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Israel to build ‘Embassy Quarter’ in occupied Jerusalem

MEMO | December 12, 2018

Israel is to build an embassy complex in occupied Jerusalem, a year after US President Donald Trump announced his plans to relocate the American Embassy to the city. Israel’s Construction and Housing Ministry announced today that it plans to build a complex with space for nine separate embassies in occupied East Jerusalem, in the belief that more countries will follow the US lead and move their diplomatic missions from Tel Aviv, Arutz Sheva reported.

The complex is to be built on a 25-acre plot of land in East Talpiot, a southern neighbourhood of Jerusalem. Following the Nakba of 1948, East Talpiot became part of no man’s land, next to the 1949 Armistice Line – sometimes known as the Green Line – observed by Israel and Jordan. During the Six Day War of 1967 Israel occupied the neighbourhood, establishing an illegal settlement there in 1973.

The plan to build the complex in East Talpiot is therefore in contravention of international law. As such, any country which chooses to move its embassy into the complex upon its completion would also be violating international law.

The intended construction is being pushed by Israel’s Construction and Housing Minister, Yoav Galant, who said of the plan: “I am convinced that many more countries will relocate their embassies to Jerusalem, which is why I instructed experts in the ministry to come up with an appropriate solution for the embassies in the future, including construction of a special ‘Embassy Quarter’.”

Galant urged the international community to relocate their embassies to Jerusalem. “It is our eternal capital. It is the right thing to do. Make the move quickly; the best places are going to be taken quickly.”

US embassy moved to Jerusalem – Cartoon [Chappatte/Twitter]

Since Trump announced that he would move the US embassy to Jerusalem last December, only Guatemala and Paraguay have followed suit. However, within months of relocating its mission, Paraguay reversed the decision and moved the embassy back to Tel Aviv, citing a desire to support “broad, lasting and just peace” among Israelis and Palestinians.

Other countries have toyed with the idea of moving their embassies to Jerusalem but have been hesitant to follow through with the move. In October, it emerged that Australia was contemplating relocating its embassy, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying that he was “open-minded” about it. “No decision has been made regarding the recognition of a capital or the movement of an embassy […] but at the same time, what we are simply doing is being open to that suggestion,” he explained.

This prompted a furious backlash from Malaysia and Indonesia, two countries that have historically been supportive of the Palestinian cause. Australia has not yet acted on any such plans, with reports emerging yesterday that a decision is “still pending”.

December 12, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jewish temple activists set up altar for animal sacrifice in Jerusalem

Palestine Information Center – December 11, 2018

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Jewish activists, who hope to see the temple mount built in place of the Aqsa Mosque, unveiled a new altar in Occupied Jerusalem Monday, which they say is intended to be placed in the future on the mount after removing the Mosque and used to offer animal sacrifices.

According to Haaretz newspaper, these activists, who are preparing for a rebuilt temple by recreating some of the ancient tools used in temple rituals, have been practicing, for the past decade, the offering of sacrifices in the days before Passover.

On Monday, the activists wanted to practice using the altar but had to make do with only part of the service because the Israeli Jerusalem municipality refused to let them slaughter an animal in a public park.

“In the end, there will be a grander altar, but for the time being we have this, and the moment they open the gates we’re ready to take it up to the temple mount,” senior temple mount activist Shimshon Elboim told the newspaper.

So far the practice sessions have included slaughtering an animal and offering it on a temporary altar of wood in an area near the western wall of the Mosque

On Monday, the activists wanted to execute the complete ritual of slaughtering the animal and offering it after they received a permit from the police for that, but the municipality’s legal adviser rejected their request to slaughter an animal in a public park outside the Old City walls, thus the sheep earmarked for this purpose was taken to another location to be slaughtered.

“What we still have to do is awaken the people,” Elboim said. “There is slow but sure progress, and if the authorities allow it, tomorrow we can do the whole service.”

December 11, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | Leave a comment

No connection between Judaism and Al-Aqsa, suggests UN resolution

Muslims arrive at Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound to perform the Friday prayer in Jerusalem on 26 October 2018 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
MEMO | December 3, 2018

The UN General Assembly has apparently rejected any connection between Judaism and the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa. In a vote held on Friday, the General Assembly passed six resolutions condemning Israeli violations against Palestinians. Among them was Resolution A/73/L.29 entitled “Jerusalem” which called for “respect for the historic status quo at the holy places of Jerusalem, including the Haram Al-Sharif.”

The use of the Arabic name for the sanctuary has been interpreted as a not-so-subtle rejection of the site’s alleged connection with Judaism. The Jewish name for the Noble Sanctuary, the Temple Mount, is not mentioned anywhere in the UN document.

The resolution received 148 votes in favour and just 11 against. It also stressed that the UN General Assembly,

“Reiterates its determination that any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever, and calls upon Israel to immediately cease all such illegal and unilateral measures.”

The Assembly passed several other resolutions on the question of Israel-Palestine this weekend. One — A/73/L.29 The Syrian Golan — rejected Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights, “demand[ing] once more that Israel withdraw from all the occupied Syrian Golan to the line of 4 June 1967 in implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions.”

The resolution also declared that “the Israeli decision of 14 December 1981 to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan is null and void,” adding: “The continued [Israeli] occupation of the Syrian Golan and its de facto annexation constitute a stumbling block in the way of achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region.”

The General Assembly resolutions were condemned vehemently in the Israeli media, with Breaking Israel News slamming them as evidence of the UN “[continuing] its streak of frequently condemning the Jewish state”. Other media cited NGO UN Watch — which is known for calling the UN anti-Israel or anti-Semitic – as saying that the “Jerusalem” resolution “implies that Israeli administration of Jerusalem hinders freedom of religion when in fact the opposite is true.” UN Watch also labelled the “Syrian Golan” resolution as being “oblivious to [the] genocidal massacres taking place now in Syria, and its security implications for Israel and the civilians of the Golan Heights.”

The resolutions, however, were hailed as a success by the Palestinian Authority, Wafa reported. “By voting in favour of the five resolutions,” said Palestine’s Permanent Observer to the UN, Riyad Mansour, “the international community affirms its support of our national cause, despite the efforts made by the US administration in international forums to resist this.”

In a rare move, following the General Assembly vote, the European Union publicly warned the Palestinians that they must drop their UN bid to use only Al-Haram Al-Sharif to refer to Jerusalem’s holiest site. In a statement, the EU “[stressed] the need for language on the holy sites of Jerusalem to reflect the importance and historical significance of the holy sites for the three monotheistic religions, and to respect religious and cultural sensitivities.” It added that the future choice of language “may affect the EU’s collective support for the resolutions.”

Commenting on the EU statement, the Jerusalem Post observed, “Until now, the EU has not taken a united stand on a drive by both the Arab states and the Palestinians to subtly change UN language with regard to the Temple Mount [Al-Haram Al-Sharif].” Its opposition or decision to abstain on any future resolutions of this nature “would mark a dramatic shift in its policy.”

READ ALSO:

Hamas hails Fatah’s criticism to US’ draft resolution condemning resistance at UN

December 3, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel wages a New War of Attrition in Jerusalem

“Jesus is a monkey”
By Jonathan Cook | The National | December 2, 2018

Czech president Milos Zeman offered Benjamin Netanyahu’s ultra-nationalist government a fillip during his visit to Israel last week. He inaugurated a cultural and trade centre, Czech House, just outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls.

At the opening, he expressed hope it would serve as a precursor to his country relocating its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. If so, the Czech Republic would become the first European state to follow US President Donald Trump’s lead in moving the US embassy in May.

It is this kind of endorsement that, of late, has emboldened Mr Netanyahu’s government, the Israeli courts, Jerusalem officials and settler organisations to step up their combined assault on Palestinians in the Old City and its surrounding neighbourhoods.

Israel has never hidden its ambition to seize control of East Jerusalem, Palestinian territory it occupied in 1967 and then annexed, as a way of preventing a viable Palestinian state from emerging.

Israel immediately began building an arc of Jewish settlements on Jerusalem’s eastern flank to seal off its Palestinian residents from their political hinterland, the West Bank.

More than a decade ago, it consolidated its domination with a mammoth concrete wall that cut through East Jerusalem. The aim was to seal off densely populated Palestinian neighbourhoods on the far side, ensuring the most prized and vulnerable areas – the Old City and its environs – could be more easily colonised, or “Judaised”, as Israel terms it.

This area, the heart of Jerusalem, is where magnificent holy places such as the Al Aqsa mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are to be found.

Under cover of the 1967 war, Israel ethnically cleansed many hundreds of Palestinians living near the Western Wall, a retaining wall of the elevated Al Aqsa compound that is venerated in Judaism. Since then, Israeli leaders have grown ever hungrier for control of the compound itself, which they believe is built over two long-lost Jewish temples.

Israel has forced the compound’s Muslim authorities to allow Jews to visit in record numbers, even though most wish to see the mosque replaced with a third Jewish temple. Meanwhile, Israel has severely limited the numbers of Palestinians who can reach the holy site.

Until now, Israel had mostly moved with stealth, making changes gradually so they rarely risked inflaming the Arab world or provoking western reaction. But after Mr Trump’s embassy move, a new Israeli confidence is tangible.

On four fronts, Israel has demonstrated its assertive new mood. First, with the help of ever-more compliant Israeli courts, it has intensified efforts to evict Palestinians from their homes in the Old City and just outside its historic walls.

Last month, the supreme court handed down a ruling that sanctions the eviction of 700 Palestinians from Silwan, a dense neighbourhood on a hillside below Al Aqsa. Ateret Cohanim, a settler organisation backed by government-subsidised armed guards, is now poised to take over the centre of Silwan.

It will mean more Israeli security and police protecting the settler population and more city officials enforcing prejudicial planning rules against Palestinians. The inevitable protests will justify more arrests of Palestinians, including children. This is how bureacratic ethnic cleansing works.

The supreme court also rejected an appeal against a Palestinian family’s eviction from Sheikh Jarrah, another key neighbourhood near the Old City. The decision opens the way to expelling dozens more families.

B’Tselem, an Israeli rights group, characterised these rulings as “sanctioning the broadest move to dispossess Palestinians since 1967”.

At the same time, Israel’s parliament approved a law to accelerate the settler takeover.

Over many years, Israel created a series of national parks around the Old City on the pretext of preserving “green areas”. Some hem in Palestinian neighbourhoods to stop their expansion while others were declared on the land of existing Palestinian homes to justify expelling the occupants.

Now the parliament has reversed course. The new law, drafted by another settler group, Elad, will allow house-building in national parks, but only for Jews.

Elad’s immediate aim is to bolster the settler presence in Silwan, where it has overseen a national park next to Al Aqsa. Archaeology has been co-opted to supposedly prove the area was once ruled by King David while thousands of years of subsequent history, most especially the current Palestinian presence, are erased.

Elad’s activities include excavating under Palestinian homes, weakening their foundations.

A massive new Jewish history-themed visitor centre will dominate Silwan’s entrance. Completing the project is a $55 million cable car, designed to carry thousands of tourists an hour over Silwan and other neighbourhoods, rendering the Palestinian inhabitants invisible as visitors are delivered effortlessly to the Western Wall without ever having to encounter them.

The settlers have their own underhand methods. With the authorities’ connivance, they have forged documents to seize Palestinian homes closest to Al Aqsa. In other cases, the settlers have recruited Arab collaborators to dupe other Palestinians into selling their homes.

Once they gain a foothold, the settlers typically turn the appropriated home into an armed compound. Noise blares out into the early hours, Palestinian neighbours are subjected to regular police raids and excrement is left in their doorways.

After the recent sale to settlers of a home strategically located in the Old City’s Muslim quarter, the Palestinian Authority set up a commission of inquiry to investigate. But the PA is near-powerless to stop this looting after Israel passed a law in 1995 denying it any role in Jerusalem.

The same measure is now being vigorously enforced against the few residents trying to stop the settler banditry.

Adnan Ghaith, Jerusalem’s governor and a Silwan resident, was arrested last week for a second time and banned from entering the West Bank and meeting PA officials. Adnan Husseini, the Palestinian minister for Jerusalem, is under a six-month travel ban by Israel.

Last week dozens of Palestinians were arrested in Jerusalem, accused of working for the PA to stop house sales to the settlers.

It is a quiet campaign of attrition, designed to wear down Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents. The hope is that they will eventually despair and relocate to the city’s distant suburbs outside the wall or into the West Bank.

What Palestinians in Jerusalem urgently need is a reason for hope – and a clear signal that other countries will not join the US in abandoning them.

December 2, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Leave a comment

Jewish Americans sue Airbnb over West Bank listing ban

MEMO | November 29, 2018

A group of Jewish Americans sued Airbnb Inc on Wednesday in US federal court, accusing the home rental company of religious discrimination over its decision last week to remove listings for about 200 homes in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Reuters reports.

The 18 plaintiffs, including Israeli-American families and individuals who said they own or wish to rent affected homes, accused Airbnb of “redlining” Jewish-owned properties while letting Muslims and Christians rent their homes.

They said this effectively left Airbnb taking sides in the dispute over the West Bank, where Palestinians hope to establish an independent state and which Israel captured in 1967, along with East Jerusalem.

“We don’t believe this lawsuit will succeed in court, but we know that people will disagree with our decision and appreciate their perspective,” Airbnb said in a statement.

The complaint was filed in federal court in Delaware, where Airbnb is incorporated, and which the plaintiffs said has jurisdiction over the San Francisco-based company’s alleged violation of US laws against housing discrimination.

“Airbnb has made a religion- and nationality-based decision about who can list,” Robert Tolchin, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in an interview. “It decided in the United States, ‘We will not list for Jews in the West Bank.’ It should be equal access for all.”

The plaintiffs are seeking injunctive relief and unspecified damages, including for lost rental income.

A separate lawsuit challenging Airbnb’s policy was filed in a Jerusalem court on Nov. 22.

The Delaware case differed by claiming that “Airbnb is violating Americans’ rights, and this can’t be argued in an Israeli court under Israeli law,” Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, another lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in an interview.

Most world powers believe Israel’s settlements on occupied Palestinian land violate international law.

Roughly 500,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Airbnb’s delisting was announced on Nov. 19 and applies only in the West Bank, where Palestinians have limited self-rule under Israeli military occupation.

While concluding that “companies should not profit on lands where people have been displaced,” Airbnb said it had “deep respect” for the “many strong views” about what to do with disputed lands.

Palestinians in the West Bank have welcomed Airbnb’s decision.

The case is Silber et al v Airbnb Inc, US District Court, District of Delaware, No. 18-01884.

November 29, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Israeli Special Police remand Jerusalem Governor for four days

Ma’an – October 21, 2018

JERUSALEM – Israeli authorities remanded the Palestinian Governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, several hours after he was detained from the Beit Hanina neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, on Sunday.

According to local sources, on Saturday, several vehicles, belonging to the special unit of Israeli forces, intercepted another vehicle that was transporting the Palestinian Governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, in the Beit Hanina neighborhood, and detained him without providing a reason.

Sources added that Israeli forces immediately took Ghaith to an unknown location.

However, several hours after his detention, the Israeli authorities remanded Ghaith for four days.

Muhammad Mahmoud, Ghaith’s lawyer, said an Israeli court in Jerusalem referred Ghaith to the court of Ofer, near Ramallah, for allegedly “committing a violation” inside the West Bank.

The exact details of what the “violation” entails remained unknown.

Additionally, Israeli forces detained Jihad Faqeeh, 50, who is the head of the Jerusalem office in the Palestinian Intelligence force, at a military checkpoint near the Qatanna village, also in the central West Bank district of Jerusalem, as he was heading to work in Ramallah City.

October 21, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

Australia and its Israel Embassy: What are they Thinking?

By James O’Neill | OffGuardian | October 18, 2018

According to recent media reports, the Liberal candidate in the Wentworth (Sydney) by-election, former diplomat David Sharma said he “was open” to the idea that Australia’s embassy in Israel could be shifted from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In a separate tweet he went further and said Australia “should consider recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The ostensible reason is that it would be following the lead of the United States.

In separate reports, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is said to be making an announcement in Canberra on 16 October also suggesting that Australia should follow the US lead.

Sharma did qualify his suggestion that Australia’s embassy shift to Jerusalem “should be looked at in the context of a two-state solution (to Israel-Palestine)“.

It is possible that both Sharma and Morrison have timed their statements to coincide with the by-election by making a pitch for the Jewish vote in that electorate. According to census data, Wentworth has 12.5 percent of its population professing the Jewish faith, a significant figure in electoral terms. That is the kindest interpretation that can be placed on their remarks.

More likely, it is yet another example of Australia blindly following the United States in adopting a policy that is clearly in breach of international law. The Guardian and other mainstream media outlets have noted that the American policy has thus far only been followed by Guatemala. No mainstream media outlet has raised the issue of such a policy being in breach of international law. The special status of Jerusalem has been completely ignored.

Jerusalem is an international city under United Nations protection, and has been so since Resolution 181 of 1947, which declared Jerusalem a “separate entity.”

In June 1980, UN Security Council Resolution 476 was unanimously passed (i.e. including the US), declaring that “all actions by Israel, the occupying power, which purports to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of international law.”

UNSC Resolution 478, also passed unanimously, called upon all “States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem.” UNSC resolutions are binding on all States. There is no room for ambiguity here, and even if Sharma and Morrison (and the Australian media) choose to ignore this issue, that is not an excuse. It has to be presumed that the legal advisors to the government in the Department of Foreign Affairs are cognisant of the legal implications of the government’s proposed shift in policy.

Sharma’s qualification that such a move would be in the context of a two state solution is absolutely meaningless. The Israeli government is totally uninterested in such a development, as its actions since 1948 make abundantly clear. Its ongoing theft of Palestinian land, the blockade of Gaza, the daily shootings of Palestinian men, women and children and its complete ignoring of multiple General Assembly resolutions over decades are all symptomatic of a violent, apartheid regime for whom international law is just an impediment to fulfillment of the Yinon Plan for a Greater Israel.

That Australia should even contemplate moving its embassy to Jerusalem beggars belief. UNSC resolutions are binding on member states. The fact that the United States chooses to ignore international law comes as no great surprise, even when, as with the Jerusalem resolutions they were a party to their formulation and voted for them.

The latest suggestions about Australia moving its embassy to Jerusalem puts them in the same dubious company as the US and Israel, both serial violators of international law. Does Australia really want to be in that company? Its voting record in the UN on Israel-Palestine issues tends to answer that question in the affirmative. This latest disregard for international law is consistent with Australia’s disregard for its international obligations toward the treatment of refugees on Manus and Nauru. It therefore marks a continuing downward slide from its earlier proud role as a supporter of a principled approach to foreign policy issues, and especially issues of international law.

This degradation of policy has not been matched with a reduction in the rhetoric of Australia’s professed belief in the “rules based international order.” The manifest hypocrisy of that position is now exemplified even more by the proposed shifting of the Australian embassy to Jerusalem. Australia’s policies are no more than a hollow sham.

James O’Neill is a Barrister at Law and geopolitical analyst. He may be contacted at joneill@qldbar.asn.au

October 18, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , | 8 Comments

Israel Rattled By UNESCO’s Palestinian Protection Pledges

Al-Aqsa compound in East Jerusalem. (Photo: via Twitter)
Palestine Chronicle | October 12, 2018

The executive council of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has left Israel disquieted, after vowing to effect protections for Palestinian heritage.

A statement, issued by Israel’s United Nations ambassador Danny Danon, said:

“This is an additional proof for those who did not understand why the United States and Israel withdrew from UNESCO. This proves once again that UNESCO is a body based on lies, biases and deliberate action against us. Israel will not be a member of an organization that is trying to rewrite history and accept to be exploited by our enemies.”

The protections cover educational and cultural institutions, the need to protect and preserve the monuments, culture and education in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and to show Israeli violations against Palestinian heritage, cultural and natural sites, particularly the Old City of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa Compound, the Church of the Nativity, the mosque of Bilal ibn Rabah in Bethlehem, the Old City and the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron (Al-Khalil) and the Gaza Strip.

Israel sternly rejected the mandate which the council unanimously espoused Wednesday during a Palestine resolutions session at the body’s 205th plenary meeting in Paris.

The disputed resolutions detail, according to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, that,

“The Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, a site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and on the List of World Heritage in Danger, is the sacred city of the three monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” reaffirming that “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and in particular the ‘basic law’ on Jerusalem, are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith.”

The Program and External Relations Commission (PX) of the UNESCO executive also adopted a second resolution to include crimes committed by Israel, such as the destruction of schools and other crimes committed in Khan Al-Ahmar.

The UNESCO declaration stated:

“The two Palestinian sites of Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi/Tomb of the Patriarchs in al-Khalil/Hebron and the Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque/Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem” are “an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and shares the conviction affirmed by the international community that the two sites are of religious significance for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.”

It also added:

“The ongoing Israeli excavations, works, construction of private roads for settlers and of a Wall inside the Old City of Al-Khalil/Hebron which are illegal under international law and harmfully affect the authenticity and integrity of the site, and the subsequent denial of freedom of movement and freedom of access to places of worship.”

Both resolutions are supported by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan.

“Tthe spirit of dialogue and the sense of responsibility that led to this result. A trend towards consensus is now emerging,” UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay added.

October 12, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Israel arrests 500 Palestinians over Facebook posts

Palestine Information Center – October 8, 2018

GAZA – Israel has arrested 500 Palestinians, including women, children and MPs, over their social media posts, the Palestine Center for Prisoners Studies reported.

The center’s spokesman Riyadh Al-Ashqar said that the Israeli authorities began arresting Palestinians for their social media posts since the start of the Jerusalem Intifada claiming such uploads incite terror against Israel.

Israel is using its recently formed “Cyber Unit” to monitor Palestinian social media posts, he said.

This unit, Al-Ashqar said, classifies any Facebook post that glorifies Palestinian martyrs, discloses Israeli crimes, and supports resistance as “incitement of terror”.

Hundreds of Palestinians have been sentenced over the past three years to different jail terms on the ground of incitement on social media, he charged.

Some others were placed under house arrest and denied from using social media platforms, he continued.

Al-Ashqar strongly condemned such arrests that “clearly violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention of Human Rights.”

He concluded by calling on the international community to protect the Palestinian people’s right of freedom of expression.

October 8, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 3 Comments

UNRWA concerned about Israel plan to stop its work in Jerusalem

MEMO – October 6, 2018

The UN Works and Relief Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has expressed its concern about a statement made by Jerusalem’s mayor, Nir Barkat, that he would stop the organisation’s operations in the occupied city.

UNRWA’s statement, a copy of which was sent to MEMO, said: “UNRWA conducts humanitarian operations in conformity with the UN Charter, bilateral and multilateral agreements that continue to be in force, [as well as] relevant General Assembly resolutions”.

The statement added: “The Agency is specifically mandated by the UN General Assembly to deliver protection and assistance to Palestine refugees in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, pending a resolution of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.”

It continued: “UNRWA has continuously maintained operations in the occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem since 1967, with the cooperation and on the basis of a formal agreement with the State of Israel, which remains in force”.

“The Agency is recognized for the important work it carries out in education, health-care, relief and social services in East Jerusalem. It is determined to continue carrying out these services”.

Yesterday Barkat, Israeli mayor of Jerusalem, accused UNRWA of “operating illegally and promoting incitement against Israel,” before confirming that UNRWA schools in the occupied city will be closed by the end of the current school year. As well as schools, clinics, sports centres and other services will also be transferred to the Israeli-controlled Jerusalem Municipality.

UNRWA said of Barkat’s statement: “Such messaging challenges the core principles of impartial and independent humanitarian action and does not reflect the robust and structured dialogue and interaction that UNRWA and the State of Israel have traditionally maintained.”

October 6, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Jerusalem: Israel settlers occupy buildings near Al-Aqsa Mosque

MEMO | October 4, 2018

Israeli settlers have occupied two Palestinian buildings near Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.

In the early hours of this morning, Israeli settlers stormed a building in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. According to Wafa, the “settlers moved into the building owned by the Joudeh family, which was used as a clinic” in the Aqbat Darwish area, near Al-Aqsa Mosque.

This was the second building in Jerusalem to be taken over in the past two days. Yesterday settlers occupied a building in the Wadi Hilweh area of Silwan, situated just outside the walls of the Old City and below Al-Aqsa Mosque.

This is not the first time these areas have been targeted by illegal Israeli settlers, with Silwan in particular repeatedly facing attempts to drive Palestinian inhabitants from their homes. The “City of David” national park – a tourist site and archaeological dig run by right-wing settler group City of David Foundation (also known as Elad) – is situated in Batan Al-Hawa in Silwan and is frequently used as justification for such illegal activity.

In July, the Israeli Knesset advanced a new law that would allow residential construction in the “City of David” national park. According to a report by Haaretz, “the minutes of the [Elad] committee’s previous meeting in January made it clear that Elad and its leader, David Beeri, are behind the bill, which is designed to promote construction at the site.”

In August a “heritage centre” was opened in the park, with the inauguration attended by senior Israeli and US figures. A Palestinian resident of Silwan, Yakoub Al-Rajabi, explained that: “We know that this was a well-orchestrated plan to force us to leave […] And if we stay, it will paralyse us and isolate us in our homes”.

Since 2002, 700 Palestinians have been facing eviction from their land in Batan Al-Hawa. Their land was transferred to the Benvenisti Trust when Israel’s Justice Ministry issued title deeds to the organisation for the land in question. The trust is controlled by Ateret Cohanim, a right-wing organisation that encourages Jewish Israelis to settle illegally in Palestinian neighbourhoods of Jerusalem.

In June, Israel admitted that its decision to evict the Palestinians of Batan Al-Hawa was “flawed” and that it had not properly investigated the nature of the trust, or the Ottoman-era law that applies to the case. Despite the admission, a number of families have already been evicted from Batan Al-Hawa or are embroiled in court battles to save their homes.

Other areas of Jerusalem are also targeted for illegal Israeli settlement. According to statistics from the Jerusalem Institute, as of 2015 there were some 211,000 Jewish Israelis living in occupied East Jerusalem, amounting to 40 per cent of all inhabitants in these neighbourhoods. The statistics also demonstrate that the number of Israelis living in illegal Jerusalem settlements has grown consistently since the city was occupied in 1967.

READ ALSO: Israel settlers flood Khan Al-Ahmar with waste water

October 4, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel bans restoration of East Jerusalem sports stadium

MEMO | September 21, 2018

The Israeli authorities yesterday banned the renovation of a sports stadium in the Palestinian town of Issawiya, northeast of East Jerusalem.

A member of the follow-up committee in Issawiya, Mohammed Abu Al-Homs, said that joint teams from the Israeli Jerusalem municipality and police forces stormed the Yasser Arafat sports stadium during renovation work and forced the workers to stop working under the pretext that the renovation was being financed by a terrorist group.

He explained that the Issawiya management club started about a month ago to restore the stadium with donations from the local residents, but they were surprised yesterday when the Israeli army forces stormed the stadium and stopped the restoration work.

He added that the Jerusalem municipality tried to seize the stadium by offering to restore it themselves and turn it into a public arena, but the club’s management and the town residents refused, stressing that they will restore the stadium on their own.

September 21, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | Leave a comment