Tag Archives: palestine

Israeli forces kill Two Palestinians at Gaza border

Israeli snipers on Friday shot and killed Two Palestinians identified as Othman Rami Hilles, 15 years old, and Mohammed Nasser Shurrab, 18 years.

Forces manning the border fence fired live bullets and teargas canisters towards the protesters who gathered at many encampments along the border, killing Hilles & Shurrab and injuring about 220 other protesters.

The latest murder brings the number of Palestinians who were killed by Israeli forces since the outbreak of the protests on March 30 to 139. About 15,000 others have also been injured.

Gaza/PNN/

Israeli snipers on Friday shot and killed Two Palestinians  identified as Othman Rami Hilles, 15 years old, and  Mohammed Nasser Shurrab, 18 years.

Forces manning the border fence fired live bullets and teargas canisters towards the protesters who gathered at many encampments along the border, killing Hilles &  Shurrab and injuring about 220 other protesters.

The latest murder brings the number of Palestinians who were killed by Israeli forces since the outbreak of the protests on March 30 to 139. About 15,000 others have also been injured.

For his part PCHR condemns this new crime committed by the Israeli forces, believing it is as a result of Israel’s enjoying impunity thanks to the U.S. and so encouraging the Israeli forces to commit further crimes upon an official decision by the highest military and political echelons.

PCHR emphasizes that continuously inflicting casualties, either killed or wounded, is unjustified and targeting and killing civilians, who exercise their right to peaceful assembly or while carrying out their humanitarian duty, using lethal force is a serious violation of the rules of intentional law and international humanitarian law.

PCHR emphasizes that ongoing attacks against the Palestinian medical personnel, especially those working in the field, constitute a serious violation of the international human rights and humanitarian laws and the international standards regulating the protection rules of medical personnel, including paramedics, their vehicles and medical facilities. The serious violations and deliberate attacks against the medical personnel amount to war crimes according to the 1949 fourth Geneva Convention, particularly the scope of protection provided to them.

PCHR believes that continuously targeting journalists while on duty with bullets and tear gas canisters proves that there is an Israeli policy to target journalists in order to prevent them from covering the Israeli suppression of the peaceful protestors, in violation of the rule of international humanitarian law.

PCHR emphasizes that the demonstrations are fully peaceful and civilians have the right to raise their voices against the Israeli forces and closure and enjoy their right to return. Thus, PCHR stresses that Israel shall be held accountable and prosecuted through investigating with it into these crimes.

PCHR also stresses that this ongoing policy by Israel violates the Rome STATUTE OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC) and Fourth Geneva Convention, and its practices qualify to war crimes. Thus, PCHR calls upon the ICC Prosecutor to open an official investigation into these crimes in addition to prosecuting and holding accountable all of those involved in issuing decisions and orders in the Israeli forces at the political and security level and those applying the orders.

PCHR asks for the presence of international observers from the United Nations (UN) bodies in the Gaza Strip to make sure that these demonstrations are totally peaceful and even if the Israeli authorities denied their access to Gaza, they can observe from the Israeli side of the borders.

PCHR calls for the prompt formation of an international commission of inquiry according to the UN Human Rights Council’s Resolution to investigate the crimes committed by the Israeli forces against unarmed civilians in the Return March activities.

PCHR also reiterates its call upon the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances and their obligations under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

PCHR calls upon Switzerland, in its capacity as the Depository State for the Convention, to demand the High Contracting Parties to convene a meeting and ensure Israel’s respect for this Convention, noting that these grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions regarding the guarantee of Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in the occupied territories.



 

Israel denies lecturers from entry to Palestine

PNN/ Ramallah/

Since the beginning of the current academic year (2017-2018), scores of foreign passport holders, many of Palestinian origin but without residence documents, living and working in the occupied Palestinian territory have been denied entry in the country, or have had their visa renewal applications refused by the Israeli authorities. At Birzeit University alone, 15 visa renewal requests of foreign passport-holding faculty members have been refused or significantly delayed.

These faculty members have full-time status, work in all the various faculties on our campus, and include senior faculty and department chairpersons. Our faculty who are currently under threat teach in the BA, MA, and Ph.D. programs at Birzeit University, are members of university committees, and serve the larger Palestinian community through public seminars and lectures. Already some professors have been forced to leave the country; including one from the Department of English and Literature, and a professor of European History at the Ibrahim Abu Lughod Institute for International Studies who has devoted his entire academic career to Palestine and the university for the past four decades.

These international professors play a critical role not only in the ongoing provision of quality education at Birzeit University but also in the long-term development of Palestinian higher education. If this policy continues, Palestinian universities, including Birzeit University, will be further isolated from the global academic environment. Our ability to deliver a world class education will be further compromised if we lose the international perspectives, diverse professional experiences and high-level skills these faculty members crucially bring to Palestinian academic life and the campus environment as a whole. In the global academic environment of the 21st Century, having an internationally diverse faculty has become a fundamental cornerstone of academic excellence at universities worldwide. If Birzeit University and Palestinian higher education as a whole are denied the right to engage international faculty members, what is ultimately being denied is our right to deliver a quality and standard of education that meets the accepted global norm.

The right to education is a fundamental human right as established in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That article simultaneously underlines the critical link between education and the furthering of global perspectives, understanding and connection  between diverse peoples and nations:

Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

A long line of UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, and rulings of the International Court of Justice affirm Israel’s obligation to exercise its responsibility as the occupying power in West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in accordance with international humanitarian law (including the Hague Convention of 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949) as well as applicable international human rights law. Israel is obligated by international law to both protect and facilitate the functioning of Palestinian civil institutions, including higher education. All states that are signatories to these resolutions also bear a responsibility to ensure that Israel exercises its obligations towards Palestinian education under international law; including that itexercises its control over the entry and presence of foreign academics in a manner that avoids unnecessary harm to Palestinian higher education and to the occupied population’s fundamental right to education.

Birzeit University called on everyone – including governments, institutions, academics, and associations – to decry these policies, protect our fundamental right of academic freedom at Birzeit University and for all Palestinian higher education.

Israel bars Swedish activist who walked 4,800 km in solidarity with Palestinians 

By Yu Chun Huang- PNN/ Bethlehem/  

After his trip to Palestine in April 2017, where he witnessed systematic discrimination and heard real-life stories about arbitrary violence conducted by the Israeli occupation, 25-year-old activist  Benjamin Ladraa decided to raise awareness about human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by walking from Sweden to Palestine.

Bearing a Palestinian flag and a keffiyeh on his neck, Ladraa set off his journey on the 8th of August 2017, which marked the 100th anniversary of Balfour Declaration, crossing 15 countries through European countries, then Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. He spent 11 months to walk the distance of 4800 km, where he finally arrived at the Israeli border to enter Palestine.

As his inspiring journey finally comes to an end reaching the Israeli border on Friday with several other activist finishing the last kilometers together, Ladraa found himself interrogated by Israeli guards for six hours and eventually being denied entry, claiming that he was lying during the interrogation and that he would join the demonstration at Nabi Saleh.

Throughout his journey, Ladraa was interviewed by the press. He held speeches and lectures to talk about his causes and goals, visited refugee camps and invited the displaced Palestinians to share their stories.

“I believe in order for progress to be made we need to put pressure on Israel to stop their crimes against the Palestinian people,” he says “The way to put pressure is have many people wanting it and taking action, and the way to make people take action is by informing them about the situation, because most people don’t know.”

He documented his journey through social media using #walktopalestine, currently having over twenty thousand followers on Facebook.

“All I hope for with this is that one day the needless suffering of the people living in the holy land will stop,” he said.

Apart from receiving all the supports from citizens and officials whenever  Ladraa arrives a new country, there were still some hardships that he had encountered. In Prague, he was detained by the Israeli embassy because of the Palestinian flag, and was once stopped six times in a day during the transit in Greece. The Bulgarian police held him for three hours when he was trying to cross the border.

Ladraa also expressed his feelings, “you get kind of lonely on the road … it’s really quite unbalanced because when I’m in big cities I meet so many people and make tons of new friends and then as soon as I’m leaving I’m completely alone again, just on the road.”

“Now ask yourself why the Israeli state fears one Swedish man so much that they didn’t allow him to enter the country they are occupying. This is the power of activism,” he wrote on Facebook.

Later on 7th of July, the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas granted Palestinian citizenship to Ladraa as an appreciation for his solidarity with the Palestinian people, and bestowed the Medal of Merit.

“On behalf of the Palestinian leadership and people of Palestine, we extend our deep gratitude to Ladraa who has demonstrated exceptional courage and integrity by advocating on behalf of the Palestinian people and educating the international community about Israel’s persistent violations and acts of aggression against Palestinian lives, lands and resources; we will remain indebted to Mr. Ladraa,” PLO official mentioned in a statement. 

 

Hamas suppresses anti-division protest in Gaza

PNN/ Gaza/

Members of the ruling Hamas movement on Monday assaulted citizens who took part in a rally headed by Prisoners and ex-prisoners Committee  and factions in the strip,  on the 11th anniversary of the Hamas coup against the Palestinian Authority.

The protest called for the end of the division between the two major Palestinian parties, Hamas and Fatah, calling for a national unity.

According to eyewitnesses, at 11:30 in the afternoon, dozens of Hamas members wearing black shirts  entered the protest area and tried to approach the center of the gathering, despite the participants’ assertion that the movement is Patriotic, attacked the platform, broke it, and cracked the speakers.

Hamas forces attacked the protesters, who included representatives of prisoners, journalists, employees, and representatives of the national action and civil society organizations from all the provinces.

For its part, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) leftist movement praised the masses  that demanded end of the division and the abolition of PA punitive measures imposed on the Gaza Strip.

In a related context, the Democratic Front strongly condemned Hamas attacking the protesters, and demanded security services to bring justice and protect the people and their freedom of expression in accordance with the Basic Law, which affirms freedom of expression and peaceful demonstration.

One week ago, hundreds of Palestinians held a protest in Ramallah  demanding the Palestinian Authority to cancel its sanctions against Gaza, describing these measures as punitive measures against the Palestinian people in Gaza.

The demonstration was organized by a group called “Movement for lifting  sanctions imposed  on Gaza”, a large movement of academics, journalists, writers, artists, prisoners, activists and citizens who decided to break the  silence towards the measures imposed by the Palestinian Authority on the Gaza Strip since March 2017, in addition to ending the Palestinian division and achieving reconciliation.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has called on Hamas on 21/3/2018 to transfer control of the Gaza Strip to Ramallah government saying it was prepared to assume its full responsibilities there, as tensions between the two factions continue to rise, according to the Wafa news agency.

The statement on 21 of march 2018 came a day after PA President Mahmoud Abbas suggested he would cut all budgets allocated to Gaza, estimated to amount to some $100 million, if the PA was not awarded full control of the coastal enclave

On Naksa Anniversary: 750,000 Palestinians have been replaced with settlers

No shame, no morals, losers!

PNN/ Ramallah/

June 5th, 2018 marks the 51st anniversary of the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian land in West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. Since June 5th, 1967, Israel’s unlawful practices and blatant violations have been targeting Palestinian rights of freedom and independence. Military restrictions have been placed on millions of Palestinian citizens as Israel continues to confiscate Palestinian land, and to plunder Palestinian natural resources.

For fifty-one years the Israeli settlement’s unlawful program has become entrenched heavily through the demolitions of 50,000 Palestinian homes and structures, the confiscation of 6,241km2and the displacement of 750,000 Palestinian citizens who have been replaced with 636,452 illegal settlers living in 425 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

In December 2017, the US President recognized the Occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel which is considered by international law an occupying power. This recognition divides the State of Palestine and greatly harms the Palestinian legitimate aspirations for an independent and sovereign state along with the 1967 borders. Moreover, this recognition severely ruins the actualization of the two-state solution and the building of peace in the region. Above all this, the Trump administration had denied our citizens their rights to international protection.

The Israeli occupation has been imposing severe restrictions on the geopolitical and economic foundations of the future Palestinian state. Such restrictions significantly limit the potentials and the future growth of Palestinian institutions. Israel, for example, restricts Palestinian access to natural resources and controls Palestinian imports and exports. It also hinders the growth of Palestinian industries and other economic sectors, thus leading to one of the highest unemployment rates in the world (46.6% in the Gaza Strip and 20% in West Bank). Worse still, Israel continues to impose restrictions on the development of Palestinian infrastructure and other major human development activities, especially in Area C of West Bank.

Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah said at the launching of the 2017-2022 Palestine National Policy Agenda that if Israel allows the Palestinians to benefit from Area C, which comprises about 63% of the West Bank, this would bring in $3.5 billion annually to the Palestinians. This is confirmed by other World Bank reports.

Facing the Israeli unlawful actions and the decrease in international funding by70%, the Palestinian government works diligently with its partners to shift from merely building state institutions to ensuring that those institutions optimally support and put our citizens first. This is done through supporting resilience and providing humanitarian and developmental assistance to Palestinian citizens who suffer from the actions of Israeli occupation. The government has been successful in maintaining salary payment regularly for the past years, and has also reduced its deficit by 21.8%, thus contributing to the stability of both public and private institutions.

The Palestinian government has created the necessary political, economic, and legal environments, thus asserting its firm commitment for the realization of the two-state solution. International donors and organizations have affirmed the Palestinian readiness for statehood. However, the Palestinian government cannot become a free state while the Israeli military occupation is harshly blocking the Palestinian national aspirations of self-determination, and hindering the transformation of Palestinian institutions into those of an independent state.

Marking the 51st anniversary of the Israeli military occupation, many Palestinian generations have experienced the illegal occupation with all its harsh actions and practices. This injustice violates the UN resolutions of 242, 253, 267, 194, 298, 476, 478, and 2334 and denies the Palestinian right of statehood along the 1967 borders. The time has come for the international community to support President Abbas’s peace initiative for holding an International Peace Conference so that the longest military occupation in modern history with its denial of human rights comes to an end.

Showing Palestinian determination for statehood, peace, and freedom, Prime Minister Dr. Hamdallah says that we will continue to create ways to engage our citizens until the establishment of a viable, united, and independent Palestinian state. This anniversary is an opportunity to assert that the Palestinian people and government are very determined and resolute to fulfill their national aspirations, and join the community of free and democratic nations.

 Israel publishes order to allow demolishing Palestinian structures in Area C 

PNN/ Ramallah/

On May 9, 2018, the Israeli occupation military published military order 1797, with the main objective of expediting Israel’s unlawful demolitions of Palestinian infrastructure in the so-called “Area C” of occupied Palestine. The new unlawful order further expands the authority of the occupation civil administration to unilaterally target and demolish Palestinian structures within 96 hours, irrespective of the status of the underlying land or the issuing of building permits.

The Palestinian government, represented by Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah, strongly condemned this new violation stating that “this illegal development would generate more crimes against Palestinian rights of access to a safe and stable living environment and would worsen the already dire conditions of 393,000 Palestinian citizens”.

In a statement from the PMO office, the Palestinian government said it has also consistently strived to support Palestinian citizens residing in the so-called “Area C”, which includes supporting their resilience and protection from Israeli violations. However, it’s important to mention that Palestinians living under a belligerent military occupation are, under the international humanitarian law, a “protected population”, which obligates the occupying power to protect the occupied population. Israel has not merely neglected its duties as an occupying power, but rather has proactively and willfully done the opposite, flagrantly violating the inalienable rights of the occupied Palestinian population.

Despite, the international community constant rejection and condemnation of the Israeli illegal colonial practices, the new order comes as a measurement against International aid actors to prevent any legal action against future Israeli illegal orders, which has proven quite successful in preventing or delaying of the illegal demolitions until now. Therefore, Israel is using the new order to continue its unlawful demolition policies to drive Palestinian citizens away from their land and pave the way for the establishment of additional illegal colonial settlements.

The Palestinian government strongly urged third states, international partners and the international community at large to take concrete steps against the Israeli occupation government to rescind the illegal Military Order, which violates article 49 and 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. As well as, the recent UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres statement, that “forcible transfer does not necessarily require the use of physical force by authorities, but may be triggered by specific circumstances that leave individuals or communities with no choice but to leave; this is known as a coercive environment” (A/HRC/34/38, March 2017).

The Palestinian government also claimed the international community to not only hold Israel accountable for its numerous violations of the rights of the Palestinian people, but also to tackle the root of the problem, namely Israel’s seemingly open-ended belligerent occupation, which prevents Palestinian citizens from ever achieving a just and fair peace based on the internationally-backed two-State solution.

Report: Israel Continues Judaization in Jerusalem, ethnic cleansing in area C

 By: Madeeha Araj/ NBPRS/

The policy of Judaization and ethnic cleansing practiced by the occupation authorities to displace the Palestinian population fro m their land and tighten their life, and expansion of settlements and military areas are continued in violation of international law based on discrimination, racism and hatred. According to the information by ” Sant Eif Organization” which specialized in following up the legal matters, has  said, the occupation government and its army have called for the transfer of the administrative demolition to the West Bank C areas, which means giving the Civil Administration extensive powers to demolish houses and facilities without referring to the courts. Thus, it issued a military order to remove the new buildings and to demolish any building under construction within six months. The military order includes any residential building that does not exceed 30 days from the date of entry into force, even if the building is completed. This military order comes into force on 17-4-2018 signed by the military ruler.

Those military orders are part of the policy of forced displacement adopted by the Israeli occupation authorities, which aims at displacing the Palestinian population from their land and tightening the siege on them, to expand the settlements and the military areas, which is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and escalates to war crimes based on discrimination and ethnic cleansing.

On the other hand, the chapters and repercussions of the Nakba and the massacres of Palestinian cities and villages coincided with the opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem and the American’s recognition of it as the capital of Israel in violation of international law and resolutions of international legitimacy, including Security Council resolution 478 , which assert that East Jerusalem is occupied territory, and that the issue of Jerusalem is a final status issue, and its future must be resolved through direct negotiations.

Within this context, two-thirds of the members of the UN Security Council expressed deep concern over the failure to implement a resolution in 2016 calling for an end to Israeli settlement construction in the occupied West Bank. The UN’s envoy to the Middle East, Nikolai Mladenov, told the Council last year that Israel was putting an end to the demand for a halt to settlement construction. The National Bureau considered that the decision of the Palestinian leadership to refer the settlement file to the International Criminal Court is an important tool to submit complaints and prosecute the occupation leaders, as settlement and ethnic cleansing are war crimes. 

On the eve of the transfer of the US Embassy to the occupied city of Jerusalem, the Israeli government decided on 13-5-2018 to allocate NIS two billions to strengthen Israeli sovereignty on theeastern part of the city, besides, allocation of about NIS 350 million to develop the surrounding areas of the occupied old town, including organizing Jewish events in the Mount of Olives, and upgrading the quality of cleaning and maintenance services in public places and the restoration of the Jewish cemetery at Mount Olives.

The Israeli occupation government has also decided to control various parts of East Jerusalem and allocated NIS 50 million to confiscate lands from the neighborhoods of Beit Hanina and Sur Baher  by the end of 2021, to be completed until 2025. The so-called Minister of Justice, “Israel” Elite Shaked said, “We will strengthen our presence in East Jerusalem, and we have already begun to impose Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem..

At the same time, the Israeli government gave the green light to invest US $ 56 million for a cable car project linking West Jerusalem to the old town of East Jerusalem. Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, said on the eve of the official transfer of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, “This project will change the face of Jerusalem because it will facilitate the arrival of tourists and visitors to the Western Wall. The cable car, which has a length of 1.4 kilometers, can transport 3,000 people an hour in both directions at 21 km ph. According to his estimations the project will be ready and operated by 2021.

In addition, the Municipality of Nir Barak supports and encourages the Government to construct 4 buildings in the Gilo settlement project south of Jerusalem, each of which includes 22 housing units. This will increase the number of housing units in each project by 88 ones. The housing units will be different in size, and cost between NIS 2 million and NIS 2.7 million in 2019, 12 units have already been sold. According to Avi Tservati, Deputy Director General of Tsrifati Shimon, who oversees the construction of the “Tsrifati Pisgat Ze’ev” project, according to Israeli data, a total of 2,164 housing units have been built in Jerusalem since the beginning of the current decade. Building permits issued in 2016 and 2017 are the most important factor in the increase number of building, most of which are located in Pisgat Ze’ev. The new Tsrifate Pisgat Zeev project includes the construction of 92 new housing units in four buildings, 2 of which are 7-8 floors tall and 2 others 6-7 floors, each floor consists of 3residential units. According to Hebrew sources, American Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, financed the organization of the Friends of the Religious School “Commute” in Beit El in 2013 for $ US 12,000, with the aim of foiling any attempt to evacuate any Jewish settlement in the West Bank. 

Israeli settlers, police, brutally attack Palestinian worshipers in Al-Aqsa

PNN/ Jerusalem/

Israeli settlers and special forces on Sunday morning violently attacked Palestinian worshipers and guards of Al-Aqsa mosque, after over 1000 settlers broke into the yards of the mosque.

Videos from PNN reporter showed Israeli special forces violently attack Palestinians in the mosque, in midst of Israeli settlers chanting pro-Israeli slogans.

IOF arrested a Palestinian child after brutally beating him inside the gates of the mosque compound. Shortly after, IOF arrested guard Mohammad Al-Salhi after brutal beating as well.

PNN reporter said that the Magharba gate after 1042 extremist settlers broke  into the mosque compound.

Clashes are still taking place at the moment