Tag Archives: palestine

Abbas arrives in New York to assume chairmanship of the Group of 77 + China

New York/PNN/

President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in New York on Monday and is set to formally assume the Group of 77 and China. A ceremony will be held on Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly. The PA President is also scheduled to meet with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the UN Security Council president and other world leaders.

The Group of 77 is the largest intergovernmental organization of developing countries in the United Nations, which provides the means for the countries of the South to articulate and promote their collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic issues within the United Nations system, and promote South-South cooperation for development. G-77 was established on 15 June 1964 by 77 developing countries, and its members have increased to 134 countries later. The organization recognized Palestine as a member state in 1976.

On 27 September 2018, the Group of 77 and China met in New York and unanimously named Mahmoud Abbas to take over its presidency in 2019, replacing Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the chairman for the year of 2018. In October, the UN General Assembly passed a draft resolution submitted by Egypt to appoint Palestine as the head of G-77 and China.

Israel arrests five Jewish teens over stoning death of Palestinian woman

PNN/Jerusalem/

Five Jewish teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of murdering a Palestinian woman in the West Bank three months ago.

Aisha Mohammed Rabi, a 48-year-old mother from Biddya, was driving with her husband Yacoub near a West Bank checkpoint south of Nablus when the settlers began to throw stones at their vehicle. Rabi was hit in the head and died shortly after being transported to the hospital.

The Israeli police soon arrived at the scene and opened an investigation. Five teens have been arrested since December 30 as part of a major Jewish terrorism probe in the West Bank. The Shin Bet internal security agency said in its Sunday statement that all the suspects were students at the “Pri Ha’aretz” yeshiva in the nearby settlement of Rehelim. A gag-order has been placed to prevent publication of more details in the investigation, including the names of the attackers.

A group of far-right Israeli activists gathered outside the residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to protest the arrests and call for his intervention on Saturday night.

IOF break into Al Quds University in East Jerusalem

PNN/ Jerusalem/

Israeli occupation forces stormed a number of student headquarters on Wednesday on the main campus of Al-Quds University in Abu Dis, East Jerusalem.

Local sources said that the occupation forces confiscated the recordings of surveillance cameras and raided a number of the headquarters of the student blocs inside the campus of Al-Quds University in East Jerusalem.

The incursions are believed to be part of the increasingly violent searches carried out by the IOF following the incident on Sunday night where seven settlers were injured.

Al-Quds University was founded two decades ago as the only Palestinian University in Jerusalem. It currently accommodates over 13,000 students. AQU provides higher education and community services within the Jerusalem area as well as the neighboring towns, villages and refugee camps in Palestine.

Arab League urges Bolsonaro to reconsider embassy move

BRASILIA/PNN/

Brazil’s right-wing President-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, was warned in a letter on Monday that his plans to move the Brazilian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would seriously harm relations with Arab countries. Arab diplomats are expected to meet in Brasilia to further discuss the intended embassy move, along with Bolsonaro’s plans to close the Palestinian mission in Brasilia.

Natanyahu praised the planned move: “I congratulate my friend Brazilian President-Elect, Jair Bolsonaro, for his intention to move the Brazilian Embassy to Jerusalem, a historic, correct and exciting step!” Bolsonaro is due to be sworn in on 1st January 2019, and Netanyahu reportedly hopes to attend the inauguration ceremony.

A diplomat from the Arab League stated: “the Arab world has much respect for Brazil and we want not just to maintain relations but improve and diversify them. But the intention of moving the embassy to Jerusalem could harm them.”

Hanan Ashwari, member of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s executive committee, condemned the plans, stating “these are provocative and illegal steps that will only destabilize security and stability in the region.”

Currently, the United States and Guatemala are the only nations with embassies located in Jerusalem rather than Tel Aviv. The Organisation of Islamic Countries has called on member states to abstain from importing cardamom from Guatemala, and not to conduct high level visits to this country or to organize joint cultural, sportive or artistic events” until its embassy is removed from Jerusalem. The organization has announced that similar measures will be taken against countries which relocate their embassies to Jerusalem.

According to Reuters, the president-elect’s son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, said the embassy move was “not a question of if, but of when”, speaking after recently visiting Trump advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner at the White House.

Brazil is among the largest exporters of halal meat to the arab world, and this move would threaten the trading relationship in the future. However, as Bolsonaro attempts to align himself with Trump and position the nation favourably with regard to the US, it is doubtful whether the potential economic interest at stake will weigh heavily enough against the embassy move.

US Evangelical Christian organizations have donated some $65M to settlements

PNN/ Bethlehem/

Right-wing evangelical organizations have raised tens of millions of dollars over the past 10 years to fund settlement projects in the West Bank, a report published by Haaretz newspaper reported on Sunday.

The newspaper said it had conducted an audit of the funds, estimated to be between $50 million and $65 million, based on media reports, US tax records and the Molad Center brief composed in 2015 that 11 evangelical organizations contributed to the figure.

One such evangelical organization is the Jubilee, and evangelical volunteers are sent to Har Bracha, a settlement in the West Bank near Nablus. Jubilee is one of many evangelical organizations active in what it calls the “biblical heart of the country”. Over the past 10 years, the Jubilee has sent about 1,700 volunteers to the settlement.

Jubilee has worked for several years without announcing its activity, claiming that it would be better for the Israelis not to know about it, but is now hosting journalists and others in a “campus” that it has established in Har Bracha.

The paper pointed out that the readiness of this organization evangelical to reveal its activity in the West Bank shows the size of relations between the evangelicals and settlers.

The Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs, which is headed by Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan, announced several months ago that the Jubilee organization will receive $16,000 a year from this year and is expected to increase from the Israeli government. The ministry said it was giving the money to the evangelical organization in light of its media activity in favor of Israel and settlements among evangelical communities in the United States.

Aharon Katzsov, founder of the Israel Heart Association, also known as the Benjamin Fund, said his association collects hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for projects in the settlements. But he pointed out that most of the funds raised by this Assembly come not only from evangelicals. “When a Jew donates $ 1,500, the Christian pays $ 50 on average, but their numbers are growing very rapidly,” he told the paper.

“The more I know of evangelicals over the past years, the more I realize how thirsty they are for the relationship with the settlements,” said Katzov, who lives in the settlement of Shilo. They often tell me, when they arrive in Tel Aviv, that ‘we did not imagine Israel that way’, but when they come here, to the settlements, they say that they imagined Israel this way. They are our greatest allies. ”

The newspaper said that the settlement “Ariel” gets the largest donations from the evangelicals. In 2008, it received $8 million for a sports zone. The Evangelists also donated $1 million to the Jewish-Christian Center in Efrat.

The paper added that it is difficult to know how much financial support evangelical settlements, because non-profit institutions and churches registered in the United States is not required to provide the authorities with detailed reports on sources of funding or disclosure of donations, and assistance to settlements not only by money but volunteer hours.  Thousands of evangelical volunteers work in settlements, for example 175 volunteers participated in picking 340 tons of grapes in settlements this year working in total of nearly 5,000 hours.

A report issued by the Molad Center three years ago said that it is impossible to estimate the amount of financial support that evangelical organizations transfer to the settlements, because many Israeli non-governmental organizations that are active in the West Bank are in direct violation of international law.

The report added that “a large portion” of all evangelical investments in Israel reach the settlements benefiting from regional councils, right-wing societies, random settlement outposts, commercial interests and travel agencies specializing in tours of settlements.

The political expediency shown by Evangelicals alliance with Israel has only grown in recent decades. So why is there such strong support from the Evangelicals? According to an earlier report by CNN website, in the last 12 months, the evangelical Christian community in the United States has actually given $100 million to charitable causes in Israel, according to Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. “God promises Abraham those who bless Israel and the Jewish people will be blessed and those who curse them will be cursed,” he says, citing Genesis. Not only this but Evangelicals see the creation of Israel in 1948 as the fulfilment of biblical prophesy, Eckstein says, “it reflects the hand of God”.

Not only is the support from Evangelicals for Israel supporting a biblical prophecy that they vehemently believe in they have also had great influence with Trump’s administrative decisions relating to Israel, the far-right Christian groups puts pressure on a president eager to show he’s fulfilling his campaign promises.

 

Israel prevented Muslim call for prayer 47 times in November

PNN/ Hebron/

In addition to going through Israeli metal detecting security in order to be granted entry to pray, the Athan – the Muslim call to prayer – has been silenced at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.

According to Minister of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, Yousef Ed’ais, the historic Mosque had its athan muffled 47 times in November 2018 by occupation authorities, as it was apparently annoying to Israeli settlers in the area.

Part of the Ibrahimi Mosque, named “Cave of Patriarchs” by Israelis, has been divided by Israeli Occupation Authorities, where Muslims were given a censored part of it while the rest is used as a Jewish synagogue.

The increase of security against Palestinians and the refusal of entry into this holy site is a violation from the occupation that the international community needs to actively condemn, Ed’ais says. The silencing of the athan is yet another way that the Israeli forces are stifling the freedom of Palestinians from practicing their normal daily life.

SAUDI ARABIA CONTRIBUTES US$ 63 MILLION TO UNRWA FOR PROJECTS IN GAZA, THE WEST BANK AND JORDAN

And turn blind eye to Saudi Arabia dealing with Israel, mass killings in Yemen, and killing those who disagree ti Prince.

Bethlehem/PNN/

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), has contributed US$ 63 million for projects to be implemented in Gaza, the West Bank and Jordan.

Four agreements were signed on 28 November by the SFD Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Dr. Khalid Sulaiman Alkhudairy, and the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Pierre Krähenbühl.

The first agreement, valued at US$ 31 million, will support ongoing projects, including the reconstruction of shelters, construction of new health centers and two UNRWA schools, maintenance of schools and fuel supply in Gaza. The second agreement, valued at US$ 17 million, will assist UNRWA in the reconstruction and furnishing of several health centers, camp offices and schools in the West Bank, comprehensive maintenance of UNRWA premises in East-Jerusalem and the implementation of several other ongoing projects.

The third agreement, valued at US$ 8 million, will provide funds for comprehensive maintenance for UNRWA schools and Health Centers in

Jordan. While the fourth agreement valued at US$ 7 million, will provide funds for maintaining UNRWA facilities across all its fields of operations.

Dr. Khalid Alkhudairy said: “We are a proud partner of UNRWA, which is doing an excellent job serving Palestine refugees. We shall continue to support UNRWA and we look forward as always to witnessing the impact of these projects on Palestine refugees.”

Expressing his gratitude, Mr. Krähenbühl said: “I am extremely grateful to the government and the people of Saudi Arabia for the sustained support that the Kingdom has extended to Palestine Refugees and to UNRWA services over the years.

I would like to express particular appreciation for the role played by the Saudi Fund for Development and recognition for the trust it places in the Agency. Our partnership with the Fund is of high importance and deeply appreciated.”

In 2018, UNRWA faced its largest budget shortfall since its founding. Support from dedicated partners like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has enabled the Agency to sustain vital services to Palestine refugees across the Middle East.

On 28 November, H.E. Dr Abdallah Al Rabeeah, Supervisor General of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSC) and Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) signed an unprecedented US$ 50 million agreement which confirmed the pledge of US$ 50 million made by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, in support of the Agency’s core services.

Expressing his deep recognition and gratitude, Commissioner-General Krähenbühl stated that:

“The disbursement of this landmark donation will make a major contribution to the Agency’s global mobilization aimed at reducing an unprecedented shortfall this year.

With Saudi Arabia’s donation and the support of our other partners, we have brought the deficit of US$ 446 million down to its current level of US$ 21 million, and have been able to open on time the 711 schools run by UNRWA for 530,000 girls and boys in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

It was crucial to ensure that their education is preserved. Similarly, our 140 health centres remained open thanks to the funding received, providing crucial primary health care to 3 million patients.“

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, along with its humanitarian and development bodies, is an important and consistent partner to UNRWA. This year alone, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has contributed close to US$160 million towards UNRWA including projects across its five fields of operations.

The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre was established on 13 May, 2015 under the high patronage and guidance of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, aiming to provide humanitarian aid and relief to those in need outside of the Kingdom’s borders. The Centre has provided humanitarian and development aid to more than 37 countries through international, regional and local partners in place.

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs.

As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget.

UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation.

Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.