Palestine

Israel Unveils 'Apartheid Road' in West Bank Palestine - News

New official data obtained by The Associated Press shows a spike in Jewish settlement construction in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem since President Donald Trump took office in 2017, along with strong evidence of decades of systematic discrimination illustrated by a huge gap in the number of construction permits granted to Jewish and Palestinian residents. The expansion of Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem, which Israel seized along with the West Bank and Gaza in the 1967 Mideast war, threatens to further complicate one of the thorniest issues in the conflict. The refusal to grant permits to Palestinian residents has confined them to crowded, poorly served neighborhoods, with around half the population believed to be at risk of having their homes demolished. The data was acquired and analyzed by the Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now, which says it only obtained the figures after a two-year battle with the municipality. It says the numbers show that while Palestinians make up more than 60% of the population in east Jerusalem, they have received only 30% of the building permits issued since 1991. The fate of the city, which is home to holy sites sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians, is at the heart of the decades-old conflict. The Palestinians want east Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state, while Israel views the entire city as its unified capital. Tensions have soared since Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017 and moved the U.S. Embassy there, breaking with a longstanding international consensus thatContinue reading

Benjamin Netanyahu - Politics Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to annex all Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, he said on Sunday, reiterating an election promise made five months ago but again giving no timeframe. Settlements are one of the most heated issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Palestinians have voiced fears Netanyahu could defy international consensus and move ahead with annexation with possible backing from U.S. President Donald Trump, a close ally. “With God’s help we will extend Jewish sovereignty to all the settlements as part of the (biblical) land of Israel, as part of the state of Israel,” Benjamin Netanyahu said in Sunday’s speech in the West Bank settlement of Elkana, where he attended a ceremony opening the school year. He did not say when he planned to make such a move. Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Netanyahu’s announcement was a “continuation of attempts to create an unacceptable fait accompli that will not lead to any peace, security or stability”. Netanyahu, who heads the right-wing Likud party, made a similar pledge days before an Israeli general election in April. After the vote, he failed to form a governing parliamentary majority and the country will hold a new election on Sept. 17. His reaffirmation of the annexation promise came amid a campaign push to draw supporters of far-right factions to Likud in the coming election, in which votes are cast for a party’s list of parliamentary candidates. In power for the past decade, but with corruptionContinue reading

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Palestine, Palestinians Killed By Israeli Troops In Gaza Protests

Tangible steps “can, and must, be taken” to urgently reverse the “negative trajectory” of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and revive the peace process, a senior United Nations envoy told the Security Council on Tuesday. “Against the backdrop of the complete political deadlock of the Middle East peace process and the lack of any perspective to revive it,” Nickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said that “the rising specter of violence in the West Bank and Gaza” threatens a regional escalation. Warning again of repercussions over the lack of a political horizon towards resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of the two-state solution, he said that unilateral moves on the ground, terror attacks and a multitude of other factors risk are creating “an explosive mix” that can only be resolved through strong leadership returning to the table for “meaningful negotiations towards a sustainable and just peace”. Mr. Mladenov, who briefed the Council via videconference from Jerusalem, elaborated on the need for “a leadership that can stand up to extremists and radicals and uphold what the international community, the Security Council and the region have said so many times – that lasting peace can only be based on the idea that Israelis and Palestinians live side-by-side in peace, security and mutual recognition, as both peoples have a legitimate and historic right to their own statehood”. Straying from a framework based on UN resolutions and mutual agreements will lead to “inevitable radicalization”, stressed Mr. Mladenov. Giving up on theContinue reading

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Palestinians - Palestine News

Israeli forces began demolishing Palestinian homes near a military barrier on the outskirts of Jerusalem on Monday, in the face of protests and international criticism. Bulldozers accompanied by hundreds of Israeli police and soldiers moved into Sur Baher, a Palestinian village on the edge of East Jerusalem in an area that Israel captured and occupied in the 1967 Middle East War. Palestinians fear the razing of buildings near the fence will set a precedent for other towns along the route of the barrier, which runs for hundreds of kilometres around and through the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The demolition is the latest round of protracted wrangling over the future of Jerusalem, home to more than 500,000 Israelis and 300,000 Palestinians, and sites sacred to Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Israeli forces cut through a wire section of the barrier in Sur Baher under cover of darkness early on Monday, and began clearing residents. Bulldozers and mechanical diggers began tearing down homes on both sides of the barrier as security forces prepared a partly constructed nine-storey building for demolition. “They have been evacuating people from their homes by force and they have started planting explosives in the homes they want to destroy,” said Hamada Hamada, a community leader. Israel’s Supreme Court ruled in June that the structures violated a construction ban. The deadline for residents to remove the affected buildings, or parts of them, was Friday. But Palestinian owners said their buildings lay within areas run by the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limitedContinue reading

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Aisha a-Lulu - Palestine News

A photo of Aisha smiling softly in her hospital bed, brown curls swaddled in bandages, drew an outpouring on social media. The wrenching details of her last days have shined a light on Israel’s vastly complex and stringent system for issuing Gaza exit permits. It is a bureaucracy that has Israeli and Palestinian authorities blaming each other for its shortfalls, while inflicting a heavy toll on Gaza’s sick children and their parents. “The most difficult thing is to leave your child in the unknown,” said Waseem a-Lulu, Aisha’s father. “Jerusalem is just an hour away, but it feels as though it is another planet.” So far this year, roughly half of applications for patient companion permits were rejected or left unanswered by Israel, according to the World Health Organization. That has forced over 600 patients, including some dozen children under 18, to make the trek out of the territory alone or without close family by their side. The system stems from the Hamas militant group’s takeover of Gaza in 2007, when it violently ousted the Western-backed Palestinian Authority. Israel and Egypt responded by imposing a blockade that tightly restricted movement in and out of Gaza. The blockade, which Israel says is necessary to prevent Hamas from arming, has precipitated a financial and humanitarian crisis in the enclave. For years, Gaza’s 2 million residents have endured rising poverty and unemployment, undrinkable groundwater and frequent electricity outages. Public hospitals wrestle with chronic shortages of drugs and basic medical equipment. Israel blames Hamas,Continue reading

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Donald Trump USA Headlines News Today

The Palestinians are planning to hold a “popular uprising” later this month to protest against US President Donald Trump’s controversial “deal of the century”. The protests are scheduled to take place on June 25-26 in conjunction with the US-led conference in Bahrain – where the first part of Trump’s so-called “peace plan” which is spearheaded by his son-in-law Jared Kushner, will be unveiled. The call for the “popular uprising” was made by representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) factions, Palestinian civil society organizations and independent Palestinian figures on Sunday after a meeting in the occupied West Bank city of el-Bireh. Wasel Abu Yusef, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, said the Palestinians need to engage in “struggling action to foil the ‘deal of the century’ and its economic aspect, and voice their rejection of all American policies.” Abu Yusef noted that Sunday’s meeting was the first in a series of gatherings to arrange “popular activities to confront American-Israeli schemes aimed at eliminating the rights of the Palestinian people.” He urged Arab nations to boycott the Bahrain conference “because the rights of the Palestinian people can’t be traded for money.” Late last month, the PLO affirmed its final opposition to the conference and called on the international community to boycott the workshop. Another senior PLO official, Tayseer Khaled, stressed the need to “change the rules of engagement with the policies of the US administration” and the Israeli regime. He cited “the big changes in the policy of the USContinue reading

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UNRWA - United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees

The head of the United Nations agency that has supported Palestinian refugees for seven decades hit back on Thursday at a U.S. proposal to have host countries take over the services it provides across the Middle East. The suggestion, from U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt at a U.N. Security Council meeting on Wednesday, that UNRWA should be effectively dismantled was the latest U.S. attack on an agency that began operations in 1950. Formerly UNRWA’s largest donor, the United States halted its funding to the agency in 2018, deeming its fiscal practices “irredeemably flawed” and stoking tensions between the Palestinians and U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration. “We need to engage with host governments to start a conversation about planning the transition of UNRWA services to host governments, or to other international or local non-governmental organizations, as appropriate,” Greenblatt said after the Security Council was briefed by UNRWA chief Pierre Krahenbuhl. Asked at a Gaza news conference on Thursday about Greenblatt’s remarks, Krahenbuhl said UNRWA’s mandate was a matter for the entire U.N. General Assembly to consider, not by “one or two individual member states”. “Therefore, Palestinian refugees should remember that the mandate is protected by the General Assembly, and of course we will engage with member states to ensure what we hope is a safe renewal of that mandate,” Krahenbuhl said. STRONG BACKING IN U.N. GENERAL ASSEMBLY UNRWA’s mission is due to come up for renewal later this year in the General Assembly, where support for the agency has beenContinue reading

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Palestinians - Palestine News

Palestinians will stay away from a U.S.-led conference in Bahrain next month that the Trump administration has cast as an overture to its own plan for peace between them and Israel, a Palestinian cabinet minister said on Monday. Washington announced the conference on Sunday, describing it as an opportunity to drum up international investment for the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians, who have boycotted the Trump administration since it recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017, have shown little interest in discussing a plan on which they had no input and that they anticipate will fall far short of their core demands. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Monday that his government had not been consulted on the June 25-26 gathering in Manama. After the cabinet met, Ahhmed Majdalani, the social development minister and a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation executive committee, said: “There will be no Palestinian participation in the Manama workshop.” “Any Palestinian who would take part would be nothing but a collaborator for the Americans and Israel,” he said. Shtayyeh reiterated Palestinians’ aspirations for a two-state peace agreement with Israel entailing control of the occupied West Bank and Gaza – currently run by the Islamist group Hamas – as well as East Jerusalem as their future capital. Internationally-mediated talks to that end have been stalemated for years. Israel calls Jerusalem its indivisible capital and has said it might declare sovereignty in its West Bank settlements, which are deemed illegal byContinue reading

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