Sunday, December 09, 2018 Last Update: 3:15 PM GMT

Netanyahu Focuses on Hezbollah Tunnel Raids amid Fraud Investigation (VIDEOS)

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.(Photo:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took foreign diplomats to the border with Lebanon on Thursday, ramping up anti-Hezbollah rhetoric amid a controversial military operation to destroy alleged attack tunnels.

Israel announced on Tuesday that it had discovered alleged Hezbollah tunnels infiltrating its territory from Lebanon and launched an operation to destroy them, but Lebanon has disputed claims amid accusations Netanyahu is trying to distract from his legal problems.

On Wednesday, Netanyahu told UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that “he expects the UN to strongly condemn the violation of Israel’s sovereignty”, according to his office’s Twitter account.

He said in a Hebrew-language statement on Thursday:

“I told the ambassadors that they should condemn this aggression by Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, unequivocally, and of course also to intensify the sanctions against these elements.”

Netanyahu said Thursday that Hezbollah, like Hamas in the Gaza Strip, was acting on behalf of its patron Iran.

He said:

“Anyone who attacks us will have bloodshed on their own heads. Hezbollah knows that and Hamas knows it too.”

The military said it had located one such tunnel dug from a home in the Kfar Kila area of south Lebanon that crossed into Israeli territory and was working to “neutralize” it.

Lebanon’s parliament speaker Nabih Berri said on Wednesday that Israel had provided no evidence of tunnels allegedly built by Hezbollah to launch cross-border attacks.

There has been no comment from Hezbollah.

Amid the much-publicized tunnel operations, Netanyahu has been condemned by opposition politicians and commentators for seeking to distract from mounting personal legal woes and a fragile political coalition.

Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Wednesday accused Netanyahu of “blowing the [tunnel] incident out of proportion”.

Livni alleged that part of Netanyahu’s thinking was to deflect criticism from residents of southern Israel who say he has failed to quash the threat of cross-border rocket fire from militants in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli leader is seeking to hold his governing coalition together after last month’s resignation of defense minister Avigdor Lieberman over a controversial Gaza ceasefire, which left him clinging to a one-seat majority in parliament.

The prime minister took over the defense portfolio after Lieberman’s resignation.

He has also faced mounting legal woes, with police on Sunday recommending that he and his wife Sara be indicted for bribery, the third such decision against the premier in recent months.

(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)

US Fails to Win enough Support at UN to Condemn Hamas (VIDEO)

US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. (Photo: via Twitter)

A US attempt to get the United Nations to condemn violence by Palestinian militant group Hamas for the first time failed on Thursday because the draft resolution fell short of votes needed in the General Assembly, Reuters reports.

The resolution required two-thirds support and while Assembly resolutions are non-binding, they can carry political weight. The US text received 87 votes in favor, 58 against, 32 abstentions and 16 countries did not vote.

In an earlier procedural move requested by Kuwait, the 193-member body narrowly voted to require two-thirds support and not a simple majority for adoption of the draft resolution.

Outgoing US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley had written to member states on Monday to urge them to vote for the US-drafted text, warning them:

“The United States takes the outcome of this vote very seriously.”

Haley, who will step down at the end of the year, has been a staunch defender of Israel.

Haley told the body before the vote:

“Before the General Assembly can credibly advocate compromise and reconciliation between the Palestinians and Israel, it must on record, unambiguously and unconditionally, condemn Hamas terrorism.”

The United States is working on a long-awaited plan to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but the Palestinians are skeptical and have accused the Trump administration of siding with Israel on core issues.

Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters that,

“Rejecting the American drafted resolution against the resistance represents a blow to the American administration and reaffirms the legitimacy of the resistance.”

Iran’s Deputy UN Ambassador Eshagh Al Habib accused the United States of trying to deflect the attention of the world from the root causes of the conflict and said:

“We recognize Hamas as a legitimate resistance movement fighting for the liberation of Palestinian territory from foreign occupation.”

Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon said the countries that rejected the draft resolution should be ashamed. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commended those that voted in favor.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

BDS: New York University Student Government Adopts Divestment Resolution (VIDEO)

New York University logo. (Photo: File)

The New York University (NYU) Student Government Assembly passed a divestment resolution inspired by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) last night, in what campaigners hailed as “the first resolution of this nature ever to be presented at NYU”.

According to a press release by NYU Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), the vote was carried by 35 votes in favor, and 14 against, with 14 abstentions, thus meeting the two-thirds threshold required.

The resolution, backed by 61 student groups and 34 faculty members, calls for “divesting from corporations that violate Palestinian human rights and calls on NYU to adopt a socially responsible investment policy that upholds human rights for all”.

Three corporations were specifically targeted for their involvement in the violation of Palestinian human rights: Caterpillar Inc., Lockheed Martin, and General Electric.

NYU SJP said that the resolution urges the university “to divest from these companies as well as others complicit in human rights abuses of Palestinians and globally”, and calls for “a socially responsible investment model, which would put in a place a screen to ensure the university’s investments that uphold human rights for all”.

The press release clarified that,

“The resolution will next need to be heard by the University Senate, consisting of students, faculty, deans, and staff. If the resolution passes University Senate, it will be sent to the Board of Trustees for consideration.”

The NYU student newspaper reported that “at least a hundred students” attended the meeting, with “another large crowd left waiting outside”.

Those speaking in favor of the resolution included Political Action Chair for the Black Student Union Dylan Brown, who “mentioned that the struggles of black people in the United States cannot be separated from those of the Palestinian people”.

Leen Dweik, Alternate Senator-at-Large, and Students for Justice in Palestine said:

“As a Palestinian, this resolution is deeply personal to me. said Leen Dweik, Alternate Senator-at-Large, and Students for Justice in Palestine. As an NYU student, it hurts and shocks me that the university would continue to invest in companies that directly contribute to the human rights violations of my family and my people.”

Resolution co-author Rose Asaf, Senator-at-Large and Jewish Voice for Peace-NYU, said:

“I believe that I, as a Jewish person, have a responsibility to support Palestinians in their struggle for justice and liberation. NYU likes to give the illusion that it is a progressive institution, but how progressive can it actually be when it is actively funding human rights violations?”

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Palestinian Governor of Jerusalem Banned Entry to West Bank

Adnan Ghaith, Jerusalem’s Palestinian governor. (Photo: via MEMO)

The Israeli intelligence handed an order to the Palestinian Governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, banning him from entry to the occupied West Bank for six consecutive months, on Thursday.

A Ma’an reporter said that Israeli intelligence summoned Ghaith for interrogation and handed him a six-month ban order under the pretext of participation in “illegal and violent activities.”

Sources added that the Israeli intelligence told Ghaith he will receive another order next week, which would include additional details of the ban.

The ban comes after several days following Ghaith’s release from Israeli detention.

Ghaith was released under strict conditions, including being banned entry from the occupied West Bank for two weeks and to pay a financial bail.

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

Palestinian Elderly Woman Run Over by Jewish Settler

Illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank (Photo: MEMO)

A Palestinian elderly woman was run over by a Jewish settler, on Wednesday, near the illegal Jewish settlement of Efrat, south of Bethlehem City in the southern occupied West Bank.

Head of the Palestinian Red Crescent First Aid and Emergency Department, Muhammad Awad, said that a 70-year-old Palestinian woman, identified as Fatima Issa, from the Jurat al-Shamaa village, was transferred to the al-Yamama Hospital, in the nearby al-Khader village, for treatment after she was run over by a Jewish settler.

Awad added that the woman suffered bruises and a dislocation in her shoulder.

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

US Pressures Arab States to Support Its Anti-Hamas Resolution at UN

Trump’s Assistant and Special Envoy for International Negotiations, Jason Greenblatt. (Photo: via MEMO)

America has been putting pressure on a number of Arab states in order to get them vote today in favor of a draft resolution it has introduced at the UN which condemns the Palestinian resistance.

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the US Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt sent letters to diplomats from nine Arab countries asking them to support the US draft.

Haaretz reported that Greenblatt sent the letter sent to diplomats from Morocco, Oman, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Qatar.

In the letter he wrote that the Palestinian Authority’s opposition to the US proposal is “hypocrisy as it considers Hamas an enemy and imposes sanctions on it in Gaza,” while at the same time it defends its “terrorism”, Arab48 reported.

The PA and Fatah have criticized the US draft resolution, considering it “absolute” American support for the Israeli occupation against the Palestinians.

Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh condemned the resolution and spoke to several leaders across the Arab and Islamic world to ask them to work on undermining it.

Iran pledged to vote against it and to mobilize UN member states to do the same.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

ICC ‘Significantly Progressed’ in Examination of Alleged War Crimes in Palestine (VIDEO)

Jewish settlers regularly set fire to Palestinian lands, destroying crops and olive trees. (Photo: Ma’an, File)

The Office of The Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) says it has “advanced and significantly progressed” its preliminary examination into alleged war crimes in Palestine, with a particular focus given to Jewish settlements and the demolitions of Palestinian homes.

According to the annual update, the Office “has focused its analysis on alleged war crimes committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since 13 June 2014”, namely that “the Israeli authorities have allegedly been involved in the settlement of civilians onto the territory of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the forced removal of Palestinians from their homes”.

The Office notes that “settlement-related activities have reportedly included the confiscation and appropriation of land; the planning and authorization of settlement expansions”, and “constructions of residential units and related infrastructures in the settlements”.

The report also notes “the regularization of constructions built without the required authorization from Israeli authorities (so-called outposts); and public subsidies, incentive, and funding specifically allocated to settlers and settlements’ local authorities to encourage migration to the settlements and boost their economic development.”

Meanwhile, the Office states,

“Israeli authorities are also alleged to have been involved in the demolition of Palestinian property and eviction of Palestinian residents from homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.”

The update continues:

“Moreover, Israeli authorities have reportedly continued to advance plans to relocate Bedouin and other herder communities present in and around the so-called E1 area, including through the seizure and demolition of residential properties and related infrastructure.”

It concludes by noting that “during 2018, the Office has advanced and significantly progressed its analysis”, and that “given the detailed focus that the Office has given to this situation since 2015, the Prosecutor intends to complete the preliminary examination as early as possible.”

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Calls for International Investigation into Israel’s Killing of Disabled Palestinian (VIDEO)

MUhammad Habali, 22, a mentally-disabled young man, was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. (Photo: via Twitter)

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has called for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Israel’s targeting of a Palestine who had learning difficulties.

Twenty-two-year-old Muhammad Habali was killed by the Israeli occupation forces in Tulkarm city of occupied West Bank in the early hours of yesterday morning in what the ministry has said amount to an extrajudicial execution.

A refugee in Tulkarm refugee camp, Muhammad had learning difficulties which limited his ability to reason. Video shared on social media appears to show Muhammad being shot in the back when he posed no threat to occupation forces who had stormed the camp.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Israel Demolishes a Palestinian School in West Bank

Israeli Army routinely raids Palestinian schools in the occupied West Bank. (Photo: via MEMO)

Israeli occupation forces this morning demolished a primary school located near Al-Samou’ town south of Hebron (Al-Khalil), Wafa News Agency reported.

The school of seven mobile classrooms was built in the herding community of Seimya, to ease the journey to school for children who endure long walks to Al-Samou’ town, it had not yet been opened for teaching.

The Palestinian Ministry of Education gave the name “Al-Tahaddi 13” to the school, translated as “the school of challenge”. This was the thirteenth such school in “Area C” communities across occupied West Bank which are endangered by the Israeli occupation’s military measures.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned the demolition, saying it is part of the continuous crimes of the Israeli occupation against Palestinian people. It added that this another measure through which Israel is forcibly transferring Palestinians from “Area C”.

This is not the first school of Al-Tahaddi chain to be demolished by occupation forces in Hebron.

Israeli occupation authorities yesterday demolished two Palestinian houses in occupied East Jerusalem. The houses, located in Jabal Al-Mukabber and Sur Baher towns, were uninhabited. In November alone, Israeli occupation authorities demolished 30 Palestinian structures in occupied East Jerusalem.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Palestine Urges UNESCO to Support Ibrahimi Mosque

Views from The Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, (Photo: Wasan Abu Baker, Dec 2017, supplied)

Palestine has called on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to shoulder its responsibilities towards the Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron (Al-Khalil), according to the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday, Anadolu Agency reports.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the ministry said Israeli settlers “erected a candlestick on the roof of the Ibrahimi mosque on Monday” during the celebration of the Jewish holiday Hannukah.

It also said the settlers invaded the mosque by “setting up tents inside it and performing Jewish rituals within it.”

The statement added:

“This systematic settlement escalation is disregarding the decisions of UNESCO, and it demands a stop to the targeting of archaeological and religious sites in Palestinian territories.”

The Palestinian ministry called on the international community and relevant international organizations to “act swiftly to protect holy sites.”

The UNESCO-affiliated World Heritage Committee in July 2017, declared the Ibrahimi mosque a Palestinian world heritage site.

The Israeli government prevented the Ibrahimi Mosque from announcing Islam’s call for prayer 645 times in 2017.

Revered by both Muslims and Jews, Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque complex is believed to mark the burial sites of the prophets Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

After the 1994 massacre of 29 Palestinian worshippers inside the mosque by Jewish extremist settler Baruch Goldstein, Israeli authorities divided the mosque complex between Muslim and Jewish worshippers.

Hebron is home to roughly 160,000 Palestinian Muslims and about 500 Jewish settlers. The latter live in a series of Jewish-only enclaves heavily guarded by Israeli troops.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)