Israeli troops arrest Palestinian journalist in West Bank

PRESS RELEASE
Committee to Protect Journalists – MENA

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Beirut, February 16, 2018–The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the arrest of Palestinian journalist Abdul Mohsen Shalaldeh. Israeli security forces arrested Shalaldeh, a reporter for the Hamas-affiliated Quds News Network, at his home in the southern West Bank town of Sa’ir, on February 15, according to news reports, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, and Shalaldeh’s brother, Loay.

Loay Shalaldeh and Nabhan Khraishi, the communication officer of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, told CPJ that Israeli troops seized three phones–two of which belonged to Abdul Mohsen Shalaldeh –and a laptop, in a dawn raid on the journalist’s house.

Loay Shalaldeh added that the family has not been told where his brother is being held or the reason for his arrest.

The Israeli Defense Forces did not immediately reply to CPJ’s email requesting comment.

“Israeli security forces should either bring charges against Palestinian journalist Abdul Mohsen Shalaldeh so that he can defend himself, or release him immediately and cease interfering with his ability to do his job,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour from Washington, D.C. Read more »

The Great Return March (GRM) – First statement

PRESS STATEMENT
The Coordinating Committee- The Great Return March (GRM)

In the Name Of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful

“Return is the people’s choice”

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With firm faith in Allah and trust in Him, and with belief in the sacred right of the Palestinian refugees to return, we announce the dawn of return to our homeland; a rally that has just been launched and will develop to weave the strands of return from the hopes of our homeless people, the sacrifices of our prisoners and wounded, and the struggles of our people.

It is a continuation of our long struggle that includes the 2011 March of Return and the 2012 Global March to Jerusalem.

The war of 1948 ended 70 years ago and there is absolutely no justification for the refugees to be prevented from returning to their homes.

International resolutions were adopted, notably Resolution 194 calling for the return of the refugees. Now, the decision is in their hands for they have determined to exercise their inalienable right of return peacefully, at a time of their choice.
The Palestinian refugees have never been far removed from their homes; many live just a few hundred meters away, or simply separated from their original homes by barbed-wire fences. The time to return has come. Read more »

Euro-Med warns of distressing humanitarian situation of Palestinians trapped at Gaza-Egypt crossing

PRESS RELEASE
EURO-MED

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Geneva- the distressing situation of Palestinians stuck on both sides of the Rafah border crossing and inside Cairo airport following the Egyptian authorities’ decision to close the crossing for passengers traveling in and out of Gaza, constitutes a tragedy to many of stranded patients and students, warns the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor.

“security personnel at the airport were holding about 100 people, , in one room, without providing them with food, drink or sleeping blankets

The Egyptian authorities have allowed the opening of the Rafah border crossing to secure the travel and return of Palestinian citizens out and to the Gaza Strip after a complete closure that lasted about 50 days. The Palestinian citizens were surprised by the Egyptian authorities’ sudden decision to shut it down, only two days after it was opened. This decision coincided with Egypt’s launch of a military campaign in the Sinai Desert, which led to holding hundreds of passengers returning to the Gaza Strip at Cairo airport, as well as on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing.

The Egyptian authorities allowed only 650 stranded passengers to head to the Gaza Strip to cross during the opening of the border crossing. Hundreds of other Palestinian citizens are still stranded and held on the Egyptian side of the crossing. Further, the Egyptian authorities have ordered the return of more than 44 vehicles loaded with Palestinians to Cairo Airport again, and refused to let them in. Read more »

Hamas’ military wing raises level of alert to defend Palestinians

HAMAS

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Hamas’ military wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, announced on Saturday evening rising level of alert to defend the Palestinian people from any Israeli aggression.

On his twitter account, Al-Qassam Spokesman, Abu-Obeida, said: “The Brigades have raised the level of alert to protect our people and respond to any Zionist aggression in the light of the ongoing events taking place in northern occupied Palestine.”

The Israeli occupation army announced early Saturday morning that two Israeli pilots were injured –one of them seriously – after their F-16 fighter jet was shot down by Syrian forces in Galilee.

Commenting on the incident of the Israeli fighter, Hamas Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said: “This is a natural response to the continuous Israeli aggression on the Syrian lands.”

He added: “It is the right for all nations to defend their lands and their own security and stability in case they were targeted by any occupation.”

UN rights office issues report on business and human rights in settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory

PRESS RELEASE
UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

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GENEVA (31 January 2018) – The UN Human Rights Office on Wednesday issued a report detailing its work on producing a database of business enterprises engaged in certain, specific activities in the occupied Palestinian territory that are either explicitly linked to Israeli settlements or form part of processes that “enable and support the establishment, expansion and maintenance of Israeli residential communities beyond the Green Line.”

The UN Human Rights Council mandated the Office in March 2016 to produce a database of all business enterprises engaged in specific activities related to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, in consultation with the Working Group on business and human rights, recalling the illegality of the settlements under international law.*

The Human Rights Council resolution followed the report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem which, in 2013, found that business enterprises had “directly and indirectly, enabled, facilitated and profited from the construction and growth of the settlements.” The Fact-Finding Mission’s report provided a list of 10 activities that are either explicitly linked to the settlements or enable and support their establishment, expansion and maintenance. Read more »

UNRWA denies strike in Gaza today

PRESS RELEASE
UNRWA

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Contrary to some reports, there was no strike in Gaza today and UNRWA installations across Gaza were not closed because of industrial action.

There was a memorable and peaceful solidarity walk by thousands of UNRWA employees from our office in Gaza City to the UNSCO office to hand over a letter to the President of the General Assembly, expressing concern about funding reductions and their potential impact.

While people stayed away from work for a few hours, UNRWA had a prior deal with the Staff Union that essential services like food distribution would not be disrupted.

Haniyeh calls for new national Palestinian strategy

HAMAS

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The head of Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh called for setting up a national strategy to confront the American and Israeli plans that deliberately target the just Palestinian cause. This came in a speech he delivered on Tuesday in Gaza city.

National Strategy

Haniyeh said that the national strategy should foster Palestinian unity and expedite efforts to achieve reconciliation, noting that adopting resistance as a core pillar for this strategy is very important particularly in light of the utter failure of negotiations.

He added as well that the Palestinian decision should be taken made through national consensus and this entails reconstructing the PLO. Haniyeh hailed the unique Palestinian steadfastness and the Arab and Muslims nations’ reaction in supporting Jerusalem. Read more »

Mixed bag of news and actions this week

Mazin Qumsiyeh

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“We came and turned the native Arabs into tragic refugees. And still we dare to slander and malign them, to besmirch their name. Instead of being deeply ashamed of what we did and trying to undo some of the evil we committed we justify our terrible acts and even attempt to glorify them.” Nathan Chofshi, 9 February 1959

REFLECTIONS: US Vice President Pence finally came to our region after some delays because no one would receive him accept his Zionist paymasters. It took four weeks of pressure for him to get the meetings with the Egyptian dictator Sisi and the Jordanian king Abdullah.

Egypt was easier than Jordan.

Jordan had essentially expelled the Israeli ambassador after an Israeli guard murdered two Jordanians.

The compromise made with Zionist pressure (Zionist Kushner and Zionist Greenblatt) was a half-hearted “regret” from the Israeli government and some compensation money. This after Netanyahu still considers the Israeli murders of Jordanians as a heroic action and there will be no penalty for the murderer (mark my words).

Anyways like many things, the Zionists carry big sticks and Pence finally came to dictate the will of his masters.

Some people attribute his slavishness to his Christian Zionist up-bringing. But like Harry Truman who claimed in public that he supported Zionism (against advise of all people around him) for religious reason and to help the “poor Jews”, in private he articulated exactly why he did this: Zionists had money and power over US media to help him win election.

Same for Pence and Netanyahu (or Obama for that matter).

These politicians have no morals and they work for Rothschild more than for their own public.

My wish is that Arab leaders would learn that standing up to Zionists (and by extension to Washington which is also Zionist occupied territory) is not only possible, but is an existential necessity!!

We should learn from Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Lebanon, Yemen, and China the meaning of dignity!

Working on these big existential problems can be done by thinking globally and acting locally, as we are doing here at the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University

Mazin Qumsiyeh
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home

Alan Hart’s last recommendation to us Palestinians

Mazin Qumsiyeh

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A giant intellectual and kind human being and friend Alan Hart wrote his first book about Yasser Arafat and since then many other books on Zionism and more. Alan passed away January 15 at age 75.

The last message I received from Alan was 27 October 2017 and it has the two most succinct recommendations for us Palestinians which are timely today: Read more »

Statement of the UNRWA Commissioner-General

PRESS STATEMENT
UNRWA

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Not for the first time in its proud history, UNRWA faces a formidable challenge in upholding its mandate – an expression of the will of the international community – and preserving key services like education and health care for Palestine Refugees.

Today, the US government has announced a contribution of $60 M, in support of our efforts to keep our schools open, health clinics running, and emergency food and cash distribution systems functioning for some of the world’s most vulnerable refugees. While important, this funding is dramatically below past levels. The total US contribution in 2017 was above $350 M. Read more »

Hamas will not take part in NPC meeting

PRESS RELEASE
HAMAS

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Press release issued by the member at Hamas political bureau, Hussam Badran

Hamas has received an invitation to attend the next meeting of the National Palestinian Council with positivity and appreciation and addressed the matter seriously based on the notion of backing all efforts to unify the Palestinian people in the face of all current thorny challenges.

Hamas sees that the upcoming NPC meeting should be held outside the occupied Palestinian territories to escape from the Israeli pressure and to make way for a real chance for all Palestinian powers to meet and take part in this historical and important phase.

The meeting should be proceeded by a preparatory meeting in which all sides agree upon all the important points to be discussed at the central meeting.

All sides are to participate at the preparatory meeting in order to ensure that the central meeting will take unprecedented decisions that would r rise to the occasion of this historical phase and a firm to stand against the American and Israeli attacks against our Palestinian people.

Devoting its principle of supporting all efforts aimed at unifying the Palestinian people, Hamas held a series of meetings to look into the invitation of the NPC and came up with a result that the current conditions will not pave the way for the NPC to take serious and historical decisions, or to achieve a genuine political review. Therefore, Hamas will not take part in the upcoming meeting.

We will share our thoughts of what is needed from the NPC regarding the current stage in a document that we will be sending later.

In addition, we call upon sides who will take part in the meeting to take decisions that would rise to the occasion.

Hamas rejects Mladenov’s description of Palestinian resistance as terrorism

PRESS STATEMENT
HAMAS

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The Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas” rejects the statement that the peace envoy in the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov made and in which he described the Palestinian resistance as being “terrorist”. Mladenov knows precisely that under international law, the real terrorist is the Israeli occupation who kills children, violates sanctities and commits massacres. Hamas also asserts that Mladenov is well-aware that resistance is a legitimate right for any people who live under occupation and the Palestinian resistance came to be because of the occupation, and that its primary role is to restore the stolen rights of the Palestinian people.

The Islamic Resistance Movement “ Hamas”

10th of January ,2017

Al Arouri: Likud’s decision is as dangerous as Trump’s

HAMAS

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The deputy head of the Politburo of Hamas, Saleh Al Arouri warned of Likud’s decision to annex the West Bank and Jerusalem to the occupied lands. “It is just as dangerous as Trump’s decision,” he added.

During an interview with Al Jazeera Channel, Arouri stated, “We, along with our people, will not succumb to the American decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of the occupation.”

He pointed out that Likud’s decision unleashes settlement construction in the West Bank relentlessly which means eliminating any opportunity for the so-called negotiations based on the international laws to resolve the Palestinian cause.

Al Arouri praised all regional and international efforts rejecting Trump’s decision assuring that any way of resistance will have an impact.

He added: “We expected more effective and practical measures from the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation( OIC) meeting.” Read more »

UNAC STATEMENT ON JERUSALEM

PRESS STATEMENT
The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)

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The decision of the Trump administration to declare that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that the US will move its embassy to Jerusalem is a violation of the rights of the Palestinian people, of international law and a number of United Nations resolutions. It is a bipartisan action which is supported by most Democrats and Republicans in Congress and by past presidents from both parties. It once again affirms Washington’s support for the brutal Zionist regime in Israel and its genocidal policies towards the Palestinian people. Read more »

UN rights chief denounces Israeli forces’ shooting of man in wheelchair

PRESS RELEASE
Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Photo: Irish Friends of Gaza

Photo: Irish Friends of Gaza

GENEVA (19 December 2017) — The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said Tuesday he was “truly shocked” at the killing of a wheelchair-bound amputee by Israeli Security Forces close to the fence between Gaza and Israel last Friday.

Ibrahim Nayef Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh, a 29-year-old man from Gaza who reportedly had both legs amputated after an Israeli attack on Gaza in 2008, was among hundreds of Palestinians who were marching across farmland towards the fence following Friday prayers on 15 December to protest against the United States’ decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. He appears to have been killed by a bullet to the head when he was approximately 20 meters from the fence.

“The facts gathered so far by my staff in Gaza strongly suggest that the force used against Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh was excessive,” Zeid said. “International human rights law strictly regulates the use of force in the context of protests and demonstrations. The lethal use of firearms should only be employed as the last resort, when strictly unavoidable, in order to protect life. However, as far as we can see, there is nothing whatsoever to suggest that Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh was posing an imminent threat of death or serious injury when he was killed. Given his severe disability, which must have been clearly visible to those who shot him, his killing is incomprehensible – a truly shocking and wanton act.” Read more »

Last gamble?

Mazin Qumsiyeh

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The people of the world are waking up despite the fact that most mainstream media is now “managed” to give that Zionist message of danger about Iran, Hizbollah etc while ignoring the war crimes and crimes against humanity being perpetuated daily by Israel and its puppets like Mohammad Bin Salman.

What media is not managed, is blocked in most of the Arab world run by those dictators.

The mainstream media is complicit in ensuring people are not aware of what is going on.

Imagine if a Muslim sniper shot an American, or a Jewish double amputee who lost his legs to another Muslim attack years earlier? How would the media have reacted.

How would the media react if a dictator who is not friendly to the US was doing what he and his senile father were doing now? They just arrested the rich guys in their country and even visiting rich guys from other countries (like Hariri from Lebanon and Sabeeh Amasri from Jordan) and are stripping them of heir wealth! They are beheading any opposition. Read more »

Israeli violations since Trump’s Jerusalem decision

HAMAS

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Protests continued for the second week across the West Bank and Gaza Strip against President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Israeli Occupation. During the first week of December 2017, nine Palestinians were killed and 611 were injured, according to the Intifada Center.

Moreover, the Israeli Occupation Forces withheld 15 bodies of the Intifada martyrs and arrested 174 citizens, 92 of whom are children. The arrests were concentrated in Hebron, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nablus, Tulkarm, and Qalqilia.

The number of the arrested MPs is now 12, following the detention of Hassan Yousef from Ramallah. Read more »

Head of Hamas outside Palestine: Jerusalem cannot be divided

HAMAS

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The head of Hamas outside Palestine, Maher Salah assured that Jerusalem cannot be divided and Trump’s decision will not change the city’s history or geography.

During his speech at Hamas festival on its 30th anniversary in Lebanon, Salah stated that Jerusalem is the core of the conflict and will remain the eternal capital of Palestine pointing out that Trump’s decision will fail once and for all.

He affirmed that Hamas aims to resist the Israeli Occupation, to liberate the land and Palestinians, and to establish the state of full sovereignty over entire Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital.

He pointed out that resistance in all its forms is the strategic choice to achieve freedom, especially after the failure of the so called peace process. Read more »

Song of Martyrdom: For Ibrahim Abu Thurayya

Dr Haidar Eid
Palestine Chronicle

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In 2009, 21-year-old Ibrahim Abu Thurayya, together with some other youngsters, was targeted by an Israeli F16. He lost both legs. On December 15, 2017, Ibrahim was killed by an Israeli sniper on the eastern borders of Gaza while carrying a Palestinian flag and peacefully protesting against American president’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Ibrahim was a wheelchair-bound double amputee!

What is the message that apartheid Israel wanted to send to us, Palestinian, by brutally killing Ibrahim in broad day light? Read more »

Haniyeh: Our determination will prevent Trump’s decision

HAMAS

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Head of Hamas’s political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, said that the will of our people and our nation and the free world will prevent the decision of Trump from being carried out.

Haniyeh said in a televised interview on Al-Quds television Friday evening that the mass rallies that were organized across Palestine and the world, confirm its absolute rejection of Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli Occupation’s capital.

He said, “We are witnessing a major transformation on the ground which means that the US administration is isolated, and these rallies and the ever-growing world consciousness will topple Trump’s decision”. He also called on the masses of the people in Palestine and worldwide to continue and progress with the rallies in support of Jerusalem.

“Fooled are those who believe that our position will only be limited to condemnations and demonstrations”.

Haniyeh elaborated that all Palestinian parties are moving towards a strategic framework on all levels to resist the Israeli Occupation until Palestine is liberated.

On the movement’s part, Haniyeh stressed that Hamas will work at all levels to overthrow the decision, saying that the decision cannot change the reality of history and the identity of the city, which is directly linked to the hearts of Palestinians and Muslims worldwide.

Resistance unites us

He stressed that unity manifests inside Palestinians through our resistance and the Intifada. He added, “Oslo has torn us a part, but resistance will re-unite us”.

Head of the movement pointed out that he had made many contacts with Arab and Islamic leaders regarding Jerusalem, and noted that he received a call from the Emir of Qatar and briefed him on his efforts on Jerusalem.

Haniyeh stressed that huge efforts are underway to adopt and program a strategic framework worldwide in support of Jerusalem.

UN Security Council

Regarding the UN Security Council, Haniyeh demanded the Council to stop the Israeli aggression on Palestine. and the support and covering it relishes from the US administration.

He stressed that Trump’s decision will destabilize the region and world peace.

Hamas’s chief leader thanked the eight countries, particularly Egypt, that requested a security council meeting to study the serious developments.