Archive for the 'Palestine' Category

Bethlehem Besieged: Checkpoints in the Birthplace of Jesus

Visualizing Palestine

bethlehem-286-x-400

In years past, Bethlehem has been an agricultural market, a significant pilgrim and tourist centre, and a trade town closely linked to Jerusalem. When Israel’s occupation of West Bank started in 1967, this link was cut off for the first time in 2000 years, impeding pilgrimage to holy sites, and Bethlehem today is surrounded by a landscape dotted with gun turrets and barbed wire. Historic stone and stucco buildings are eclipsed not by its poetic terrain of steep hills and abundant pastures, but by the eight-meter-high segregation wall which snakes over 80 kilometers into the district, used by Israel to illegally annex territory.

Palestinian Christians are not immune to dispossession and oppression as part of the ongoing Israeli occupation, and many have been forced to emigrate from one of the holiest places of Christianity amidst isolation and crippling economic conditions. With its agricultural land seized and colonised, and its tourism-dependent economy hit hard, the unemployment rate in Bethlehem is the highest in the West Bank.

Through this visual, we begin to map the barriers and illegal encroachments that strangulate Bethlehem under the Israeli occupation.

As Father Ibrahim Shomali, a Catholic priest of the city’s Beit Jala parish, declared in December 2011, “If Jesus were to come this year, Bethlehem would be closed.”

UNRWA Condemns Demolition of a Kindergarten in the Occupied West Bank

PRESS STATEMENT
Chris Gunness, UNRWA spokesperson

Jerusalem 26 July, 2018: Yesterday morning at 0700hrs the Israeli Security Forces entered the Jabal al Baba Bedouin Palestine refugee community in the West Bank, close to the outskirts of East Jerusalem and dismantled and removed a donor funded structure that serves as a kindergarten for 28 children (3-6 years old) and a women’s centre. The school has been demolished once and dismantled twice so this is the third time within a year that the pre-school refugee children in this community have been deprived of having a safe place to play and learn.

This demolition comes against a backdrop of the intensification of Israeli measures in the context of plans for the relocation of communities. There are concerns that these communities in Area C of the West Bank at the outskirts of East Jerusalem face an increasingly coercive environment. UNRWA strongly condemns the demolition and calls for an immediate halt to such demolitions in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

UNRWA condemns the killing of a refugee child during military raid in the occupied Palestinian territory

PRESS STATEMENT
Chris Gunness, UNRWA Spokesperson

dixosinwaaa9kfn-400-x-266

Jerusalem, 25 July 2018: During a large scale incursion by the Israeli security forces (ISF) into Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem on 23 July, a fourteen year old Palestine refugee student at UNRWA’s Basic Boys School in the camp was shot and killed, reportedly with live ammunition. Preliminary reports suggest he was not armed. UNRWA condemns the killing of children and calls for an independent and transparent investigation to establish the cause and circumstances of this death.

Across all 19 refugee camps in the West Bank since the beginning of 2017 until now, 10 refugees have been killed and 129 (27 minors) injured by live ammunition. All of these fatalities occurred in the context of ISF operations in and around the camps. In Deheisheh alone since the beginning of 2017, three Palestine refugees have been killed and 55 (including 13 children) injured by live ammunition. Read more »

End of mission statement of the UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices

PRESS STATEMENT
United Nations Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories

Life without light in Jabalia

Life without light in Jabalia

GENEVA/AMMAN (23 July 2018) – The United Nations Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories has heard grave concerns about the deteriorating situation of human rights, during its annual visit to Jordan.

The Committee’s three-member delegation was told that discriminatory measures against the Palestinians were on the rise in a climate of impunity, with the continuation by the occupying power, Israel, of its deliberate and unlawful policies and practices.

The delegation also heard testimony on a range of human rights issues, including arrests and detentions, the restriction of movement, destruction and confiscation of property, expansion of settlements, and poor detention conditions, as well as the excessive use of force by Israeli security forces and an overarching lack of accountability. Read more »

Palestinian Authority must be held accountable for brutal repression

PRESS RELEASE
FREE PALESTINE MOVEMENT

security1-400-x-225

The Free Palestine Movement condemns the brutal force used by the security forces of the Palestinian Authority (PA) on June 13, 2018 to stop Palestinian citizens, from peacefully demonstrating against PA sanctions on Gaza. These are in violation of Palestinian constitutional rights (the Palestinian Basic Law) and international treaties to which Palestine is a signatory.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the directors of the security forces and their operatives must be held accountable for these illegal actions, including assault on Palestinian citizens and the illegal arrest of dozens of civil protesters, including Ms. Amal Wahdan, a member of the Steering Committee of the Free Palestine Movement, without due process.

The Free Palestine Movement also expresses its support for the demands of the protesters themselves – that is, lifting the PA sanctions on Gaza. These sanctions operate hand in hand with the Israeli siege on the Strip that is supported by Arab regimes, the European Union and the United States. The “Lift the Sanctions” movement is continuing with marches and rallies on a daily basis, and we stand with that campaign and support its demands. Read more »

Occupied Palestinian Territory: Bleakest picture yet, says UN expert after regional visit

PRESS RELEASE
UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory

lynk-400-x-224

GENEVA (29 June 2018) – A UN expert has expressed alarm about the deterioration of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, saying reports received during his visit to the region this week painted the most dispiriting picture yet of the situation on the ground.

“After years of creeping Israeli de facto annexation of the large swathes of the West Bank through settlement expansion, the creation of closed military zones and other measures, Israel appears to be getting closer to enacting legislation that will formally annex parts of the West Bank,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, Michael Lynk. “This would amount to a profound violation of international law, and the impact of ongoing settlement expansion on human rights must not be ignored.”

Lynk travelled to Amman, Jordan this week to meet with civil society, government officials and UN representatives to collect information for his next report, to be presented to the 73rd session of the General Assembly in October 2018. Israel, the occupying power, has continued to prohibit him from travelling to the OPT.

“This is my third mission to the region since I assumed the mandate in May 2016, and the reports I received this week have painted the bleakest picture yet of the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” he said. Read more »

On the 12th anniversary of the attack on Jericho prison: Resistance continues until liberation

PRESS STATEMENT
Campaign to Free Ahmed Sadat

leader_ahmed_saadat-400-x-249

March 14, 2018 marks the 12th anniversary of the infamous Zionist attack on the Jericho prison and the kidnapping of Ahmad Sa’adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and his comrades Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, Majdi Rimawi, Hamdi Qur’an and Basil al-Asmar, along with Fuad Shoubaki, in a violent attack on the Palestinian Authority prison. The repercussions of this attack are still being felt today, as the kidnapped Palestinian leaders face lengthy sentences inside the prisons of the Zionist colonizer.

The assault on Jericho prison underlined the network of repression and collaboration that had already seen Sa’adat and his comrades imprisoned in a Palestinian Authority jail for over four years before the attack by Israeli occupation forces. Not only was the PA imprisoning Palestinian leaders and strugglers for their role in resistance to Israeli occupation, the prison at Jericho was secured not solely by Palestinian guards but by U.S. and British guards, colonial authorities maintained in place in order to cement their imprisonment. Among the British guards at Jericho prison reportedly were those who had previously served as prison guards against Irish republican prisoners jailed for their struggle against British colonization of Ireland.

Prior to the attack, the U.S. and British guards left their positions in a clear sign of coordination that made clear that their mission to “ensure the security” of the prisoners was always a mere facade; instead, they were present to serve the interests of the occupation, which carried out its assault on Jericho with U.S.-made and U.S.-funded weaponry and armed bulldozers. The imprisonment of Ahmad Sa’adat and his comrades is a direct result of the actions of U.S. and British forces alongside that of the Israeli occupation – not to mention the treachery of the Palestinian Authority. Read more »

Haniyeh calls for new national Palestinian strategy

HAMAS

hamas2-400-x-205

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 »

Alan Hart’s last recommendation to us Palestinians

Mazin Qumsiyeh

alan-hart-400-x-301

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 »

Last gamble?

Mazin Qumsiyeh

abut-400-x-225

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 »

Meshal calls for more pressure on US administration to retract its decision

HAMAS

meshaal-400-x-205

The former head of Hamas’s Politbureau, Khaled Mehsal, urged for more protests at popular and formal levels across all nations to confront the American decision and pressure the US administration to retract its decision on relocating its embassy to Jerusalem.

In a televised interview on Al Jazeera Friday night, Meshal stated: “What happened today was a crucial and a positive step and the Arab and Islamic nation (Ummah) shall continue on this path to force the US administration to retract its decision”.

On Palestinian level

Meshal also said that the Palestinian factions and all the Palestinian people alike have declared an Intifada across occupied Palestine. “This is a major step, but it’s still not sufficient enough. What we need today is: to consolidate the Palestinian entity and achieve reconciliation without any obstacles. Then we must adopt a unified strategy for resistance which includes the Intifada and resistance in all forms. All decisions and political moves must also be made jointly.

Meshal also pointed out that the Palestinian people have made way for the international community and Arab initiatives, but the result yielded nothing. “Today the issue is about Jerusalem which is a non-negotiable issue. We have no option but to hold on to Jerusalem”.

He also drew attention to the fact that the Palestinian people alone have forced the Israeli occupation to withdraw and retreat during a former battle at the Al Aqsa gates. “They succeeded and achieved victory as the world, except for a few countries, stood idly watching. We are adamant in our belief that we can repeat the same triumphant experience”.

last straw

Mazin Qumsiyeh

Trump’s decision dropped the last fig leaf and added the final straw that will indeed reshape Western Asia and Probably the world but not in ways that the Zionists who run the Trump administration planned or wished for. IT IS NOW TIME FOR ACTIONS.

t-b-400-x-267

The last fig leaf: Everyone now recognizes that the last fig leaf of the mythical/mirage ”two-state solution” have now ended with this z\announcement by Trump that illegal occupation and annexation of Arab Jerusalem is recognized by the government of the USA. In my 2004 book explaining why and how the “two state” public relations campaign is not a solution but was invented by Ben Gurion in the 1920s to keep the world thinking that Zionists want peace while they consolidated their power and extended their control and then expanded (eventually to the ultimate goal of the “Jewish empire”. Read more »

The UN Circus

Mazin Qumsiyeh

un-400-x-227

The big circus at the UN reminded us of characters from a Chinese Henghua puppet theater. The bombastic mingled with the fools, the idiots with the more idiotic, the funny characters and the puppets whose strings and overlaying hand were so poorly done. The strings sometimes got entangled. Everybody pretended in their own way to believe the show especially the characters themselves.

Netanyahu pretended that normalization with the Arab states will keep him his job as it will divert attention from his scandals. The pathetic Yemeni appointed Saudi puppet pretended that more bombing by western powers not of Yemeni children will regain him his lost presidency.

Newer actors slipped in a bit more authentic voices whether bombastic (Trump) or a bit more rational (Macron, Rouhani). But the old guard had the most easily recognized non-authentic voices.

The award for the best performance must go to Mahmoud Abbas who put on a good act pretending to his people and to others that begging and pleading works. Perhaps this is because he’s had the longest time on stage – since the 1974 ten-point program that pretended that appeasing the west gets you points.

His aides and advisors sheepishly explain to those who ask that he is helpless and that he must play the game. Thus, Abbas reasserted he will continue in peaceful ways to beg for a state along the 1967 borders even as any idiot knows this is never in the cards.

He asserted he will not demand basic human rights for all Palestinians but only those in 1967 areas.

The two-state “solution” (illusion), as any person who reads history, is the most ridiculous “make believe” part of this poor Henghua play.

There has never been in history a two state division of a country between colonizers and colonized.

Such struggles fall into three models/scenarios in terms of outcome: 1) an Algerian model, 2) an Australian model, 3) a Mexican or Brazilian model.

Since the first two are extremely unlikely (perhaps impossible), the third is the most common outcome – one state for all children of colonized and of colonizers.

There is no fourth scenario for outcome of such struggles.

But ultimately the question is what each of us wants and how WE work to achieve our objectives. Actions speak louder than words and we urge all to work together for a more peaceful, just, and environmentally sustainable world.

Stay Human

Mazin Qumsiyeh
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home
Professor and (volunteer) Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine

UNRWA Visit to Evicted Family in East Jerusalem

PRESS RELEASE
UNRWA

The Shamasneh family outside their home

The Shamasneh family outside their home

Jerusalem, 6th September 2017: The Director of UNRWA Operations in the West Bank, Scott Anderson, has paid a visit to the Shamasneh family, a Palestine refugee family residing in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, who had just been evicted from their home following an eight-year legal battle.

Expressing UNRWA’s support Anderson said “I am appalled at the resumption of forced evictions in Sheikh Jarrah and particularly worried about the humanitarian impact on this refugee family. I have expressed UNRWA’s solidarity with them and our commitment to address their immediate needs. We will also continue to advocate for the rights of Palestine refugees to be protected, and obligations under international law respected. The UNRWA Crisis Intervention Unit has been on-site providing immediate assistance to the family at this difficult time. Palestine refugees, who have already endured multiple episodes of displacement, should not be subjected to forced evictions”. Read more »

PFLP in Kobar urges broad campaign to rebuild demolished homes of resistance strugglers

PRESS RELEASE
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

kobar2-400-x-350

The Popular Front for the Liberation in the village of Kobar northwest of Ramallah urged the building of a broad popular campaign to rebuild the home of the family of Palestinian prisoner Omar Abdel-Jalil al-Abed and open the streets of the village.

On Thursday, 17 August, masked youths of the PFLP in Kobar went to the family home, attacked and bulldozed by the occupation forces, and decorated it with Palestinian flags. They painted on the remaining walls and throughout the village “Al-Fida’i Omar al-Abed” (The struggler, Omar al-Abed) as well as the image of Omar on the main street at the entrance to the village, sending a message to the occupation that the people embrace the resistance and their families. Read more »

Management and Politics Academy Launches Initiative for Reconciliation, End of Division

Press Release
Management and Politics Academy

Ameena Abdullah Abusalmiya

Ameena Abdullah Abusalmiya

Based on the national responsibility of the Academy for Management and Politics for Higher Education toward our Palestinian people, and based on our awareness of the national role, the academy launched an initiative for reconciliation and an end to the Palestinian division that targets all national forces and factions, especially Hamas and Fatah. This initiative comes following discussion with responsible parties, forces and a number of competent authorities.

The Academy appreciates the Hamas movement for its acceptance and adoption of the main components of this initiative expressed in a press release issued by Dr. Salah Al Bardawil, a member of the Political Bureau of the movement. We invite our brothers in the Fatah movement to also respond to this declaration and initiative, and we invite President Abu Mazen to respond to the national initiative and announce holding a full national dialogue leading to national reconciliation relating to all Palestinians’ issues whether immediate, interim, or strategic.

We invite Egypt to adopt this initiative and arrange a Palestinian-Palestinian discussion under Egyptian auspices that leads to Palestinian reconciliation.

The Academy hopes that this initiative will lead to dialogue with the participation of all political forces and public unions, to restore national unity and end the division. This will restore the status of the Palestinian national goals of freedom through ending the Israeli Occupation and achieving the legitimate goals of the Palestinian people: the right of return, and self-determination.

The Initiative follows: Read more »

Die, Suffer, You Kahba

by Gideon Levy
Source: HAARETZ

A horrific incident took place in the occupied territories last Thursday. It was no less despicable than the shooting of an incapacitated terrorist by Elor Azaria. Watching the video clip that documented the event turns one’s stomach. It’s revolting and infuriating, yet no media outlet in Israel paid any attention to it, reflecting the depths of apathy to which we have sunk.

On that day, a group of soldiers stood around a dying Palestinian girl who was writhing in pain, lying bleeding on the road. The soldiers competed with each other to see who could curse her using more vile language. These are your soldiers, Israel, this is their language, these are their values and standards. No one even thought of offering her medical aid, no one thought of silencing the outburst of detestable obscenities flying around the girl who was bleeding to death. This was an apt gift for the jubilee celebrations – from the good-looking paratroopers at the Western Wall to this beastly act at the Mevo Dotan checkpoint. Fifty years of occupation have brought us to this. Read more »

Israel’s New Cultural War of Aggression

Richard Falk
Opinion

Former United Nations Special Rapporteur for Palestine Richard Falk signs copies of his new book at an event hosted by MEMO on 20 March 2017 [Jehan AlFarra/Middle East Monitor]

Former United Nations Special Rapporteur for Palestine Richard Falk signs copies of his new book at an event hosted by MEMO on 20 March 2017 [Jehan AlFarra/Middle East Monitor]

A Small Battleground in a Large Culture War

A few weeks ago my book Palestine’s Horizon: Toward a Just Peace was published by Pluto in Britain. I was in London and Scotland at the time to do a series of university talks to help launch the book. Its appearance happened to coincide with the release of a jointly authored report commissioned by the UN Social and Economic Commission of West Asia, giving my appearances a prominence they would not otherwise have had. The report concluded that the evidence relating to Israeli practices toward the Palestinian people amounted to ‘apartheid,’ as defined in international law.

There was a strong pushback by Zionist militants threatening disruption. These threats were sufficiently intimidating to academic administrators, that my talks at the University of East London and at Middlesex University were cancelled on grounds of ‘health and security.’ Perhaps, these administrative decisions partly reflected the awareness that an earlier talk of mine at LSE had indeed been sufficiently disrupted during the discussion period that university security personnel had to remove two persons in the audience who shouted epithets, unfurled an Israeli flag, stood up and refused to sit down when politely asked by the moderator.

In all my years of speaking on various topics around the world, I had never previously had events cancelled, although quite frequently there was similar pressure exerted on university administrations, but usually threatening financial reprisals if I was allowed to speak. What happened in Britain is part of an increasingly nasty effort of pro-Israeli activists to shut down debate by engaging in disruptive behavior, threats to security, and by smearing speakers regarded as critics of Israel as ‘anti-Semites,’ and in my case as a ‘self-hating,’ even a self-loathing Jew.

Returning to the United States I encountered a new tactic. The very same persons who disrupted in London, evidently together with some likeminded comrades, wrote viciously derogatory reviews of my book on the Amazon website in the U.S. and UK, giving the book the lowest rate possible rating. Read more »

Hamas launches its new Political Document

PRESS RELEASE
HAMAS

hamas-doc-pr-400-x-205

The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, launched its Political Document “General Principles and Policies” on Monday at a press conference in the Qatari capital of Doha.

The document was announced at a press conference held by Hamas politburo chief, Khaled Mashaal, with a number of leaders of the movement, in the presence of elite writers, media outlets and researchers.

The 42 article document carries the essence of the Movement’s thought and political legacy for 30 years now.

Hamas said in its document that it is an Islamic Palestinian national liberation movement aimed at liberating Palestine and confronting the Zionist project, indicating that Islam is a reference in its principles, objectives and means.

The movement renewed its rejection of all projects aimed at settling the refugee issue, stressing that the right of return for Palestinian refugees is a natural right.

It also stressed that not an inch of Palestinian land will be handed over, indicating that the establishment of a state on the lines of 1967 does not mean the recognition of the Zionist entity.

English PDF file of the official Hamas Political Document is here

Arabic PDF file of the official Hamas Political Document is here

Palestine Museum of Natural History officially opens in Bethlehem

Mazin Qumsiyeh

Opening talk by Professor Qumsiyeh

On behalf of Bethlehem University’s Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability and Palestine Museum of Natural History and Botanical Garden, our staff and volunteers I welcome you. Thank you Brother Peter for the introduction. Welcome to our distinguished guests representatives of the university Brother Peter Bray and other officials, Honorary Minister Adalah Ateereh and other representatives of the Environmental Quality Authority, agriculture and education ministry representatives, Mr. Munib Masri, representatives of civil society organizations, our colleagues, donors, and friends.

This is a dream come true to arrive at this stage, a culmination of countless hours and countless volunteers. It reflects the ten pillars of transformation from the Buddhist philosophy: generosity, ethics, renunciation, wisdom, effort, patience, truthfulness, determination, kindness, and equanimity. We started preparing and working here in Mar Andrea in August 2014. We had a strategy to officially open the museum after five years but here we are with an opening ceremony in about half the time. We consider this a Palestinian national accomplishment. You received a brochure that highlights our mission and goals in research, education and conservation. I want here to quickly highlight our accomplishments (because you will see them on the ground) and highlight our vision going forward and
seek your further support without which we could not do any of this. Read more »

Next Page »