extent to which major countries such as France, Britain, Germany and other u.S. influence, dictates and decisions, where these countries have not been able, until the moment to abide by the nuclear agreement in letter and spirit, and apply it in practice, and deal with Tehran under its terms, because it cannot escape the pressure of Trump and ignore the response to the will, fearing his anger and avoiding sanctions.

He is Trump, a racist whose many positions, and his many tweets, and his many tweets were characterized by hatred and arrogance, through which he insulted and insulted mexicans whom he accused of bringing crime and drugs to his country, in addition to describing African countries with Haiti and El Salvador as scum, and full of “dirty dens”, which generated a wave of anger against his racist statements in the countries of the world, especially within the African Union.

It is Trump, the cowboy dasher, who revealed last September during an interview with Fox News that he had a chance to assassinate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but then Defense Minister Metis, was against it! He also ordered the assassination of The Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani and Deputy Commander of the Iraqi People’s Mobilization Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis on January 3 this year.

It is Trump, who has pursued aggressive policies that have shed the blood of thousands of martyrs and wounded in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Palestine and others. Policies that fed the forces of terrorism as. a result of U.S. military, financial, media and logistical support.

It is Trump, a pirate of money and attitudes, who knows where to eat the shoulder, how to exploit, blackmail, and plunder his “friends”, through the soft veiled threat, intimidation, intimidation and intimidation, under the pretext of providing care for them, securing protection and continuity of their existence and governing Their chairs, using the vocabulary of arrogance and cynicism, sometimes, arrogance, mockery, and sometimes contempt, and when needed, enabled him to withdraw hundreds of billions of dollars from their pockets, and the “cute” robbery of their coffers.

It is Trump, whose memory will remain in the memory of the dirtiest and worst policy pursued by the American president, who has never known the politics of morality, nor the living human conscience towards it, and who was thrown by fate to be a day at the head of a great power, who saw nothing but bitterness, and who seought nothing but disappointment in his dealings with them, where his policies were met with more indignation, condemnation, and condemnation.

Today, with the oppressed free peoples of the world, tormented by their destructive policies, which are pursuing him with their curses and their curses, and after his fall, we say aloud: Donald Trump! President, the Americans have uttered, the curses of the free peoples who have suffered on your hands the policies of humiliation, siege, and unjust punishments,

Destruction, killing, and “organized” looting will continue to haunt you wherever you are, and the free world is screaming loudly and chanting with them: Donald Trump, you raging cowboy who staggers and fell, and the free people of the world have not tasted on your hands but the sag, leave, and i don’t regret you…!

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Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates

القرصان الهائج سقط! لا أسفَ عليه!

د. عدنان منصور

قبل أيام، قال الشعب الأميركي كلمته. أسقط رئيسه دونالد ترامب، ورفض إعادة انتخابه .

هو دونالد ترامب، الذي لم يختزن العالم كرهاً في داخله، مثل ما اختزنه من كره ومقت شديد حيال رئيس لم يترك لدى دول العالم وشعوبها المقهورة، إلا آثار وقذارة قراراته المسيئة، الظالمة، المستبدة، المتوحشة، التي عبثت بالقوانين والأعراف والإتفاقيات الدولية، والأصول واللياقات المتعارف عليها في العالم.

فهو مع زعماء وحكام الدول الصديقة له، كان عنجهياً، فظاً، انتهازياً، غليظ الطبع، يملي، يأمر، يبتز، يفرض قراراته التعسفية عليها، لتصبّ في خدمة سياساته، دون الإكتراث الى حقوق الآخرين والأخذ بمصالحهم.

فإن تلكؤوا، صبّ عليهم غضبه، وكان لهم بالمرصاد. أما سلوكه تجاه الدول الرافضة لسياساته فواضح، حيث كانت بين خيارين: إما ان ترضخ وتتحمّل قراراته الشرسة المجحفة بحق شعوبها، وإما أن تنتظر منه الكثير من العقوبات، والحصار والعمل بكل الوسائل على الإطاحة بحكامها وأنظمتها.

هو ترامب الذي عمد إلى انتهاك ميثاق الأمم المتحدة وتجاهل قراراتها، وتجاوز القوانين الدولية، بإجراءاته الأحادية الجانب، التي انتهكت حقوق شعوب، وسيادة دول، وفرضت حظراً مالياً، وحصاراً اقتصادياً، وتجارياً عليها، ولجأ الى تطبيق سياسات صارمة بحقها، أدّت إلى تداعيات ونتائج إنسانية خطيرة، انعكست مباشرة على حياة المدنيين من مختلف جوانبها.

هو ترامب، نموذج الانحطاط الأخلاقي، وعديم الضمير الإنساني، الذي منع يوماً تصدير الدواء الى إيران وسورية اللتين كانتا بأشدّ الحاجة إليه، لعلاج المدنيين من رضع، وأطفال، ومسنين، وهما في ذروة مكافحتهما لجائحة كورونا. غير مكترث، وغير عابئ بأيّ شعور أو موقف إنساني أو واجب أخلاقي، أو مسؤولية رجل دولة عظمى، تتشدّق كلّ يوم بالحرية والعدالة وحقوق الإنسان.

هو ترامب الذي أحصت له وسائل الإعلام آلاف الأكاذيب التي طبعت شخصيته وهو في السلطة. هو المتمرّد وناكث العهود، ومنتهك الإتفاقيات الدولية، والمنسحب منها، ضارباً عرض الحائط التزامات الولايات المتحدة وتواقيعها عليها، واحترامها لها.

هو ترامب الذي انسحب من إتفاقية باريس لتغيير المناخ بعد ثلاث سنوات من بدء نفاذها، والتي أقرّت في 12 كانون الاول 2016.

هو ترامب الذي قرّر الانسحاب من المنظمة الدولية للتربية والعلوم والثقافة (اليونسكو)، حيث دخل الانسحاب حيّز التنفيذ في 31 كانون الأول 2017.

هو ترامب الذي فرض يوم 17 حزيران عام 2017، قيوداً اقتصادية جديدة على كوبا، وأعاد النظر في ما اتخذته إدارة الرئيس السابق باراك أوباما، من إجراءات من شأنها تطبيع العلاقات الدبلوماسية مع هافانا .

هو ترامب الذي انقض على الإتفاق النووي الدولي

وانسحب منه عام 2018، بعد أن وقعت عليه دول مجلس الأمن الخمس وألمانيا مع إيران، والذي حظي بموافقة ودعم الأمم المتحدة ومجلس الأمن الدولي، والذي اعتبر إنجازاً كبيراً في حينه من قبل دول العالم، وكلّ الموقعين عليه، ويصب في خدمة الأمن والسلام العالمي.

هو ترامب الذي اتخذ يوم 2 شباط 2019 قراراً بإنهاء التزام واشنطن بمعاهدة القوى النووية المتوسطة المدى، التي أبرمت مع روسيا عام 1987، ليتسبّب بفتح الباب مجدّداً أمام سباق تسلح خطير.

هو ترامب، الذي أطاح بالقرارات الدولية، والإتفاقيات ذات الصلة بالقضية الفلسطينية، وكشف عن انحيازه السافر للكيان الصهيوني المحتلّ، وعن عدائه البغيض حيال الشعب العربي الفلسطيني، والشعوب العربية برمّتها وحقوقها المشروعة، من خلال سلسلة من القرارات والإجراءات التي اتخذها ونفذها، تمثلت بنقل السفارة الأميركية الى القدس، والاعتراnatف بها كعاصمة لدولة الاحتلال الصهيوني، وبوقف الدعم المالي للسلطة الفلسطينية، وبالتوقف أيضاً عن دعم وكالة غوث اللاجئين الفلسطينيين (الأونروا)، بالإضافة الى قراره بإغلاق السفارة الفلسطينية في واشنطن.

هو ترامب الذي أقرّ بسيادة سلطة الاحتلال الصهيوني على القدس، وعلى الجولان، وأيّد ودعم قراراتها وممارساتها في بناء المستوطنات ومصادرة الأراضي، منتهكاً ومتجاهلاً بشكل وقح وفاضح القرارات الأممية ذات الصلة.

هو ترامب، الذي أمر الاتحاد الأوروبي بزيادة موازنته العسكرية داخل حلف الناتو، وتحت التهديد والتلويح باتخاذ إجراءات ضدّ بعض دوله، ان لم تستجب، حيث لم يكن أمام الاتحاد الأوروبي إلا الرضوخ والاستجابة الى طلباته.

هو ترامب، الذي فرض عقوبات قاسية دون الأخذ بالمعايير الإنسانية التي تركت آثارها السيئة على أكثر من دولة. فكانت عقوباته اللاأخلاقية واللاإنسانية ضدّ إيران وكوريا وسورية وفنزويلا وكوبا وروسيا والصين، لتطال مسؤولين، وهيئات، ومؤسسات، وشركات، وأفراد، ومرافق اقتصادية، وصناعية وعلمية، وطبية، وشخصيات روسية وصينية وهندية وعراقية وسورية ولبنانية وفنزويلية وكورية وغيرها.

هو ترامب، الذي تحدّى دول العالم، باتخاذه قرارات أحادية الجانب، خارج إطار المنظمة الأممية والمجتمع الدولي، ضدّ دول رافضة للتسلط والهيمنة، ليفرضها على دول العالم رغماً عنها، وإنْ رأت في هذه القرارات عدم قانونيتها، وعدالتها وشرعيتها. فرضوخ هذه الدول لمشيئته، وطاعتها له، ومهما علا شأنها، كانت ظاهرة للعيان. لأنها تدرك جيداً، أنه في حال رفضها لقراراته، سيضعها تحت مقصلة العقوبات الأميركية. فالعديد من القرارات الأميركية حجمت، وأصابت بالصميم كرامة، ومكانة، وهيبة دول كبرى حليفة له، حيث كبّلها، وكشف عن مدى «سيادتها» وحرية قرارها، والتزامها واحترامها للاتفاقيات الدولية، وعن رضوخها المكشوف لقراراته. ولعلّ الاتفاق النووي الـ 5+1، هو المثل الحيّ، ليبيّن للعالم كله مدى تحرّر دول كبرى مثل فرنسا وبريطانيا وألمانيا وغيرها من النفوذ والإملاءات والقرارات الأميركية، حيث لم تستطع هذه الدول، حتى اللحظة الالتزام بالاتفاق النووي نصاً وروحاً، وتطبيقه عملياً، والتعامل مع طهران بموجب بنوده، بسبب عدم تمكّنها من الإفلات من ضغوط ترامب وتجاهل الإستجابة لإرادة، خشية من غضبه وتفاديا لعقوباته.

هو ترامب، العنصري الذي امتلأت مواقفه الكثيرة، واتسمت تصريحاته، وتغريداته العديدة بالكراهية والاستعلاء، التي من خلالها شتم وسبّ يوماً المكسيكيين الذين اتهمهم بجلب الجريمة والمخدرات إلى بلاده، بالإضافة الى وصفه لدول أفريقية ومعها هاييتي والسلفادور على أنها حثالة، ومليئة «بالأوكار القذرة»، ما ولد موجة غضب عارمة ضدّ تصريحاته العنصرية في دول العالم، وبالذات داخل الاتحاد الأفريقي .

هو ترامب، الكاوبوي الداشر، الذي كشف في شهر أيلول الماضي أثناء مقابلة له، أجرتها معه قناة «فوكس نيوز»، من أنه كانت لديه فرصة لاغتيال الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد، لكن وزير الدفاع آنذاك متيس، كان ضدّ ذلك! وهو أيضاً الذي أمر باغتيال قائد فيلق القدس في الحرس الثوري الإيراني قاسم سليماني، ونائب قائد الحشد الشعبي العراقي أبو مهدي المهندس يوم 3 كانون الثاني من هذا العام.

هو ترامب، الذي انتهج سياسات عدوانية، سالت من جرائها دماء آلاف الشهداء والجرحى في العراق وسورية وليبيا واليمن وفلسطين وغيرها. سياسات غذت قوى الإرهاب نتيجة الدعم الأميركي العسكري، والمالي، والإعلامي، واللوجستي لها.

هو ترامب، قرصان المال والمواقف، الذي بعرف من أين تؤكل الكتف، وكيف يستغلّ، ويبتز، وينهب «أصدقاءه»، من خلال التهديد المبطن الناعم، والتخويف، والترغيب والتهويل، بحجة توفير الرعاية لهم، وتأمين الحماية والاستمرارية لوجودهم وحكمهم وكراسيهم، مستخدماً تجاههم، مفردات العنجهية والاستخفاف، أحياناً، والصلف، والاستهزاء، والاحتقار أحياناً أخرى، وحين تدعو الحاجة، ما مكنه من سحب مئات المليارات من الدولارات من جيوبهم، والسطو «الظريف» على خزائنهم.

هو ترامب، الذي ستظلّ الشعوب العربية، ومعها غالبية شعوب العالم الحرة، تختزن في ذاكرتها أقذر وأسوأ سياسة أتبعها الرئيس الأميركي بحقها، الذي ما عرف يوماً سياسة الأخلاق، ولا الضمير الإنساني الحيّ حيالها، وهو الذي قذفته الأقدار ليكون يوما على رأس دولة عظمى، لم تر منه إلا المرارة، ولم تلمس منه إلا الخيبة في تعاطيه معها، حيث لقيت سياساته عندها المزيد من السخط، والتنديد،

والغضب…

اليوم، مع شعوب العالم الحرة المقهورة، المعذبة بسياساته المدمّرة لها، التي تلاحقه بلعناتها وأنينها، وبعد سقوطه، نقول بصوت عال: دونالد ترامب! أيها الرئيس الذي لفظه الأميركيون، إن لعنات الشعوب الحرة التي عانت على يديك سياسات الإذلال والحصار، والعقوبات الظالمة،

والدمار، والقتل، والنهب «المنظم» ستظلّ تلاحقك أينما كنت، وأحرار العالم يصرخون بصوت عال ونردّد معهم: دونالد ترامب، أيها الكاوبوي الهائج الذي ترنح وسقط، ولم يذق أحرار العالم على يديك غير الحنظل، إرحل، ولا أسفاً عليك…!

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وزير الخارجية والمغتربين الأسبق

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (13– 18 August 2020)

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (13– 18 August 2020)

Israeli Violations of Human Rights in Palestine

13 – 18 August 2020

  • 18 Palestinian civilians shot and wounded in IOF excessive use of force:
    • 9 injuries documented near the Annexation Wall in Tulkarm and Ramallah;
    • 6 injuries were documented in IOF suppression of protests in Kafr Qaddum and Ramallah;
    • 2 injured in occupied East Jerusalem, including a person with disability; and another wounded in Bethlehem.
  • IOF warplanes launch multiple airstrikes on Gaza Strip, and shells an UNRWA school in al-Shati refugee camp;
    • Pregnant woman and her baby, and two other children wounded with debris
  • shootings reported at fishing boats western Gaza Strip;
  • In 66 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 45 civilians arrested, including 5 children;
  • Israeli collective punishment policy: IOF harden closure restrictions over the Gaza Strip
    • Karm Abu Salem crossing closed; fuel entry ban results in power plant shutdown; sea closed denying fishermen work
  • 3 houses demolished, including 2 self-demolished, and 3 commercial facilities self-demolished in occupied East Jerusalem;
  • +200 dunums razed in Tulkarm for settlement-road construction;
  • Settler-attacks in the West Bank: excavator set on fire, car windows broken, 5 vehicles assaulted in Salfit; and tent destroyed, and property stolen in Hebron;
  • IOF established 29 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 4 Palestinians on said checkpoints

Summary

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians. This week, IOF escalated its attacks on the Gaza Strip with multiple airstrikes, one of which landed on a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school in Gaza city. Additionally, IOF tightened its closure restrictions on the Gaza Strip, closing Karm Abu Salem, banning en try of fuel that resulted in the Gaza Power Plant shutdown, and closing the sea. These decisions is a continuation of the collective punishment policy, and inhumane and illegal retaliatory actions adopted by Israel against the Gaza Strip civilian population since 2007. PCHR fears for the lives of Palestinian civilians as the attacks continue and warns of their repercussions on the collective economic and social rights of Palestinians. Additionally, IOF continued its attacks in the West Bank, including excessive use of force, demolition of houses and facilities and settlement expansion.

This week, PCHR documented 145 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt. It should be noted that the limitations due to the corona virus pandemic, including closure of certain territories, has limited PCHR’s fieldworkers mobility and ability to conduct field documentation; therefore, the information documented in this report are only part of the continued IOF violations.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity: IOF shot and wounded 18 Palestinians in IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank: 9 injuries were documented near the Annexation Wall in Tulkarm and Ramallah; 6 injuries were documented in IOF suppression of protests in Kafr Qaddum and Ramallah; 2 injured in occupied East Jerusalem, including a person with disability; and another wounded in Bethlehem.

In the Gaza Strip, 4 Palestinians, including a pregnant woman and her child, as well as 2 other children, sustained injuries caused by debris fallen due to Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, one of which targeted a an UNRWA school in the densely populated al-Shati refugee camp, and caused material damage and suspended school. Additionally, IOF opened fire 7 times at fishing boats in western Gaza Strip and once at agricultural lands in the east.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 66 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 45 Palestinians were arrested, including 5 children. IOF also conducted two limited incursions into eastern Khan Younis and northern Gaza Strip.

Settlement expansion activities and settlers’ attacks: IOF continued its settlement expansion operations in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, PCHR documented 7 violations, including:

  • East Jerusalem: 3 houses demolished (2 self-demolished)l; and 3 commercial facilities self-demolished;
  • Tubas: barracks removal notice served;
  • Tulkarm: wide-scale land razing for construction of a settlement road;
  • Nablus: barracks demolition notice

PCHR also documented 5excavator set on fire, windows broken in 3 houses; vandalization; and lands set on fire in Nablus; 5 vehicles assaulted and vandalization in Salfit; a tent destroyed, and property stolen in Hebron.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

On Sunday morning, 16 August 2020, Israeli authorities announced a complete closure of the Gaza sea in a manifestation of its collective punishment policy and measures announced since last week, which included Karm Abu Salem crossing closure and ban on entry of fuel and construction materials.

This decision followed the Israeli authorities’ former decisions (3 days prior) to reduce the fishing area from 15 to 8 nautical miles and to close Karm Abu Salem crossing (five days prior), except for the transportation of goods for vital humanitarian cases. Due to the suspension of fuel entry, the Gaza Power Plant announced its shutdown starting from Tuesday morning, 18 August 2020, which carries endless repercussions on the basic services provided to the Gaza Strip population, especially health and sanitation services, as well as commercial, industrial and agricultural facilities.

This decision falls under the framework of the complete, illegal and inhumane closure policy imposed by the Israeli authorities on the Gaza Strip since June 2007, as the  Gaza Strip crossings have witnessed tightened restrictions on the movement of goods and persons.

Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest.

  1. Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity
  1. Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity
  • At approximately 02:10 on Thursday, 13 August 2020, Israeli military warplanes launched a missile at al-Shati Joint Primary School (D, Z) run by the UNRWA agency, adjacent to al-Shati Clinic, west of Gaza City. The missile exploded in the third floor in the school’s southern side, causing damage in teachers’ room and a number of classrooms’ doors, and smashing a number of windows. As a result of that, the educational process was suspended. The targeted area is a densely populated area with no military objects and does not pose any threat at the lives of Israeli soldiers.
  • At approximately 07:10 on the same Thursday, IOF stationed at the annexation wall gate on lands of Far’un village, south of Tulkarm, fired rubber bullet, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at Palestinian civilians who attempted to enter the gate. As a result, 3 civilians were shot with a rubber bullet to their lower extremities.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Friday, 14 August 2020, IOF stationed at the northern entrance established at lands of Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a protest in which dozens of civilians protested, demanding to open the street, which is closed since 2003 and condemning the Israeli settlement expansion. IOF chased the young men who gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 4 civilians were injured, 3 of them with rubber bullets in the back and lower extremities, and one with a tear gas canister in his shoulder.
  • At the same time, IOF stationed at the annexation wall gate established at lands of al-Midya village, west of Ramallah, fired tear gas canisters at agricultural lands, adjacent to the annexation wall. A number of young men gathered and threw stones at Israeli soldiers while the latter immediately responded with live and rubber bullets at the protestors and clashed with them. As a result, a 22-year-old was shot with a rubber bullet in his right leg and a 19-year-old young man was  shot with a rubber bullet in his foot. Both wounded civilians were transferred to Palestine Medical Complex for medical treatment.
  • After Friday prayer, IOF suppressed a set-in organize by dozens of worshipers in front of the Dome of the Rock Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, in protest against the peace agreement between Israel and UAE. The protestors chanted slogans and raised banners condemning the normalization of UAE-Israel relations. Few minutes later, Israeli police attacked the protestors, confiscated their banners, forcibly dispersed them, and arrested journalist Mustafa Abu Romouz (43) while on duty in al-Aqsa Mosque.
  • At approximately 22:20 on the same Friday, Israeli military warplanes launched a missile and a drone fired 2 missiles at agricultural land, east of al-Buraij in central Gaza Strip. the bombardment caused a large hole in the land and 7 nearby houses sustained damage. Two children further were wounded as a result of the rubble and shattered glass. They were transferred to al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah and their injuries were classified as minor. the wounded children were identified as:
  1. Bara’a Hasan Mohammed Husein (11) was hit in his head.
  2. Ahmed Mohammed Husein (3), sustained bruises and swelling in his right face side and a scratch in his right foot.
  • At approximately 23:10, an Israeli drone fired a missile at an empty land in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip. five minutes later, Israeli military warplanes launched 2 missiles at the same area, causing a 4-meter hole in the ground. Asma’a Marzouq Hasan Abu Jarad (33), who is a nine month pregnant, and her child Mariam Hejazi (two and half years) suffocated due to the smoke resulting from the bombardment. They were transferred via Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCE) ambulance to al-Awdah Hospital and their injuries were classified minor. The bombardment also lifted damage in a number of the nearby houses.
  • At approximately 08:25 on Saturday, 15 August 2020, IOF stationed at the annexation wall gate established at lands of Far’un village, south of Tulkarm, fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at Palestinian civilians, who attempted to pass through the gate. As a result, 2 civilians were shot with 2 live bullets in their lower extremities.
  • At approximately 14:00 on Saturday, 15 August 2020, a number of Palestinian young men gathered in Bab al-Zawya area in the center of Hebron and set tires on fire at the entrance to al-Shallah street, adjacent to military checkpoint (56) established at the entrance to al-Shuhada’a street. The protestors threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind the abovementioned checkpoint while a number of soldiers chased stone-throwers and fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, a number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. Clashes that erupted between IOF and the protestors continued until 18:00, in which Israeli soldiers closed the road in the center of the city and prevented civilians’ vehicles from movement. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 17:00 on Saturday, IOF stationed at the northern entrance established at lands of Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya in which dozens of civilians protested to demand opening the street, which has been closed since 2003, and to condemn the Israeli settlement expansion. IOF chased the young men, who gathered in the area, clashed with them, and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, an 18-year-old civilian was shot with a rubber bullet under his eye, and a 23-year-old civilian was shot with a rubber bullet in his thigh.
  • At approximately 20:30, IOF stationed at the annexation wall gate established at lands of al- al-Midya village, west of Ramallah, opened fire at a 31-year-old civilian, from Deir Abu Masha’al village, northwest of the city, while passing through the gate. As a result, he was shot with a rubber bullet in his foot. He was transferred to Palestine Medical Complex for medical treatment.
  • At approximately 23:00 on the same Friday, Israeli military warplanes launched 3 missiles at an empty land, east of al-Buraij in the central Gaza Strip. As a result, the land sustained damage; no casualties were reported.
  • At the same time, IOF stormed al-Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They deployed the village neighborhoods, established checkpoints at its entrances, prevented civilians from entering or exiting it, and searched the vehicles before allowing them to exit the village. In the meantime, a number of young men protested at the entrance to Obeid neighborhood, north of the village, and threw stones, fireworks, and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli soldiers. A large Israeli force immediately stormed the neighborhood and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. Clashes that erupted between IOF and the young men continued for more than 2 hours. As a result, dozens of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. IOF also arrested Motasem Hamzah Obeid (17).
  • At approximately 23:30, Israeli soldiers stationed in a military watchtower established in the vicinity of Rachel’s Tomb, north of Bethlehem, opened fire at an 18-year-old civilian. As a result, he was shot with a live bullet in his foot. The wounded civilian was transferred to Beit Jala Hospital for medical treatment. His health condition was classified as stable. IOF claimed that they opened fire at a Palestinian, who attempted to throw a Molotov Cocktail at the military watchtower, north of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 04:00 on Sunday, 16 August 2020, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia, west of al-Sudaniya area, and west of Jabalia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area ( 1- 4 nautical miles). Israeli gunboats also fired dozens of artillery shells in the vicinity of the fishing boats and pumped water at them. IOF’s attack continued for the same day morning. As a result, 18 fishermen lost their fishing nets in the sea. The shooting caused fear among fishermen, who sailed back to the shore.
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF stationed at the annexation wall gate established at lands of Far’un village, south of Tulkarm, fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at civilians, who attempted to pass through the gate. As a result, a 35-year-old civilian, from Qalqilya, was shot with a rubber bullet in his left leg. He was transferred to Dr. Thabet Hospital in Tulkarm.
  • At approximately 07:30, on the same Sunday, Israeli gunboats stationed west of Deir al-Balah shore in the central Gaza Strip, chased and opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (1 – 3 nautical miles). Israeli gunboats also fired artillery shells at the vicinity of the fishing boats, forcing fishermen to leave the see. Nizar ‘Ayash, Head of the General Union of Fishing Workers in the Gaza Strip, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that Israeli gunboats chased fishermen along the Gaza Strip shore and forced them to leave it in order to impose closure on the sea. Ayash mentioned that they were not informed  officially of closing the sea because coordination with Israeli authorities has stopped since last May.
  • At approximately 08:00, Israeli gunboats stationed adjacent to Rafah and Khan Younis shores, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats. Fishermen, as a result of that, panicked and sailed back to the shore fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 01:00, on Monday, 17 August 2020, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles stormed Hebron’s southern area and deployed al-‘Ajouri square area. The soldiers raided and searched a commercial shop owned by Sa’di Abdul Rahman al-Ja’bari (35). In the meantime, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones  at Israeli soldiers and closed the road with rocks and metal barricades. Israeli soldiers fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the young men. As a result,  a number of young men suffocated due to tear gas inhalations. IOF also arrested Sa’di al-Ja’bari.
  • At approximately 08:45 on the same Monday, Israeli gunboats stationed west of al-Nuseirat shore in the central Gaza Strip, chased 2 Palestinian fishing boats and opened fire around them. They also pumped water at the two fishing boats. The attack continued for 2 hours. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:55 on the same Monday, IOF that was leveling lands in Shufa village, east of Tulkarm, suppressed a protest in which dozens of civilians participated in protest against leveling their lands. IOF fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the civilians while attempting to confront IOF’s bulldozers and banning them from leveling. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. IOF also arrested Omer Tahsin Hamed (40). Due to that, Tahsin’s father fainted and fell on the ground.
  • At approximately 09:00, on the same Monday, Israeli soldiers stationed at Qalqilya military checkpoint, north of occupied East Jerusalem, opened fire at Walid Abu Nasser (50), who is disabled (he suffers from deafness and hearing loss) from Nablus, while attempting to bypass the checkpoint through the vehicles lane. As a result, Abu Nasser was shot with a live bullet in his leg. He was transferred to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in West Jerusalem for medical treatment.

Israeli police claimed in a statement they published on the social media that one of the Israeli security service officers at Qalqilya checkpoint, noticed that a Palestinian civilian  arrived at the vehicles lane. They ordered him to stop several times, but he did not respond, so they opened fire at his lower limb of his body and arrested him. The Israeli police stated later that  the civilian, who sustained minor and moderate wounds  turned out to be a disabled person as he suffers from deafness and hearing loss. The police added that wounded civilians were transferred to the hospital and his health condition is stable.

  • At approximately 15:00, a number of Palestinian outraged young men gathered at Bab al-Zawiyah area in the center of Hebron and threw stones at Israeli military Checkpoint (56) established at the entrance to al-Shuhada’a closed street. Israeli soldiers indiscriminately fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the young men. As a result, a number of civilians, who were present in the market, suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. In the meantime, an Israeli infantry unit stormed al-Shalah Old street’s market. They chased the young men between commercial shops and fired rubber bullets at them. At approximately 17:00 on the same day, Israeli soldiers withdrew from the area towards the checkpoint. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 01:05 on Tuesday, 18 August 2020, Israeli military warplanes launched 3 missiles at an empty land, in eastern al-Shoka village, east of Rafah. No casualties were reported.
  • At the same time, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Jabalia and northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and sporadically opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area ( 2 nautical miles). Fishermen, as a result of that, panicked and had to sail back to the shore. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:30 on the same Tuesday, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area (2 nautical miles). They also fired a number of sound bombs and pumped water at the fishing boats. Fishermen as a result of that, panicked and had to sail back to the shore. No casualties were reported. It should be noted that fishermen lost their fishing nets due to the Israeli attack on them.
  • At approximately 10:30 on the same Tuesday, IOF that was leveling a residential building in al-Mokaber Mount village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, suddenly and indiscriminately fired live and rubber bullets at a group of Palestinian civilians, who gathered in the area to protests against IOF’s leveling  process. As a result, Mohammed Mo’ammer Khader Abu Osba’a (24) was shot with a live bullet in his chest and abdomen. He was transferred via a civilian vehicle to Al-Makassed Hospital in al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.  Medical sources classified his health condition as serious as the bullet penetrated his spleen and liver. After Abu Osba’a arrived at Al-Makassed Hospital where was admitted to the surgery room, an Israeli “Yasam” special patrol unit stormed the hospital and stationed at its entrance near the Emergency Department for hours and withdrew later after it failed of arresting Abu Osba’a .

Israeli police claimed that while IOF were demolishing a residential building in al-Mokaber Mount village, they opened fire at a young Palestinian man who threw fireworks at them and fled from the area after he was injured. After tracking him down, IOF found him at Al-Makassed Hospital.

  • At approximately 22:55, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Shoka village, east of Rafah, opened fire at agricultural lands. No casualties were reported.
  1. Incursions and arrests:

Thursday, 13 August 2020:

  • At approximately 02:15, IOF moved into Faqqua village, northeast of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Mohammed Nazeeh Massad’s (26) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:20, IOF moved into Rujeib village, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Obada Mohammed Rawajba’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:40, IOF moved into Kafr al-Dik village, west of Salfit. They raided and searched three houses belonging to Zahi Ibrahim al-Dik (24), Majd Fayez Damra (22), and Hussam Mazen al-Ahmed (22), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Kafr Ni’ma village, west of Ramallah governorate. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Na’eem Mohammed Ramadan (30) and Ra’ed Abbas Nassar (29) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Issaweya, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Eyas Hussain Obaid (19) and Mahmoud Mohammed Obaid (16) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:10, IOF moved into Tubas, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Nasser Abdullah “Mohammed Ali” Daraghma’s (43) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:50, IOF moved into Beit Rima village, northwest of Ramallah governorate. They raided and searched Naser Abdul Latif al-Barghouthi’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Deir Ghassana village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched Salah Bassam al-Barghouthi’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Deir Qudais village, west of Ramallah governorate. They raided and searched Hamad Zeid Abu Zeid’s (27) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 05:30, IOF moved into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Salah Ahmed Staiti’s (25) house and arrested him. It should be noted that Salah is Dalia Staiti’s brother, who was shot killed by the IOF last week.
  • At approximately 09:00, IOF moved into al-Wad village, one of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City’s neighborhoods. They raided and searched Nehad Bader Zughaiar’s (42) house and took him to al-Maskoubeya investigation center, west of the city. IOF released him after several hours of interrogation on condition that banning his entry to the Aqsa Mosque for a week.

It should be noted that IOF arrested Zughaiar on 05 June 2017, while returning from Saudi Arabia, as he spent 35-months in the Israeli prisons when they accused him of belonging to “Shabab al-Aqsa Organization”, and released on 04 May 2020.

  • At approximately 16:20, IOF stationed at Hawara military checkpoint, on the eastern entrance of Nablus, north of the West Bank, arrested Mohannad Yousef Kan’an (19), from Burin village, southeast of the city. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 21:30, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on Nablus Ramallah Road, north of the West Bank. IOF arrested Sanad Mohammed Staiti (23), from Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin, and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on the Arab American University’s rotary, north of the West Bank. IOF arrested Tareq Sa’eed Zakarna (22), from Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Hebron and Surif, in Hebron governorate; Deir Estiya, Yasouf, in Salfit governorate. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 14 August 2020:

  • At approximately 03:40, IOF moved into Anabta village, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched Abdul Rahim Fathi Abu Kamla’s (25) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Ama’ari refugee camp, southeast of al-Beira, north of Ramallah governorate. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Nael Yousef Abu Kwaik (30) and Yousef Hammad (27).
  • At approximately 10:30, IOF moved into Kafr al-Dik, west of Salfit. They raided and searched several houses and took photos for several old houses in the city; they withdrew, and no arrests were reported.
  • IOF carried out (7) incursions in Ya’bad and Qabatya, in Jenin governorate; Nuba, Deir al-Asal, and Dura in Hebron governorate; Beit Amin, southeast of Qalqilya; Biddya, west of Salfit. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 15 August 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Halhul village, north of Hebron governorate, and stationed near Hahul Gas Station, near the northern entrance of the city. IOF raided and searched the station and confiscated surveillances devices before they withdrew. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 05:30, IOF moved into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin, north of the West Bank. They arrested Islam Mahmoud al-Jarboua’ (20) and took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Beit Ula and Yatta, in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 16 August 2020:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Taqu’ village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mahmoud Jamal al-Sabbah’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF arrested Saddam Aqel Dar al-Haj (28), from Ayda refugee camp, west of Bethlehem, while present near a stadium in al-Khader village, south of the city. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF summonsed Jerusalem Governor, Adnan Adel Tawfiq Ghaith (46), via phone to refer to al-Maskoubeya police station, west of the occupied East Jerusalem. As soon as he arrived, IOF handed him a decision issued by the Israeli Central Commander, to extending the ban on his entry to the West Bank for an additional 6 months.

This decision came after a few days of releasing Ghaith, who was arrested and interrogated under inhuman conditions for more than 17 days in Ashkelon prison. This arrest is the 18th of its kind since his inauguration as Governor.

  • At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into al-Issawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Hamada Nimir (37) and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Yatta, Dura, and Fureidis villages in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 17 August 2020:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Doha village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Hamza Ibrahim Malash (29) and Hasan Mohammed Shehada (31) and arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beit Sahour village. They raided and searched Ahmed Ridwan Hamamera’s (27) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Kharsa village, south of Dura, southwest of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Jaser Kamel Qutait’s (32) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Askar refugee camp, northeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Othman Khalil Qatanani’s (17) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:40, IOF moved into Qalqilya. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Sajed Yousef Qur’an (17) and Lewa’ Faisal Nofal (24) and arrested them.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Zawiya village, west of Salfit. They raided and searched Firas Abdul Karim Mwaqadi’s (36) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:45, IOF moved into Duma village, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses including two houses belonging to Fadel Abdul Sattar Salaweda and Ibrahim Nour al-Dein Salaweda. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF moved into Anata village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Emad Jom’a al-Silwadi’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 14:50, IOF stationed at a temporary military checkpoint near al-Nabi Elias village’s rotary, east of Qalqilya, arrested Abdul Ra’ouf Tayseer Yasine (20), from Qalqilya. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out an incursion in Deir Estiya, north of Salfit. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 18 August 2020:

  • At approximately 12:15, IOF moved into Burin village, southeast of Nablus, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Tamim Mohye al-Dein Emran (22).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Ayda refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ahmed Jalal Darwish’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:15, IOF moved into Tayaseer village, east of Tubas, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Amer Ahmed Dabak (29), the secretary of Fatah Movement in Tubas.
  • At approximately 03:00 IOF moved into Azza refugee camp, west of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Aysar Nawwaf al-Qaisi’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:20, IOF moved into Oqbat Jaber refugee camp, southwest of Jericho. They raided and searched Nader Mohammed Qatam’s (40) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Zububa village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested two civilians including a child; Qusai Mohammed Taleb (17) and Mohammed Adnan Jaradat (22).
  • IOF carried out an incursion in Telfit village, southeast of Nablus. No arrests were reported.

III. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

  • Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property
  • On Thursday, 13 August 2020, Mohammed Doyyat implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished a part of his house in Sur Baher village, south of occupied East Jerusalem. Mohammed Doyyat said that in 2006, he built access ramp for his son, who suffers from cerebral palsy, instead of carrying him up to their home on the second floor. Doyyat added that he built a small brick-roofed kitchen near his son’s room. Doyyat clarified that he hired a lawyer to license the ramp and kitchen, but the municipality refused and issued a demolition decision in 2008, in addition to imposing a fine of NIS 25,000 on him. Doyyat added that he managed to delay the demolition for 5 years, but the municipality issued an immediate demolition order against the roof of the annexed building in 2015, so he removed it. Doyyat pointed out that Israeli municipality staff raided his house 2 weeks ago and handed him a notice to demolish the ramp, destroy the walls of the annexed building (kitchen) and remove the sheds and wood placed after demolishing the roof in 2015.
  • On Friday, 14 August 2020, Ihab Hasan Khalil ‘Oqail implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished his under-construction house in Karm al-Shiekh neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. ‘Oqail said that he started to build his tin-plate house in April 2019 in order to live in it with his family comprised of 4 persons. ‘Oqail clarified that the municipality staff raided his house few months ago and summoned him for investigation. When he headed to the municipality, he was informed that the municipality would appoint a session to consider his house case. On Sunday, he was shocked when municipality staff raided his house and informed him about the final demolition order. The municipality staff gave him 4 days to implement the demolition. ‘Oqail pointed out that he and his family members dismantled the walls and roof of his 80-square-meter house to avoid paying demolition costs for the municipality.
  • At approximately 13:00, Mahdi al-‘Abasi implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished his house in ‘Ein al-Louza neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Al-‘Abasi said that he built his tin-plate house ( 40 sqm) 7 months ago. He pointed out that the land on which the house was built belongs to him and his two brothers Mohammad and Mo’tasem. He added that about a year ago, the municipality staff demolished 6 commercial and residential facilities, properties of him and his 2 brothers, built on the land and forced them to pay the demolition costs. Al-‘Abasi clarified that few months later, he was forced to rebuilt the house in order to shelter his family, because he was unable to buy or even rent a licensed house. Al-‘Abasi said that last month, the municipality issued a final demolition decision against his house and gave him until 20 August 2020 to implement the order, or it will do so.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Sunday, 16 August 2020, IOF accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into ‘Atouf village, southeast of Tubas in northern Jordan Valley. Israeli authorities hanged a 96-hour notice on Khalil Khalaf Ahmed Bani ‘Odah’s 150-square-meter barrack’s gate used for breeding sheep, under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Monday, 17 August 2020, IOF moved into Kafr al-Labad village in eastern Tulkarm, where they leveled Palestinians’ lands (200 dunums) in Ras al-Maseed and al-Hafasi areas in order to build a road for “Avnei Hefetz” settlement, which is established on these lands. These lands belong to Khattab, Marzouq and Foqahaa’ families. It is expected that IOF will level other 600 dunums to complete the construction of the settlement road according to the Israeli plan. Mayor of  Kafr al-Labad Municipality, Ihab Ghazalah, said that during the past years, IOF prevented Palestinians from reclaiming or working in their lands, in addition to attacking the farmers and forcing them to leave their lands at gunpoint. It should be noted that these lands are registered in the Land and Water Settlement Authority, and the settlers’ seizure of this road would close the village and isolate it from its western side.
  • At approximately 11:30 on Monday, 17 August 2020, IOF accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Sahel area in Beit Dajan village, northeast of Nablus. IOF hanged a demolition notice on Mostafa ‘Ali Mostafa Salama’s 400-square-meter barrack’s gate used for breeding sheep, under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C.
  • On Monday, 17 August 2020, Ahmed Yousef Shoqirat implemented the Israeli Municipality order and self-demolished his 3 commercial shops in al-Sal’ah neighborhood in Jabel Mukaber village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Shoqirat said that 3 years ago, he rebuilt his shop established in 2000 and built 3 others small shops ( 90 sqm) beside it. Shoqirat clarified that he received a demolition notice 4 months ago in favor of establishing the American Street Project in the area, despite the fact that Shoqirat’s shops are located 10 meters away from the plan supposed to be established. Shoqirat added that he managed to delay the demolition, but on 13 August 2020, the court issued a self-demolition order against his 3 shops, in addition to refusing the appeal against the demolition decision. Shoqirat pointed out that the Israeli Municipality threatened him to pay NIS 100,000 for the municipality staff, if they demolish the shops. Shoqirat said that his shops were used for selling foodstuff, and he was forced to vacate the shops’ contents before demolishing them and place them out, causing  spoilage of foodstuff. Shoqirat’s losses were estimated at NIS 10,000.
  • On Tuesday, 18 August 2020, Israeli Municipality bulldozers backed by special forces demolished an under-construction residential building, property of ‘Aziz Jameel Ja’abees and his 3 sons, in al-Sal’ah neighborhood in Jabel Mukaber village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Mohammed Ja’abees, one of the building owners, said that at approximately 06:00, at least 500 Israeli soldiers backed by 100 military construction vehicles moved into Jabel Mukaber village and surrounde al-Sal’ah neighborhood to implement an immediate demolition order issued by the Israeli court against their residential building. He added that IOF declared the area as closed military zone and denied Palestinians’ access to it. IOF demolished the 4-storey residential building, which was supposed to shelter 8 families. Ja’abees pointed out that his family paid more than NIS 250,000 as fines and attorneys’ fees to freeze the demolition order, but in vain. Ja’abees clarified that during the demolition, which lasted for over 8 hours, dozens of the villagers gathered in the area to console them.
  • Israeli Settler Violence
  • At approximately 00:05 on Thursday, 13 August 2020, Israeli settlers, from ” Price Tag ” group, attacked al-Hariqah area between ‘ Urif and ‘Asira al-Qibliya villages, southeast of the city. The settler set  Mohammed ‘Abed al-Kareem Hamdan and ‘Ali ‘Issa Makhlouf’s digger on fire. They also vandalized a rock, which was placed near the digger, with racist slogans. The settlers withdrew before the village residents arrived and put out the fire.
  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli settlers, from ” Price Tag ” group, attacked ‘Asira al-Qibliya village and threw stones at ‘Abed al-Baset Mohammed ‘Abed al-Rahman Ahmed’s house windows. As a result, the house windows were broken. Meanwhile, the village residents confronted the settler who withdrew later.
  • Around the same time, Israeli settlers moved into Yasuf village, east of Salfit, where they attacked 5 vehicles and punctured their tires. The settlers also vandalized the kindergarten’s walls with racist slogans.
  • At approximately 19:30, Israeli settlers, from ” Price Tag ” group, attacked ‘Asira al-Qibliya village and threw stones at Qasem Mohammed Hsan Salah and Majdi Ibrahim Mohammed Makhlouf’s houses windows. As a result, the houses windows were broken. The settlers also set Palestinians’ agricultural lands planted with olive and almond trees on fire. Meanwhile, the village residents confronted the settler who withdrew later.
  • On Tuesday, 18 August 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Havat Ma’on” settlement outpost, which is established on Palestinians’ confiscated lands in eastern Yatta city, south of Hebron, attacked Palestinians’ lands in Wad al-Sawi area in Yatta and demolished ‘Ali Suliman Abu Hadeed’S (50) tent. The settlers also stole steel pipes and punctured rubber tires for a water tank. It should be noted that the eastern side of Yatta city is exposed to ongoing IOF and settlers’ attacks; the latest of which was about two weeks ago when IOF established a military watchtower on Palestinians’ lands near At-Tuwani village in Hebron.
  1. Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods

Gaza Strip:

  • On Sunday morning, 16 August 2020, Israeli authorities announced a complete closure of the Gaza sea within a series of collective punishment measure issued last week, including closing Karm Abu Salem Crossing and stopping the entry of fuel and construction materials into the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Kamil Abu Rukun, stated that “pursuant to security consultations, it was decided to immediately close the Gaza Sea until further notice”.

  • On Wednesday, 12 August 2020, Israeli authorities announced new restrictions on the movement of goods entering the Gaza Strip and reduced the fishing area, in alleged response to the launch of incendiary balloons towards Israeli settlements adjacent to the Gaza Strip. The Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Kamil Abu Rukun, stated that pursuing to security consultations, it was decided to immediately stop the entry of fuel into the Gaza Strip and reduce the permitted fishing area from 15 to 8 nautical miles until further notice. Abu Rukun added that “These decisions were made in light of the ongoing violence and launch of incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli territory.”

This decision followed the Israeli authorities’ former decision to close Karm Abu Salem crossing issued two days ago (starting from Tuesday, 11 August 2020) except for the transportation of goods for vital humanitarian cases and fuel.

Due to the Israeli authorities’ suspension of fuel entry into the Gaza Strip, Gaza Power Plant declared its decision to suspend the power plant at full capacity starting on Tuesday morning, 18 August 2020.

The decision suspending the entry of fuel into the Gaza Strip deepens its electricity crisis and increases its 64% power deficit (pre-suspension decision). In the best case scenario, the Gaza Strip available power reaches 180 Megawatts (120 MW from Israel, and 60 MW from the Gaza power plant), a far cry from its 500 MW minimum need.

In light of the Israeli decision, it is expected that the power deficit would reach 76% after the power plant shuts, raising the hours of power outages to 16 – 20 hours per day.

This development bears warning to the impact on the lives of the 2 million Gaza residents, as their homes and workplaces will turn into hell, preventing them from leading normal lives due to the high heat and humidity. Most significantly, as the electricity crisis intensifies, basic services are expected to rapidly deteriorate, particularly health and sanitation services, including drinking water sources and sanitation services.

Furthermore, reducing the fishing area negatively affects and undermines the livelihoods of 4,160 fishermen and 700 workers in professions associated with the fishing sector i.e. the main providers for their families (a total of 27,700 persons). Even before this decision,  Gazan fishermen already suffered an inability to fish and sail freely in the allowed fishing area due to the recurrent Israeli attacks at sea, the entry ban of equipment and necessary supplies for fishermen. Consequently, hundreds of fishermen are effectively unable to provide their families’ basic needs, such as food, medicine, clothing, and education.

The impact of the new Israeli decisions would deepen the humanitarian and living crises in the Gaza Strip, especially raising unemployment, poverty and food insecurity.

West Bank:

In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals movement between villages and cities and deny civilians’ access to their work. IOF established 29 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 4 of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against individuals movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Ramallah and Al-Bireh:

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 13 August 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to al-Arroub refugee camp and at the entrance to Beit ‘Awwa village.
  • On Friday, 14 August 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrance to Idhna village, at the eastern entrance to Dura, at the southern entrance to Hebron, and at the western entrance to Hebron.
  • On Saturday, 15 August 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints on Beit Einun road and at the entrance to Ash-Shuyukh village.
  • On Sunday, 16 August 2020, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the western entrance to Hebron, on Abu Risha road, at the entrance to Rabud village, and at the entrance to al-Fawwar refugee camp.
  • On Monday, 17 August 2020, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Idhna village, at the entrance to al-Fawwar refugee camp and at the entrance to Kurza village.
  • On Tuesday, 18 August 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to al-Fawwar refugee camp and at the entrance to Beit Ummar village.

Nablus:

  • On Saturday, 15 August 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at al-Moraba’a intersection, south of Nablus.

Jenin:

  • On Saturday, 15 August 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at Ti’inik village intersection, southeast of Jenin.

Salfit:

  • On Friday, 14 August 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Salfit.
  • At approximately 12:45 on Friday, IOF closed a metal detector gate established at the entrance to Haris village, north of Salfit, and re-opened it at 14:00.

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 13 August 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Kafr Laqif village, east of Qalqilya.
  • On Friday, 14 August 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to ‘Izbat al-Tabib village and between Qalqilya and Hableh village.
  • On Sunday, 16 August 2020, IOF established 2 checkpoints between Jayyous and Nabi Ilyas, and at the entrance to ‘Izbat al-Tabib village in eastern Qalqilya.

Tulkarm:

  • On Friday, 14 August 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Tulkarm.
  • On Sunday, 16 August 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Qaffin village, north of Tulkarm.
  • On Monday, 17 August 2020, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Beit Lid village, east of Tulkarm.

No place for justice in UN dictionary: Lebanese journalist

Source

June 28, 2020 – 15:18

TEHRAN – Mohamad Kleit, a Lebanese journalist specialized in international affairs and geopolitics, tells the Tehran Times that the United Nations celebrates its 75th anniversary, while this international organization has failed to achieve justice.

“Considering Israel is the “U.S. pampered baby”, metaphorically speaking, any international resolution would be negligible if it doesn’t preserve Israeli interests, even if those interests were ethnic cleansing against Palestinians, preservation of the illegal and inhumane blockade on the Gaza Strip and building illegal settlements on the Palestinian soil in the West Bank,” says Kleit, who is deputy editor at U-News Agency.

On the future of the United Nations, Kleit notes, “I personally see that the role of the UN will be minimized considering that major powers are out their taking what they want with disregard to any UN resolution or the disruption of global stability.”

The text of the interview with Mohamad Kleit is as follows:

Question: The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War with several objectives primarily the prevention of war and maintaining peace in disputed areas. But the UN has failed to prevent war and fulfill peacekeeping duties many times throughout its history. In your opinion, what have been the main causes of this passivity?

Answer: The United Nations’ passivity is basically caused by the strong political powers controlling some of its major and most critical decisions; particularly by the United States of America which spent $10 billion in 2018 (almost 30% of UN’s peacekeeping operations are funded by the United States). This affects United Nations and its Security Council’s decisions in areas that the U.S. is directly involved in, for example, Syria, Yemen, Iraq in 2003, and others.

“Considering Israel is the “U.S. pampered baby”, metaphorically speaking, any international resolution would be negligible if it doesn’t preserve Israeli interests, even if those interests were ethnic cleansing against Palestinians, preservation of the illegal and inhumane blockade on the Gaza Strip and building illegal settlements on the Palestinian soil in the West Bank,” says Kleit, who is deputy editor at U-News Agency.

On the future of the United Nations, Kleit notes, “I personally see that the role of the UN will be minimized considering that major powers are out their taking what they want with disregard to any UN resolution or the disruption of global stability.”

The text of the interview with Mohamad Kleit is as follows:

Question: The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War with several objectives primarily the prevention of war and maintaining peace in disputed areas. But the UN has failed to prevent war and fulfill peacekeeping duties many times throughout its history. In your opinion, what have been the main causes of this passivity?

Answer: The United Nations’ passivity is basically caused by the strong political powers controlling some of its major and most critical decisions; particularly by the United States of America which spent $10 billion in 2018 (almost 30% of UN’s peacekeeping operations are funded by the United States). This affects United Nations and its Security Council’s decisions in areas that the U.S. is directly involved in, for example, Syria, Yemen, Iraq in 2003, and others.

“They (UN) didn’t call out who was clearly responsible for this (Yemen) catastrophe, yet they called for a political solution back in 2016 in Kuwait that would indirectly preserve the Saudi Arabia’s interest while acknowledging the newly formed government in Sana.”

It also acts as a pressure force on political issues, most recently the Israeli atrocities against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, where Israel doesn’t abide by any Security Council decision nor UN resolutions ever since the entity joined the UN. This is because the U.S. has close ties and joint interests in Israel, thus it is not dealing with the Palestinian cause in an objective manner, where the U.S. always sides with Israel, consequently belittling any UN resolution, regardless how righteous and just it is.

Q: Ever since the creation of the Jewish state in 1948, Palestinians have been fighting against what a UN investigator once described as Israel’s ethnic cleansing. Today Israel controls dominantly over Palestine territories. It also has imposed a crippling blockade on Gaza and is continuing its construction of illegal settlements on occupied lands in defiance of several UN resolutions calling for an end to those activities. What is your take on it?

A: As in other areas of turmoil and disruption, the UN has its hands tied because of the U.S. financial advantage over its regular budget. This poses a threat and jeopardizes any resolution issued by the UN in matters the U.S. would consider part of its so-called “national security”, which, as history taught us, extends across the world far from the U.S. national borders.

Now considering Israel is the “U.S. pampered baby”, metaphorically speaking, any international resolution would be negligible if it doesn’t preserve Israeli interests, even if those interests were ethnic cleansing against Palestinians, preservation of the illegal and inhumane blockade on the Gaza Strip, building illegal settlements on the Palestinian soil in the West Bank, or even detainment of Palestinian children for investigation while mistreating prisoners of opinion and protests.

History has also taught us that Israel has never once abided by any UN resolution that isn’t fully in its favor, even when it’s waging an occupation like the one in 1982 in Lebanon or bombing civilian sites in Syria that is being internally war-torn since 2011. It also, rudely, disrespects any UN resolution that is internationally consented, like Resolution 1701 to end the 2006 war on Lebanon that was unanimously approved by the United Nations Security Council on 11 August 2006, where each side of the war (Lebanese Resistance Movement and Israel) goes back to their international borders before the war started in July, yet Israel, until this day, violates Lebanese airspace with fighter jets and occasionally targets civilian, scientific, and military targets in Syria from the Lebanese airspace.

Q: Saudi Arabia has been incessantly pounding Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to crush the popular Ansarullah movement and reinstate former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a staunch ally of the Riyadh regime. Many experts accuse the UN silence regarding Saudi Arabia’s aggression and argue that the UN has failed to send humanitarian aid and support to civilians amid a blockade imposed on the war-torn country. What is your thought?

A: Justice is a negligible term in international books; it is only used when the elite nations preserve their interests on the expense of smaller powers, or helpless nations in that case. The Saudi-led coalition, that is supported militarily and politically by (just to name a few) the UAE, USA, UK, France, Israel, Egypt, Bahrain, and other nations, launched a war on Yemen in 2015 that has been described by the UN itself as “one of the worst human catastrophes in modern history.” The war started on the request of the ousted Yemeni president Abed Rabu Mansour Hadi, who took Aden for refuge after a large-scale protest in the capital Sana, where a coalition of Yemeni parties rules now, most prominently Ansarullah led by Abdul Malek al Houthi. Now considering Ansarullah’s opposition to Saudi Arabia’s control over Yemen (Saudis controlled and interfered in Yemen’s politics and economy for over 40 years during the reign of Ali Abdullah Saleh and then Mansour Hadi), which would jeopardize what they call “national security”, thus they launched a full-scale war on Yemen that has led to the death of well-over 30,000 persons and displaced millions, while 19 million are suffering from poverty and in danger of famine.

What did the UN do? They didn’t call out who was clearly responsible for this catastrophe, yet they called for a political solution back in 2016 in Kuwait that would indirectly preserve Saudi Arabia’s interest while acknowledging the newly formed government in Sana. The talks failed because of the continuation of hostilities until 2018 in Stockholm, where another round of talks happened to mark a breakthrough, yet the war is still ongoing with more complications and disasters to put in short.

From 2015 until this day, neither did the UN nor the international community point out that it’s Saudi Arabia and the UAE which are the direct causes of the catastrophe by a huge margin, with the help of the U.S., Israel, the UK, and France, yet they put both sides (the Saudi-led coalition and the Sana government) as equally responsible for the war… It is quiet intriguing for a man shooting an AK47 and an RPG to be held the same responsibility as another man flying an F-16 with U.S. satellites giving him pin-point directions (not all the time though) with missiles that have proven to have the ability to put entire villages to the ground. This is a major problem that stands in the way of any problem-solving procedure that would be in the best interest of Yemen’s future, which is pointing out who holds responsibility for the problem in a just and fair way, not on the basis of equality.

Q: The United Nations is celebrating its 75th anniversary, while it is dealing with serious challenges, including poverty, disease, environmental breakdown, ongoing conflicts, and so on. In your view, is the UN ready to face the future?

A: In addition to the ongoing global crises from Palestine, Yemen, to general African wars, to the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, the Coronavirus and its financial backlash put huge pressure on the UN, as well as the rise of alt-right movements and populist ideologies affect the on-the-ground operations of the UN. One major example is U.S. President Donald Trump retreating from the World Health Organization with accusations that it is siding with China (U.S. economic rival), as well as cutting funding for UNRWA which is specialized with Palestinian refugees. Both cases place huge pressures on both organizations, considering that the U.S. is their biggest donor. The first one is a political decision to pressure WHO into joining the “Ideological Cold War” (as China’s Foreign Ministry named it) against China, while the second is to pressure the Palestinian authorities into accepting Trump’s “Deal of the Century” which is completely a pro-Israel agreement basically aimed to give full control of the West Bank to Israel.

These are just examples of what the UN is going to face from the U.S., in particular, as a cost for its not-so-total kneeling to the man in Washington. I personally see that the role of the UN will be minimized considering that major powers are out taking what they want with disregard to any UN resolution or the disruption of global stability.

UNRWA to Turn Schools into Clinics as Precautionary Measure against Coronavirus in Gaza

March 17, 2020

Using humble means, a refugee worker sterilizes the streets in Al-Shati refugee camp. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza has decided to separate patients with respiratory diseases from other patients as part of its efforts to fight the coronavirus, Quds Net News reported yesterday.

In order to carry out this measure, UNRWA converted a number of its schools into clinics and has started to install the necessary equipment, in a precautionary procedure to guarantee the safety of Palestinian refugees in Gaza

Meanwhile, the international organization stressed that it would not receive any of the patients of respiratory diseases in any clinics where other patients are being treated.

UNRWA said the schools would be sterilized before the resumption of classes.


Meanwhile, the international organization stressed that it would not receive any of the patients of respiratory diseases in any clinics where other patients are being treated.
UNRWA said the schools would be sterilized before the resumption of classes.

“The truth is, no amount of ‘preparedness’ in Gaza – or, frankly, anywhere in occupied Palestine – can stop the spread of the Coronavirus,” wrote Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Ramzy Baroud in a recent article.

“The truth is, no amount of ‘preparedness’ in Gaza – or, frankly, anywhere in occupied Palestine – can stop the spread of the Coronavirus,” wrote Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Ramzy Baroud in a recent article.

“What is needed is a fundamental and structural change that would emancipate the Palestinian healthcare system from the horrific impact of the Israeli occupation and the Israeli government’s policies of perpetual siege and politically-imposed ‘quarantines’ – also known as apartheid,” Baroud added.

(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)

Trump’s “Deal of the Century”

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Part I—The Deal of the Century

Trump’s “Deal of the Century”—An Analysis (26 June 2019) by Lawrence Davidson

President Trump’s peace plan for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, or at least the economic side of it, was discussed at a meeting in Bahrain on June 25 and 26. The plan, euphemistically entitled “Peace to Prosperity” and the “Deal of the Century” is also, inaccurately, likened to a “Marshall Plan for Palestinians.” It is based on the assumption that money, ultimately the better part of $50 billion, can lure the Palestinian people into surrender—that is, the surrender of their right to a state of their own on their stolen ancestral land as well as the right of return for the 7.5 million Palestinians who have been forced into exile. Upon surrender, according to the plan, “an ambitious, achievable … framework for a prosperous future for the Palestinian people and the region” will be put into place. How this idealized future is to be integrated into the apartheid and Bantustan system of control that constitutes the Israeli government’s “facts on the ground” is left unexplained.

This bit of gilded bait was put together by “senior White House adviser” Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law; Jason Greenblatt, chief lawyer of the Trump Organization and now U.S. envoy for international negotiations; and David Friedman, the president’s bankruptcy lawyer who is now the U.S. ambassador to Israel. All of these men are at once unqualified for their present positions as well as Zionist supporters of Israeli expansionism. It is not surprising then that the Israeli government has welcomed this effort. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he “would listen to the American plan and hear it fairly and with openness.” On the other hand, the Palestinian West Bank leader, Mahmoud Abbas, who is boycotting the Bahrain meeting, said, “As long as there is no political [solution], we do not deal with any economic [solution].”

There are no doubt some Palestinians who are upset at Abbas’s position: perhaps some business people, often-unpaid bureaucrats, and a portion of the frustrated middle-class, who will be dearly tempted by the promise of all that money. These are people who, given over a century of struggle, see no hope of a just political settlement. Nonetheless, those tempted might consider these facts:

(1) All those billions of dollars are, as yet, hypothetical. The money is not in the bank, so to speak. And, it is not a given that Trump can actually raise the funds. Thus, for all those ready to trade justice for dollars, it might be premature to actually make the leap.

(2) There is a prevailing belief among the Trump cabal putting this plan together that the Palestinians themselves are incapable of running the proposed development programs. They are assumed to be too corrupt or tainted with “terrorist” backgrounds to be trusted. Thus the question of who would run this effort (Israelis? American Zionists? anyone other than those dedicated to Palestinian interests?) is left unanswered. Relative to this question, it should be kept in mind that the Israelis have made something of a science of robbing the Palestinians of their resources. They are hardly likely to stop now.

(3) The raising of money for the Trump plan is in competition with a UN effort to raise $1.2 billion for UNRWA, the agency that supports programs for Palestinian refugees. This fund-raiser is literally running at the same time as the Bahrain meeting. If the Trump plan gains traction, there might well be pressure to shut down UNRWA altogether.

Is this really an honest proposal to provide the Palestinians with prosperity? The history of “third world” development efforts sponsored by and run under the guidance of “first world” powers, be they Western governments or institutions like the IMF, is largely one of failure.There is no reason to believe that the Trump plan will fare any better. While these problematic economic efforts may eventually fall short, the political conditions almost certain to be attached to the aid will probably require immediate cessation of all anti-Zionist activities, including the relatively successful ongoing boycott of Israel.

Part II—The Precedent

It might come as a surprise, but this is not the first time that financial bribery to procure Arab cooperation with Zionist ambitions has been tried.

There is a historical precedent for Donald Trump’s attempted “deal of the century” that is detailed my book, America’s Palestine (cheap used copies of which are available on line). Here is how that precedent went:

Back in 1942, the Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann told members of the U.S. State Department’s Division of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA) that Winston Churchill wished to make the Saudi king, Ibn Saud, “the boss of bosses in the Arab World.” The only condition to this offer was that Ibn Saud must “be willing to work out with Weizmann to achieve a sane solution to the Palestine problem.” Weizmann further claimed that the U.S. president Franklin Roosevelt was “in accord on this subject.”

The response of the head of the NEA, Wallace Murray, a man who knew the Middle East much better than did Chaim Weizmann, was one of skepticism. Murray noted that British influence over Ibn Saud was small and that he doubted the Saudi king wanted to be the Arab “boss of bosses.” Finally, he expressed doubt that anything the Zionists would consider a “solution” would be something Ibn Saud would consider to be “sane.”

Nonetheless, the Zionists persisted along these lines and soon came up with a plan where, in return for a Jewish Palestine, Ibn Saud would be made the “head of an Arab federation in control of a “development” budget of 20 million British pounds.”

At this point Murray became adamant that this would never work. He predicted that Ibn Saud would interpret the offer as a bribe—the offer of a throne in exchange for turning Palestine over to the Zionists. He would interpret the 20 million pounds as a “slush fund.” Consequently, there was every reason to believe that the Saudi ruler would see this whole plan as a personal insult. So Murray suggested that “the less we have to do with the … proposals of Dr. Weizmann the better.”

As it turned out Roosevelt disagreed with Murray and after a conversation with Weizmann in early June of 1943, authorized an approach to Ibn Saud along the lines of the Zionist plan. Why did he ignore Murray in favor of Weizmann? Because Murray’s accurate assessment of Ibn Saud conflicted with FDR’s stereotyped view of Arabs. This is revealed in the minutes of the June meeting with Weizmann wherein the president said that “he believes the Arabs are purchasable.” In other words, following a common Western view, the president saw the Arabs as a backward people who would do just about anything for the right amount of “bakshish.”

Subsequently, the entire scheme came to naught when, in the fall of 1943, Ibn Saud rejected it out of hand. He would subsequently tell FDR that the Jews should “be given the choicest lands and homes of the Germans who had oppressed them.” When the president replied that the Jews would not wish to stay in Germany after the war, Ibn Saud noted that the “allied camp” had “fifty countries” in it. Surely they could find enough open space (he even alluded to the underpopulated areas of the American West) to take in Europe’s Jewish refugees. Roosevelt came away from the exchange rather shaken. He finally understood from it that “the Arabs mean business” when it comes to Palestine.

Part III—Conclusion

The world has changed a lot since the 1940s. Ibn Saud has been replaced by the Saudi Crown Prince Muḥammad bin Salmān. This can be seen as real step down in terms of personal integrity and strategic judgment. Franklin Roosevelt has been replaced with Donald Trump. I will let readers make their own judgments on this change. Actually, the thing that has stayed constant, perhaps because it was always devoid of real empathy for the Palestinians, is the nature of Zionist leadership. Thus, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, has said that the only way the Palestinians can be economically liberated is through their political surrender. But as suggested above, Israel is now a confirmed apartheid state that feels its own “security” necessitates both military and economic control of the Palestinians. Given that reality, Danon’s notion of economic liberation means about as much as Weizmann’s promise of someone else’s (i.e., Britain’s) money. And then there is the replacement of Chaim Weizmann (the Zionist pre-state leader) with Benjamin Netanyahu. The former may have had more persuasive charm than the latter, but certainly their goals were, and continue to be, the same.

It is Zionism’s ambition to possess biblical Palestine that has reduced the Palestinians to destitution. Perfectly predictable and legal Palestinian resistance is the excuse the Israelis use to cover up the segregationist and impoverishing policies that are necessitated by their ideological worldview. And now Donald Trump and his Zionist son-in-law come forward with their plan, fully expecting the Palestinians to trust the Americans and their Israeli allies to make them “developed” and prosperous? I wonder what Ibn Saud would say to that?

About Lawrence Davidson
Lawrence Davidson is professor of history emeritus at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He has been publishing his analyses of topics in U.S. domestic and foreign policy, international and humanitarian law and Israel/Zionist practices and policies since 2010.

Deal of the Century: The Zionist-American Religion Trading

 

By Ihab Shawqi – Egypt

The Arab media chose to ignore the details of a recent visit to occupied Palestine by US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo despite their unprecedented scope and gravity. These details include a tour by Pompeo and “Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of occupied al-Quds and the tunnels located underneath the Old City’s Muslim quarter. In an underground center tasked with preparing for the construction of the supposed Jewish temple over the ruins of al-Aqsa, the two men watched a virtual reality recreation of the structure. The videos of the visit are available and can be seen by everyone. Pompeo was seen signing papers that were said to be an agreement on the establishment of the temple. However, this cannot be confirmed since he may have been merely signing the so-called guest book. Still, the actual visit and his inspection of the structure model are documented and confirmed.

In a sit-down with the Christian Broadcasting Network during the visit, the interviewer Chris Mitchell noted that “Israel” was celebrating the Purim holiday.

“Esther, 2,500 years ago, saved the Jewish people with God’s help from Haman,” he said, in reference to the Persian Empire. Mitchell then asked Pompeo “could it be that President Trump right now has been sort of raised for such a time as this, just like Queen Esther, to help save the Jewish people?” Pompeo replied that “as a Christian I certainly believe that’s possible.” He then went on to say “I am confident that the Lord is at work here.”

Here, we are not discussing the matter from a religious point of view, but rather from a political standpoint – perhaps from the standpoint of “trading with religion” in politics. David Ben-Gurion has said “‘Israel’ has no meaning without Jerusalem [al-Quds] and Jerusalem [al-Quds] has no meaning without the Temple.”

Al-Quds and its religious centrality is a strategic treasure for any occupying force to legitimize the occupation. However, annexing al-Quds without the temple does not give justification to the Zionist occupier. Besieging and fighting Iran do not seem convincing enough without conjuring up the Purim holiday and saving the Jewish people from the Persians. This as the American bias transcending all international laws and customs cannot be justified without conjuring up religion and Queen Esther “the messenger of the Lord to the Jews”!

Here, we can discuss the so-called deal of the century and try to analyze its background and objectives. According to all the leaks, there are disparities that can only be relevant for two reasons. The first is its frequent occurrence in the leaks, and the second is its uniformity with the evidence, practices and statements. We can monitor the common aspects between these leaks then try to deduce and analyze the links between them as well as the hidden objectives. As for the common aspects between these leaks, they can be outlined as follows:

  1. The two-state solution and possibly preparations for a long-term solution under certain conditions have taken a back seat.
  2. Resolving the issue of al-Quds as the capital of the “Israeli” enemy. There may be a discussions regarding the status of the Islamic holy sites and placing them under the supervision of a joint Palestinian-Jordanian body.
  3. Resolving the issue of control over the West Bank in general by securing the entrances and exits for the “Israeli” enemy, as well as the issue of “Israeli” control over settlements and villages inhabited by the Zionists, with a kind of autonomy given to the rest of the West Bank, but under Zionist control.
  4. Linking the West Bank to Gaza via a land route, while putting Gaza under the rule of the Palestinian authority when it is retrieved from Hamas.
  5. The talk about financial aid packages instead of US preemptive measures to stop UNRWA funding for the Palestinians.
  6. The talk about recognition of the “Israeli” entity by the Arab states.

These are perhaps the more common aspects between the many leaks. Some of which are related to land exchanges with neighboring countries such as Jordan and Egypt. There are other details that are exaggerated and unreasonable, despite all the official Arab mistakes, weaknesses and the sheer slacking off. The full picture will be revealed once the deal is officially announced.

As for the links between these common aspects, they can be outlined as follows:

First: Washington’s preemption policy. It is a kind of coercive diplomacy characterizing the Trump administration. This preemption policy is represented in the transfer of the US Embassy to occupied al-Quds, the cessation of UNRWA funding and the recognition of the annexation of the occupied Golan to the Zionist enemy. Thus, the move is the preemptive closure of the debate over the situation of the Golan and al-Quds. It is also a kind of starvation, creating a carrot for the Palestinians represented in aid packages when the deal is accepted.

Second: Most of what has been leaked regarding the deal is a practical reality. The enemy controls the security situation in the West Bank and al-Quds. The intention, however, is to legitimize this reality and cut the road of the resistance. Thus, resisting this situation would be considered contrary to agreements and an illegal rebellion.

Third: This point is perhaps most important and the main purpose of the deal. The official recognition of the Zionist state. Simply, this recognition puts any opposing state, here specifically Iran and the axis of resistance, in an odd political situation. The axis would appear to be opposing international legitimacy after all the Arabs, whose central cause over the past century has been Palestine, recognized the legitimacy of “Israel”. This introduces us indeed to a new and different century where the Zionists are being recognized while those who are not recognized are considered illegitimate. Perhaps this is the secret behind naming this suspicious deal as the Deal of the Century.

Therefore, we are heading towards a process of legitimizing difficult and practical situations. This is a new attempt to isolate the resistance in a way that it appears to be violating international legitimacy as well as new situations on the ground threatening al-Aqsa Mosque in order to resolve the dispute over al-Quds since the existence of Islamic holy places is a pretext for the Palestinians to fight for “Israel’s” eternal capital.

This is a very serious matter. This deal may follow the method of gradualism and imposing the reality step-by-step. It all depends on time, more humiliating Arab concessions, and weakening the resistance due to the siege and political isolation.

Perhaps these are the Zionist-American calculations. But the resistance has its own calculations and responses. The Palestinian people also have their appropriate response. Meanwhile, absent from the scene is the role of the rest of the Arab and Islamic peoples. We hope that this role returns before the reclaiming of rights becomes more costly.

israel (apartheid state) burying nuclear waste in Syria’s Golan: UN

Israel burying nuclear waste in Syria’s Golan: UN

UN troops stand near a watch tower at Syria's Quneitra crossing in the occupied Golan Heights on September 27, 2018. (Photo By AFP)UN troops stand near a watch tower at Syria’s Quneitra crossing in the occupied Golan Heights on September 27, 2018. (Photo By AFP)

UN chief Antonio Guterres will unveil Monday a report which accuses Israel of burying radioactive nuclear waste in the Golan Heights, a Syrian territory under occupation for over five decades.

Guterres will submit the report – which is based on Syria’s charges against Israel – to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) at the panel’s 40th session, set to open in Geneva Monday and run through March 22.

“The Syrian Arab Republic noted that Israel continued to bury nuclear waste with radioactive content in 20 different areas populated by Syrian citizens of the occupied Syrian Golan, particularly in the vicinity of al-Sheikh Mountain,” the report says.

“The practice has put the lives and health of Syrians in the occupied Syrian Golan in jeopardy, and constituted a serious violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention,” it added.

Israel is the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, but its policy is to neither confirm nor deny having atomic bombs. The regime is estimated to have 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal.

Israel is not a member of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which aims is to prevent the spread of nuclear arms and weapons technology.

Tel Aviv seized the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and has continued to occupy two-thirds of the strategically-important territory ever since.

Over the past decades, Israel has built dozens of settlements in the Golan Heights in defiance of international calls on the regime to stop its illegal construction activities.

The UN report further accuses Israel of “providing logistical support to terrorist groups,” such as the Nusrah Front which is affiliated to al-Qaeda.

Israel, the report says, is providing terrorist groups with weapons, ammunition, money and medical care to frighten the local population and to maintain a no-go zone along the Syrian border.

The report also censures Israel’s decision “to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan” as “null and void and without international legal effect,” calling on the regime to “rescind forthwith its decision”.

The Syrian army has repeatedly seized huge quantities of Israeli-made weapons and advanced military equipment from militant groups.

Tel Aviv has frequently attacked military targets inside Syria in an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering defeats at the hands of Syrian government forces.

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Israel’s angry response 

The UN report drew an angry reaction from Israel, with its foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon dismissing it at “another false report from the UNHRC which specializes in attacking Israel.”

The UNHRC had initially said that at this four-week session it would publish for the first time its data base on companies doing businesses with illegal Israeli settlements. Israel has reportedly worked behind the scenes to prevent the publication of the data base.

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The UN body is also expected to debate Israeli actions against Palestinians along the fence between the besieged Gaza Strip and the occupied territories.

كلفة السياسة على الاقتصاد

سبتمبر 27, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– أربعة نماذج أمامنا تكفي لقراءة كلفة السياسة على الاقتصاد بطريقة تجعل الفقر والعوز والركود من جهة وارتفاع الأسعار وتفشي الفساد وارتفاع المديونية من جهة أخرى، سمات الاقتصاد العالمي والإقليمي واللبناني. فما يعيشه الاقتصاد الأوروبي جراء العقوبات الأميركية على روسيا وإيران تتحدث عنه بالأرقام الدوريات الأوروبية المتخصصة، حيث يشكل السوق الروسي سوقاً للاستثمار والتصدير لكبريات الشركات الأوروبية، وكانت إيران بعد التفاهم على ملفها النووي فرصة واعدة تسابقت إليها الشركات الأوروبية. وجاءت العقوبات الأميركية على تركيا ضربة أميركية ثالثة على الرأس الأوروبي. ووصل الأمر إلى حدّ قول المستشارة الألمانية إنّ العقوبات الأميركية على روسيا وإيران تكاد تكون عقوبات مباشرة على أوروبا وشركاتها، بينما على المقلب الآخر من العالم إجراءات حرب تجارية أميركية بحق الصين سينتج عنها في حال نجاحها وقف النمو الاقتصادي الصيني والتسبّب بأزمة معيشية لبلد المليار ونصف المليار نسمة، وفي حال فشلها ستتسبّب برفع الأسعار في سوق السلع الاستهلاكية العالمية، التي تشكّل السلع الصينية الرخيصة فيها متنفساً للفقراء على مساحة العالم.

– النموذج الثاني يقدّمه الوضع في الخليج، حيث استنزفت دول الخليج النفطية ثرواتها ومدخّراتها ووارداتها في الإنفاق لإرضاء الجشع الأميركي بمئات مليارات الدولارات طلباً للدعم السياسي، وأنفقت الباقي على حرب عبثية في اليمن. وتشجع حكومات الخليج الإدارة الأميركية على تصعيد العقوبات على إيران، وخلق أزمة عالمية في سوق الطاقة، على عكس ما تقتضيه المصالح الاقتصادية لشعوب المنطقة، وفي مقدّمتها شعوب دول الخليج ذاتها، والنتيجة المنطقية المعلومة لهذا التصعيد إقدام إيران على إغلاق مضيق هرمز أمام الصادرات النفطية الخليجية، وما ستجلبه من متاعب لدول الخليج أولاً، وربما تصعيداً عسكرياً تدفع ثمنه منشآت الحياة الحيوية الحيوية اليومية لسكان الخليج من تهديد لمحطات الكهرباء ومحطّات تحلية المياه.

– النموذج الثالث ما تشهده عمليات الربط السياسي القسري التي يجريها الأميركي ويفرضها على بعض الدول الأوروبية وتسير وراءهما اغلب الدول العربية، بربط عودة النازحين وإعادة إعمار سورية بالحل السياسي الذي يناسب دفتر الشروط الأميركي من جهة، وربط المساهمات في تمويل وكالة غوث اللاجئين الفلسطينيين، بدفتر شروط إسرائيلي، ما يعني متاجرة بالآلام والمعاناة لملايين البشر بمنع شروط الحد الأدنى من مقومات الحياة التي يستحقونها، خدمة للسياسة. وفي المقابل وخصوصاً في عملية إعادة إعمار سورية ضرب فرص الاستثمار الواعدة التي تنظرها الشركات العالمية للمشاركة في عملية إعمار سورية كفرصة اقتصادية هائلة الإمكانات والوعود.

– في لبنان نماذج كثيرة مشابهة، لعل أولها هو التلاعب السياسي بقضية العلاقة بسورية وما تضيعه على لبنان واقتصاده من فرص في التصدير والاستثمار، والمشاركة في ورشة إعادة الإعمار، لكن أهمّها ما قدّمته لنا الجلسة النيابية من تمرير سياسي، بعيداً عن فرص الدراسة الهادئة والعلمية للمصالح الاقتصادية، في مقاربة مشاريع القوانين المتصلة بمقررات مؤتمر سيدر، فالتهدئة السياسية التي يحتاجها البلد، والقلق المالي الذي يجتاحه، شكلا سبباً أو مبرّراً للقفز فوق البعد الاقتصادي الصرف في مقاربة هذا الملف، بمثل ما تضيع فرص مناقشة هادئة وعلمية لملفات الكهرباء والنفايات بعيداً عن الخنادق السياسية وبصورة علمية مجرّدة، ويسيطر على كلّ نقاش حساب العصبيات الدنيا قبل حساب المصالح العليا.

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Sayyed Nasrallah Welcomes Idlib Accord: Hezbollah to Remain in Syria

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Nasrallah announced that this year was the year of ISIL’s end militarily in the region, saying Hezbollah will remain in Syria until further notice.

In a televised speech marking the tenth night of Muharram in Beirut’s southern suburb on Wednesday, Sayyed Nasrallah said Hezbollah will remain in Syria as long as the Syrian administration views our presence as necessary. “As long as the Syrian leadership needs us we will stay there.”

Sayyed Nasrallah delivers a televised speech on the tenth night of Muharram“No one can force us out of Syria. We will stay there until further notice.”

“We will remain there even after the Idlib accord,” his eminence said, referring to a Russian-Turkish deal on Idlib, but indicated that the quietness of the fronts and less number of threats will naturally affect the number of Hezbollah fighters present. “With the Idlib accord, if everything is done correctly, we can suppose that Syria will head towards a great calm, and in concrete terms there will no longer be front lines.”

The leader welcomed the outcome of the Iranian, Russian and Turkish diplomacy to spare Idlib a military offensive that could have led to a catastrophic humanitarian situation, saying it was a step towards political solution in Syria but urged a careful implementation of the agreement. On Monday, Russia and Turkey agreed to exclude the military solution in Idlib in favor of enforcing a new demilitarized zone in Syria’s Idlib region from which terrorists will be required to withdraw by the middle of next month.

“This year is the year of ISIL’s end militarily in the region, and this is a great and very important victory for the region and salvation from a great ordeal,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

Sayyed Nasrallah tackled the continuous Israeli attacks on Syria, saying they have nothing to do with transfer of arms to Hezbollah. “A lot of Israeli attacks on Syria have nothing to do with arms transfers to Hezbollah and Israel is seeking to prevent Syria from obtaining missile capabilities that guarantees it a balance of terror,” Sayyed Nasrallah indicated.

The Zionist army claimed Tuesday that strikes a day earlier on Latakia targeted a Syrian facility that was about to transfer weapons to Hezbollah on behalf of Iran.

“The Israeli attacks on Syria are only connected to the Israeli-US-Saudi fiasco. Such attacks on Syria had become unbearable anymore, it must be stopped,” Hezbollah’s S.G. pointed out. “The continuous Israeli aggression against Syria is being carried out under various excuses and claims that Iran is arming Hezbollah in Latakia are totally baseless,” he added.

Hezbollah leader elaborated on US influence on some internal and regional axes, saying: “We view the US administration as an enemy, however, others in the region consider it a friend and ally. I ask the Lebanese who have different viewpoints towards the US administration, can you give us a clue on its friendship?”

“I ask US allies in the region, Is consolidating ‘Israel’ in the favor of the Arab peoples? Is America a friend of the Palestinian people as it fights them to deprive them of their right to have their own state? Is America’s boycott of UNRWA in the interest of Palestinians and Lebanese? Is [US President Donald] Trump’s recognition of Al-Quds as the Israeli capital in the favor of the Palestinian people? Is it not the US who came with Takfiri groups to the region?” Sayyed Nasrallah wondered.

He said Washington was helping the Saudi-led coalition in its war on Yemen, and warned all regional actors about the consequences of cooperating with the US in its plots against the region.

“The US is threatening the people of the region by imposing sanctions on them. The US administration had even become fed up with the International Criminal Court and threatened to take measures against it,” his eminence said, assuring that the real ruler in some Arab and Islamic countries was the US ambassador.

He also said the US was the one pushing towards naturalization in Lebanon in favor of ‘Israel’. “Who’s in favor of a demographic change in Lebanon and Syria? we are before countries and political forces who are obstructing the return of refugees.”

“Who in some Arab and Islamic countries would dare to condemn the US interference in internal affairs? Isn’t the way the US is dealing with the Palestinian cause has its effect on Lebanon?”

Supporters gather to salute their leader in the tenth night of Muharram

Sayyed Nasrallah, however, praised the Iraqi people who were able to reject the US dictations despite pressure and threats.

Relatively, his eminence said Lebanon cannot be separated from what’s happening in the region. “Dissociation is a serious controversial issue in Lebanon, as the events in the region are critical for the Lebanese people. Had ISIL controlled Syria, what would have the destiny of Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Gulf states been?” All Lebanese parts, he said, intervened in the Syrian crisis each according to their capabilities.

His eminence also accused the US of prolonging ISIL’s presence in some areas Northeast of Syria. “ISIL is being transferred to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt and Yemen via US helicopters,” he said.

In the meantime, Sayyed Nasrallah said the case of East of Euphrates was linked to the US decision, calling on the Kurds not to bet on Washington. He addressed Kurds in Syria by saying that “Washington could abandon you at any price, I urge you to negotiate with the Syrian government.”

Turning to the stalled Cabinet formation process, the Hezbollah leader said “obstruction and paralysis” were prevailing, but assured that no one can eliminate anyone in Lebanon. He said in this context that Hezbollah will submit anti-corruption and anti-backup bills.

“Those who are conspiring on our region, like US, ‘Israel’ and who stand behind them, will not concede defeat,” Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out, uncovering that Hezbollah was exposed to threats like threats of an upcoming war, “but they are more psychological than factual.”

Hezbollah’s leader warned that what’s being written and said via social media was part of a war scheme against Hezbollah. “All of this propaganda aims at distorting Hezbollah’s image and credibility.”

However, he called on people to be wise in what they post and share on social media and to remain cautious.

At the end of his speech, the S.G. said the resistance in Lebanon was the first to make victory in Lebanon and the region. “Those leaders, men, officials and incumbent environment are the ones who kicked ‘Israel’ out of Lebanon and made the first Arabic historical victory,” his eminence added. “Hezbollah fighters are the ones who repelled the most dangerous catastrophe that could have plagued Lebanon and the region.
Addressing those who are waging a campaign against Hezbollah, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “you will eventually fail in this psychological war because we base our readiness to sacrifice on our beloved Imam Hussein (AS) who is the symbol of dignity and sacrifice.”

Source: Al-Manar English Website

 

 

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وقف تمويل «أونروا» آخر مظاهر الظلم الاميركي

سبتمبر 5, 2018

عمر عبد القادر غندور

لم تترك الولايات المتحدة الأميركية وخصوصا في زمن ترامب، وسيلة لإيذاء الشعب الفلسطيني إلا وفعلتها! فهي تولّت منذ العام 1948 رعاية وحماية «دولة إسرائيل» متعهّدة بضمان أمنها وديمومتها واستمرارها شوكة لا في خاصرة العرب والمستعربين بل في حلقهم «واللي ما عجبوا يروح يبلط البحر»!

اليوم يوقف ترامب تسديد حصة بلاده لوكالة «أونروا»، ويقول انّ 500 ألف فلسطيني يمكن اعتبارهم لاجئين وهم الذين ولدوا في الأراضي المحتلة عام 1948! ويقول صهره مهندس صفقة القرن جاريد كوشنر: «لا يمكن إبقاء الأشياء ساكنة مكانها بل يجب المخاطرة والعمل على تفكيك الأشياء بطريقة استراتيجية، وانّ الاونروا برعايتها للاجئين تعرقل حلّ القضية الفلسطينية».

بذلك يُعرّض ترامب خمسة ملايين فلسطيني في الأردن وسورية ولبنان للمزيد من العوز والمرض والجهل، ويتمادى في عنجهيته وعنترياته ويهدّد الدول التي تسعى لتعويض الحصة الأميركية لـ»أونروا» وقيمتها 300 مليون دولار بالحظر والعقاب، وهي لا تساوي صفراً من الأموال التي يصادرها من الدول النفطية في الخليج!

ترامب يباهي اليوم بأنّ صفقة القرن لابتلاع الحق الفلسطيني بموافقة عرب الصهاينة، هي الحلّ الأمثل لطيّ هذه الصفحة الى الأبد، وهو بالتأكيد لا يدرك انّ مفاعيل هذه الصفقة لن تؤدّي الى استقرار وسترتدّ عليه، وستؤدّي الى انبعاث صحوة لا يعلمها إلا الله، لقناعة انّ الظالم هو خصيم الله ومصيره إلى زوال وانّ الظالم ملعون، وسيتأكد ترامب إذا بقي في موقعه انّ مكره وسعيه لإنهاء قضية شعب بأكمله لن يتحقق، وهو واهم، لأنّ للتاريخ سنن لا يدركها إلا العاقل، ولينظر إلى عاقبة من سبقه من الظالمين…

رئيس اللقاء الإسلامي الوحدوي

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ترامب يشطب حق العودة

قرار أميركي بوقف تمويل «الأونروا»
اعتراف واشنطن حصراً بالجيل الأول من اللاجئين يقلصهم إلى 10% (أ ف ب )

بقدر ما كان القرار الأميركي في نقل السفارة إلى القدس المحتلة، يحمل رمزية سلب عاصمة فلسطين التاريخية، جاء قرار وقف تمويل «الأونروا» بالكامل، ليمهّد لمرحلة عملية جديدة عنوانها العريض، تصفية «قضية فلسطين»، من بوابة «حق العودة»، وتحويلها إلى أزمة لاجئين تخنق دول الجوار، وتحاصر مقاومي الاحتلال

لم تكن قرارات وتوجهات زعماء «البيت الأبيض» يوماً لغير خدمة إسرائيل، ولكن إدارة الرئيس دونالد ترامب، منذ وصلت إلى الحكم، شرعت في تنفيذ خطوات عملية هي الأخطر على مصير القضية الفلسطينية، والفلسطينيين، كما على دول جوار فلسطين، بدءاً من نقل السفارة الأميركية إلى القدس، ووصولاً أمس إلى إعلان وقف تمويل «وكالة الأمم المتحدة لإغاثة وتشغيل اللاجئين الفلسطينيين» (الأونروا). هذا الإعلان، الذي جاء بعد تمهيد طويل من الجانب الأميركي، يستهدف بشكل مباشر إنهاء «حق العودة» للاجئين الفلسطينيين في كل العالم، ويهدد بخلق أزمة حساسة ومعقدة في بلدان الجوار، وبخاصة في بلد مثل لبنان. ومن خلف ذلك كله، هو يؤسس لمحاولة إفراغ فكرة المطالبة بفلسطين كبلد للفلسطينيين من دون غيرهم، وإحباط أي فعل مقاوم ضد الكيان الإسرائيلي المحتل. ولطالما شكل وجود اللاجئين الفلسطينيين في دول الجوار، مسألة خلافية، استثمرت في السياسة وغيرها، ولكنه في الوقت نفسه، ساهم في تكوين وعي وذاكرة، تربت عليها أجيال من رافضي وجود إسرائيل. اليوم، تحاول إدارة ترامب إعدام فكرة «اللاجئ» الفلسطيني المهجّر من أرضه المحتلة، لتحوّله إلى مثل غيره من اللاجئين ممن تعاني بلدانهم من إشكالات أمنية أو كوارث طبيعية، ولكنه ـــ على خلافهم ـــ مجرد من وطن يعود إليه. تعويم اللاجئين في الخارج، مقروناً بجهود إسرائيل لتهويد وطمس جميع المعالم الفلسطينية في الداخل، هو نهج لإلغاء شعب، ومن خلفه فلسطين. ولا ضير، بالنسبة للولايات المتحدة وإسرائيل، من تحويل قضية اللاجئين إلى أزمة تخنق دول الجوار ــ وبخاصة التي ما زالت تعتبر فلسطين أرضاً محتلة. أمس، أعلنت وزارة الخارجية الأميركية، إنهاء تمويل «وكالة الأمم المتحدة لإغاثة وتشغيل اللاجئين الفلسطينيين» (الأونروا)، واصفة إياها بـ«المنحازة في شكل لا يمكن إصلاحه». وقالت الناطقة باسم الوزارة هيذر نويرت، إن إدارة الرئيس دونالد ترامب ترى أن «الأونروا» تزيد «إلى ما لا نهاية وبصورة مضخّمة» أعداد الفلسطينيين الذين ينطبق عليهم وضع اللاجئ، مضيفة أن المشكلة «تتعدّى الحاجات التمويلية وعدم تحقيق تقاسم متوازن في الأعباء» بين المانحين، بل تتّصل بـ«نموذج الأونروا نفسه». وسبق لمستشار الأمن القومي الأميركي جون بولتون أن مهّد لهذا القرار في زيارته الأخيرة لفلسطين المحتلة (19 آب الفائت)، حيث استنكر قيام الأونروا بما سمّاه «توريث» صفة اللاجئ، مكرراً الدعاية الصهيونية التي تزعم أن اللاجئين هم الجيل الأول من الذين «خرجوا» من فلسطين عام 1948، وأن أبناءهم وأحفادهم ليسوا لاجئين!

«حماس» للأمم المتحدة: لا نقبل أي تحسينات على حساب «الأونروا»

وهذا سيؤدي بدوره إلى عجز «الأونروا» عن تنفيذ المهمات التي وجدت من أجلها. وفي هذه الحالة، سيحوّل ملف اللاجئين وفق البروتوكول إلى «المفوضية السامية» (UNHCR)، الأمر الذي أظهره البند الثاني والعشرون من الوثيقة التي تحمل الرقم HCR/GIP/17/13، وتتضمن إرشادات وتوجهات توضيحية بخصوص المادة (1 د) من اتفاقية 1951 الخاصة بوضع اللاجئين القانوني، التي صدرت أواخر 2017 من دون أن يعترض عليها أحد (راجع العدد 3357 في 27 كانون الأول 2017). وبالطبع، لا تعترف المفوضية بحق العودة، بل ستضع خيارات محدودة أمام اللاجئين: العودة الطوعية إلى البلد الأصلي (غير وارد في الحالة الفلسطينية بعد اعتراف الأمم المتحدة بإسرائيل عام 1949)، أو التوطين في بلد اللجوء (هنا يخرج اللاجئ من نطاق خدمات المفوضية في حال حصوله على جنسية بلد يستطيع حمايته، وهذا الحل يسقط حق العودة لكل الفلسطينيين في الأردن ممن يحملون أرقاماً وطنية تثبت أردنيتهم، ويمثل هؤلاء 41% من أعداد اللاجئين المسجلين لديها). والحل الأخير توطين اللاجئين في بلد ثالث، أي أن المفوضية ستعمل كوكيل توطين «بتعاون دولي».

تبعاً لهذا الأمر، وفي خطوة متقدمة لمعالجة وقف التمويل عبر تقليص عدد الموظفين في الوكالة (وهم لاجئون أساساً)، أصدر المفوض العام لـ«الأونروا»، بيير كرينبول، تعميماً يقضي بمنح الموظفين المحليين المعينين بعقود دائمة أو عقود محدودة الأجل، فرصة «الترك الطوعي الاستثنائي» من الوكالة. وحدد التعميم مدة ثلاثين يوماً يستطيع الموظفون خلالها تقديم طلبات الترك الطوعي، أي حتى السادس والعشرين من الشهر الجاري. وأشارت الوكالة إلى «محدودية الأموال المتوافرة لدى الوكالة والفترة الزمنية القصيرة» حاثة بذلك على الاستعجال في تقديم الطلبات، لكنها أكدت أن ذلك مسموح لمن خدم 10 سنوات على الأقل. ويشار إلى أن «الترك الطوعي الاستثنائي» أكثر شمولاً من «التقاعد الطوعي المبكر» الذي اقترح في وقت سابق، لأنه سيزيد عدد الموظفين الذين قد يرغبون في ترك الخدمة من الوكالة هذا العام.

ومن الواضح أن العمل على إنهاء «الأونروا» أو تقليص خدماتها إلى ما دون المستوى المقبول فلسطينياً يجري على خطوات تدريجية من الجانبين الأميركي والإسرائيلي، مع الالتفات إلى أن تل أبيب حذرت واشنطن من الضغط بصورة تنهي عمل الوكالة في غزة حالياً (راجع العدد 3541 في 14 آب). حتى أنه على رغم إعلان «الأونروا» بدء العام الدراسي الجاري في موعده المحدد (راجع العدد 3546 في 21 آب)، فإنها أصدرت بياناً تذكر فيه أن الحد الأعلى للطلاب في الصف الواحد هو خمسون طالباً في المباني التابعة لها، زائدة بذلك 10 طلاب على الصف، كما زادت عدد الحصص الدراسية على المعلمين.

إلى ذلك، علمت «الأخبار» أن «حماس» أرسلت عبر الوسطاء الدوليين رسالة إلى الأمم المتحدة قالت فيها إنها لا تقبل أي تحسينات في غزة على حساب «وكالة غوث وتشغيل اللاجئين الفلسطينيين» (الأونروا)، أو أن يحول جزء مما كان يدفع للوكالة لمصلحة مشاريع داخل القطاع، مطالبة إياهم بـ«تحسين الوضع في غزة عبر إيجاد 50 ألف وظيفة بصورة عاجلة للمتعطلين عن العمل، مع ضرورة إعادة الوظائف التي ألغيت في الأونروا».


463 ألف لاجئ في لبنان
يبلغ عدد اللاجئين المسجلين على لوائح «الأونروا» في لبنان، وفق تقرير صادر عن الوكالة في شهر كانون الثاني من العام 2017، 463664 لاجئاً، منهم أكثر من 36 ألف تلميذ في العام الدراسي 2016 -2017، موزعين على 67 مدرسة. وفي مجال الصحة، بلغ مجموع زيارات المرضى السنوية إلى مرافق تدعمها الوكالة، أكثر من مليون زائر. أما المستفيدون من برنامج شبكة الأمان الاجتماعي، فزاد على الـ60 ألف حالة. وفي قطاع البنية التحتية وتحسين المخيمات، بلغ عدد الوظائف التي تم استحداثها للاجئين الفلسطينيين جراء تداخلات البرنامج نحو 440 وظيفة، فيما فاق عدد الموظفين المحليين الـ3 آلاف.

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US’ Haley Says Palestinians’ Right of Return Should Be Taken “Off Table”

 August 29, 2018

US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that the Palestinians’ right of return to their occupied land should not be raised in any future Israeli-Palestinian talks.

Speaking on Tuesday at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Haley has questioned the right of return, claiming the world body’s count of those refugees is an exaggeration.

Asked whether the issue should be “off the table,” Haley replied, “I do agree with that, and I think we have to look at this in terms of what’s happening (with refugees) in Syria, what’s happening in Venezuela.”

“So I absolutely think we have to look at the right of return,” she added.

The Palestinian right of return is a political position or principle based on which Palestinian refugees are entitled to go back to the territories now occupied by Zionists. They also have the right to the property they left behind or were forced to abandon when they were expelled from their homeland in the aftermath of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

The Palestinians have for years insisted on their right to return as part of any solution to their decades-long conflict with the Israeli regime.

Haley was in fact suggesting that the highly pro-Israel administration of President Donald Trump would consider an official rejection of that Palestinian demand as it prepares to unveil its so-called “deal of the century” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The US envoy further questioned the UN’s count of Palestinian refugees, which stands at over five million according to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

She stressed that the US funding for UNRWA would only continue if major reforms were implemented, saying “the Palestinians continue to bash America” and yet “they have their hand out wanting UNRWA money.”

“We will be a donor if it (UNRWA) reforms what it does … if they actually change the number of refugees to an accurate account, we will look back at partnering them,” Haley said.

She further noted that the US cannot be faulted for slashing funding to UNRWA when countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait do not give more money to the agency.

Earlier this month, the American magazine Foreign Policy reported that Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, had been pushing to remove the refugee status of millions of Palestinians as part of an apparent effort to shutter UNRWA.

Source: Press TV

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