Tag Archives: palestine

American public support for Israel hits decade low: Gallup poll

Bethlehem/PNN/

The American people’s support for Israel has fallen to its lowest level in the past decade, a new poll has found, indicating that President Donald Trump’s many controversial decisions to boost ties with Tel Aviv is alienating people back at home.

The new Gallup poll released Wednesday found that 59 percent of Americans said they were “more sympathetic” towards Israel on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

This marks a sharp decline from last year, when 65 percent of the American public sided with the Tel Aviv regime.

The whopping six-percent drop over a one-year period is the biggest in the history of the yearly poll, which was first conducted in 2001.

The decline was seen among both Democrats and Republicans, however, followers of Trump’s own party posted the sharpest decrease.

While among Democrats, feelings of sympathy for Israel went down by a total of six percent, Republican support fell by 11 percent.

The staggering drop in support among Republican comes in contrast to Trump’s deeply close relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The percentage of Republicans saying they sympathize more with Israel in the conflict fell from an all-time high of 87 percent in 2018 to 76 percent today,” the poll said.

The percentage of people who identified as political independents remained the same over the last year, with 60% sympathizing more with Israel.

The number of Americans who said they supported Palestine remained unchanged at 21 percent.

Last year’s survey came amid Washington’s preparations to proceed with Trump’s order to relocate the US embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds, a move that infuriated Palestinians and prompted mixed responses in Washington.

Trump officially recognized al-Quds as Israel’s capital in December 2017, leading Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to halt US-brokered talks with Israel while questioning Washington’s ability to stay unbiased.

Trump in response cut American aid to the PA, withdrawing fund from such institutions as the East Jerusalem Hospital Network as well as several joint Israeli-Palestinian agencies.

The poll comes amid controversy surrounding freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who has been forced by the Democratic Party to apologize for comments that implied wealthy Americans bought politicians through the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.

The Minnesota lawmaker, one of the first female Muslim members of Congress, has also supported the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Israeli regime.

Report: Trump’s “deal of the century” won’t include Palestinian state

PNN/ Jerusalem/

The Trump administration’s “Deal of the century”, or so-called Middle East peace plan does not include the establishment of an independent Palestinian state., but rather calls for Palestinian autonomy in the Gaza Strip with political and economic links to the West Bank, reported the Palestinian newspaper al-Quds on Thursday.

The paper did not cite the source of the information but said that the Jewish settlements in the West Bank will remain on the ground but will not be able to be extended. Most of the Israeli military checkpoints in the West Bank will instead reportedly have to be removed to facilitate the movement of Palestinians.

The newspaper added that 25 billion dollars of investment in the West Bank and Gaza will be foreseen as part of the ‘deal’, as well as significant investment for Egypt, Jordan, and possibly also Lebanon.

Israeli settlers attack, wound Palestinian shepherd

PNN/ Jordan Valley/

A group of Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian man, causing him injuries, while he waas herding his sheep in open areas in the northern Jordan Valley on Tuesday.

According to human rights activist Aref Daraghmeh, settlers from Rotem settlement, which is located on the Palestinians’ land in Al-Farisiyya town, chased down the Palestinian shepherd and assaulted him, leaving his with bruises all over his body.

Medical sources said the young man’s condition was stable and he was given medical examinations at  Tubas hospital.

In a related context, the occupation detained two shepherds in the area, named Luay Dragameh, and  a child, Ali  Draghmeh.

 

Aida Camp: Where Palestinians remain refugees for the 7th decade

the world’s shame

  Most survive with the basics, feel daily the pains of a struggle that seems endless, but still feed the hope of returning home

By Alethea Kanas 

In Brazil, little is known about the real complexity of the problem that has existed for decades between Israel and Palestine. But the “catastrophe,” so termed by the Palestinians, can be briefly understood if we think from May 14, 1948, when Israel was founded and 750,000 of them had to flee their homes to neighboring countries or were expelled by Israeli troops .

The year 1948 was only the beginning of a struggle that lasts until today and seems far from a peace agreement. But the question is, “How and where do these refugees live today?” About 5,000 are in the Aida refugee camp. Hundreds of them felt the whole change in their lives, and the rest was their inheritance from a lifetime of suffering and struggle for freedom.

Aida camp was created in 1950 in the West Bank, more precisely in Bethlehem. The city is considered sacred because, according to the Bible, it was the birthplace of Jesus Christ. A region that supposedly should reign peace, is the scene of a conflict that seems eternal, a pan of pressure, always about to explode.

An agreement between Israel and Palestine is complicated, as conflicts go beyond religious divergence, money, territory strife, and political issues. It moves with the ego, the will to exercise the freedom to come and go and with the future of thousands of families, mixed with grief of what has already passed and indignation on the part of those who lost house, family members and even the identity itself, Palestinian territory is not officially considered a country – although it is considered observer member of the UN, same status conferred to the Vatican.

Entrance to the Aida refugee camp in the West Bank. Credit: Alethea Kanas

The camp was set up by UNRWA, the UN agency specifically responsible for Palestinian refugees, which leased it from the Jordanian government – which then controlled the region.

Data from the UNHCR Global Trends report indicate that there are 5.4 million Palestinian refugees in the world, all under UNRWA mandate.

Israeli plan to expel 36,000 Bedouins from their villages in Negev desert

PNN/ Bethlehem/

Israel’s Minister of Agriculture and Development of the Negev, Uri Ariel, has completed a massive plan to expel some 36,000 Bedouin Palestinians from their unrecognized villages, according to the Israel Today Hebrew newspaper.

The implementation of the plan, if approved, is scheduled to start this year, and would be completed within four years.

The confiscated Bedouin areas are estimated at 260,000 dunums, on which the  Israeli authorities will establish what they called national projects, infrastructure and other “security” measures, which are required to ‘transfer’ the population to other villages, according to the newspaper.

On the ruins of the villages after their displacement, the Israeli authorities will expand the “Trans-Israel Highway” (Route 6), south of Israel, to the town of Nabatim in the Naqab, an area of ​​12,000 dunums, The Israeli authorities intend to transfer them to Tel Sheva, Abu Talul and Umm Batin.

According to the plan, the displacement will begin this year, north of Route 31, and will last for four years. Final displacement in 2021 will begin with an annual budget increase, through intensified law enforcement authorities, in reference to the Israeli Police and the Ministry of Internal Security.

The Israeli authorities will also transfer 5,000 Arabs to the areas of Abu Talul, Abu Qrinat and Wadi al-Naam, from the Israeli area of ​​Ramat Bekaa, with the aim of transferring a factory for military industries from Israel to the Negev, The Israeli authorities plan to displace them and confiscate them.

The villages do not appear on Israeli official maps, and the Israeli authorities do not provide them with basic services such as water and electricity. The residents do not have addresses and the authorities do not recognize their rights on the land, and consider them “violators” who take over “state lands.”

The Bedouin Development Authority was established in 1984 and controls the planning of displacement projects in the Naqab and administers the Israel Land Administration.

 

Ireland passes bill banning Israeli settlement goods

 by Roddy Keenan- PNN/ Dublin/

The lower house of the Irish parliament passed a law on Thursday preventing the importation or sale of goods from Israeli settlements.

The Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill, originally proposed by Senator Frances Black, was passed in the Irish Senate back in January 2018. On Thursday, Irish MP Niall Collins, of the Fianna Fail opposition party, introduced the bill in the lower House (Dail Eireann), where it passed by a margin of 78 votes to 45, with three abstentions.

The bill declares it seeks to ‘give effect to the Irish state’s obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and under customary international humanitarian law.’

In so doing, this law would ‘make it an offence for a person to import or sell goods or services originating in an occupied territory or to extract resources from an occupied territory in certain circumstances.’

Penalties for breach of the law can lead to fines of up to 250,000 euros ($285,000) or five years imprisonment.

The Irish governing party, Fine Gael, voted against the bill, claiming its passage would harm Irish-Israeli relations, while also endangering Ireland’s relationship with the United States. Parliamentarians had faced intense lobbying from US congressional opponents of the legislation, yet still voted for the bill in a clear demonstration of opposition cross-party support.

Responding to government threats that opposing US policy would lead to economic retaliation, Mr Collins said  that the US had to ‘clean up its act’ in relation to its social and moral responsibilities. ‘We cannot give it a free pass on everything simply because it provides us with jobs,’ he argued.

As happened after the passing of the Senate bill, the result of the lower house vote drew an immediate and predictable response from the Occupying Authorities. The Irish ambassador was summoned, as Prime Minister Netanyahu declared Israel to be ‘outraged’ by a bill he described as ‘anti-semitic’. Meanwhile, the foreign ministry said it constituted ‘an expression of pure hostility’ and a ‘clear expression of obsessive discrimination.’

The latest developments in Ireland reflect a continued support of the Palestinian cause across the country. Sligo and Dublin councils recently flew the Palestinian flag to commemorate the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their land in 1948, while the town of Tralee, in County Kerry, is in the process of twinning with Beit Sahour.

Despite the bill still having a number of stages to pass through, Thursday’s vote has effectively ensured it will eventually be signed into law.

Ashrawi: Israeli gov’t and its allies responsible for rise in settler terrorism

PNN/ Ramallah/

Member of the PLO Executive Committee, Hanan Ashrawi, said on Saturday evening that the Israeli government and its allies are responsible for rise in settler terrorism, referring to the fatal shooting by Jewish settlers of a Palestinian man in the village of al-Mughayir, near Ramallah, earlier on the day.

Ashrawi condemned on behalf of the PLO “the heinous murder of Hamdi Nassan, 38, and the injury of 30 other Palestinian civilians at the hands of armed Israeli settler militias.”

In a statement, Ashrawi said “Under heavy protection from Israeli forces, these militias raided Al-Mughayer village near Ramallah this Saturday, terrorizing the defenseless residents and wreaking havoc in the isolated village.”

“The political climate in Israel negates Palestinian rights and expresses objectionable racism against the Palestinian people. As such, the marked escalation of terror attacks by armed groups of Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians is a natural outcome of the culture of hate and atmosphere of incitement and violence against Palestinians that this extremist Israeli government espouses and promotes,” said continued.

Ashrawi held the Israeli government wholly responsible for what she described as a heinous crime.

“Governments that actively support this colonial regime and shield it from accountability also bear moral and criminal liability for the crimes committed by Israeli forces and settlers, who commit murder with impunity. Equally, states that choose to remain silent against this terror campaign must understand that in these times of injustice, silence is complicity.”

“We grieve along with Hamdi Nassan’s bereaved wife and four children. Thirty other Al-Mughayer residents are receiving medical treatment for their injuries. We wish them a speedy and full recovery,” she concluded.

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.