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US blocks UNSC criticism of Israel’s expulsion from Hebron of international monitors

MEMO | February 7, 2019

The US blocked a draft United Nations Security Council statement yesterday from issuing a statement that would have expressed concerns over Israel’s decision to expel the international observatory task force that has been monitoring the situation in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron for 20 years.

The 15-member UN Security Council discussed Israel’s decision behind closed doors at the request of Kuwait and Indonesia, which also drafted the statement. Such a statement has to be agreed unanimously.

UN diplomats said that the US had blocked the statement saying that they did not believe a council statement on the issue was appropriate.

The draft statement, seen by Reuters, would have also recognised the importance of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) and its “efforts to foster calm in a highly sensitive area and fragile situation on the ground, which risks further deteriorating.”

The proposed statement also intended to express the Security Council’s “regret” about Israel’s “unilateral decision” to eject the force from occupied Hebron and call for “calm and restraint”.

The TIPH was set up after a Jewish settler, Baruch Goldstein, massacred 29 Palestinians in 1994 at the Ibrahimi Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week he would not renew the mandate of TIPH accusing the observers of unspecified anti-Israel activity. His decision heightened Palestinian concerns over their safety. Palestinian residents of Hebron regularly come under attack from illegal settlers and Israeli occupying forces. They often say that they are living under an apartheid Israeli system. The Old City of Hebron is completely divided through the presence of barriers, closures, military zones and settlements, to accommodate some of Israel’s most extreme settlers.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) echoed the concerns and called for a UN protection force to ensure the safety of Palestinians until Israel ends its “belligerent occupation”. The UN should “guarantee the safety and protection of the people of Palestine” until “the end of Israel’s belligerent occupation,” said Palestinian official Saeb Erekat.

February 7, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

PALESTINE: Border Police detain, humiliate and arrest men trying to go to Friday prayers; CPTer’s camera taken.

CPTnet |  February 11, 2014

On 7 February 2014, CPTers went to the routine Friday mosque patrol around prayer time. Often during Friday prayers, Israeli Border police will take the IDs of young Palestinian men while they going into the Ibrahimi Mosque, check to see if they have any outstanding warrants and then return the IDs when the men come out of the mosque. This Friday, however, Border Police were not allowing the men to go to the mosque while they were checking the IDs.

When CPTers called members of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), TIPH personnel told them that Border Police were detaining men at several H-2 checkpoints. The CPTers decided to look at Checkpoint 29 and found Border Police detaining twenty to thirty men there. Several of them were quite angry because of the way the Border Police had been treating them. Other men were trying to calm the situation. When one man, after realizing he was going to miss prayers at the mosque, began to lay his prayer rug on the ground to pray at the checkpoint, one of the Border Police shoved him against a wall, which really enraged several people in the crowd.

Soldiers pepper-sprayed a boy who appeared to be about eleven or twelve and an older man, who was later hospitalized. The boy passed out and was taken down the hill to a shop. Additional soldiers arrived and began deploying sound bombs and teargas. Police arrested eight men.

Video of Border Police pepperspraying man

After the police took away the men they had arrested, CPTers remained in the area because of the heavy soldier and Border police presence. Civilian police approached one and asked for his passport and his camera. They insisted on taking his camera to the police station and he accompanied it. While he was at the police station, they asked him questions about what he had witnessed, periodically coming out of a room and telling another CPTer that “your friend isn’t arrested; he is just giving testimony.”

As of this writing, six of the men arrested on Friday have been released, while two are still in custody.

February 11, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | Leave a comment