The Israeli occupation authorities have been carrying out a wide-ranging campaign to impose its sovereignty upon all aspects of life in Jerusalem, and this campaign escalated after US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December last year.
On Monday, April 16, 2018, the Durham city council in the US, became the first US city council to ban police exchanges with the Israeli policy.
“After 3.5 hours and 50 powerful and inspiring testimonies, the Durham city council has just unanimously passed a resolution to end Durham police training in Israel,” said Eran Efrati, one of the organizers of the Demilitarize from Durham2Palestine campaign, which stood behind the vote, in a Facebook post.
BIG WIN: Durham, North Carolina is the 1st US city to ban its police dept. from intern'l exchanges w/ Israeli military or police. Israel's violent & racist tactics violate Palestinian human rights & hurt Black & Brown communities when imported to the US https://t.co/6LuguMwfnqpic.twitter.com/y8ntGNF13e
“After years of hard work, Durham becomes the first city in the US to ban American police forces exchanges with the Israeli military and police,” he added.
The campaign has launched a petition which was signed by 1,394 people, calling on the council to ban police exchanges with Israel.
The petition read,
“The Israeli Defense Forces and the Israel Police have a long history of violence and harm against Palestinian people and Jews of Color. They persist in using tactics of extrajudicial killing, excessive force, racial profiling, and repression of social justice movements. Such tactics have been condemned by international human rights organizations for violating the human rights of Palestinians.”
“These tactics further militarize U.S. police forces that train in Israel, and this training helps the police terrorize Black and Brown communities here in the US. Additionally, such practices erode our constitutional rights to due process, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly. Durham officials — including former Chief Lopez and current Chief Davis — have participated in these racist police exchange programs.”
The Palestine solidarity among minorities and marginalized communities has seen a growth in the last few years, with minorities and people of color joining the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement against Israel.
A pro-BDS Qatari group and hundreds of citizens have taken on Qatar National Library for inviting a Zionist intellectual who denies the Palestinian right of return to its inauguration ceremony.
A civil society group known as The Qatar Youth Group Against Normalization urged the management of the newly inaugurated public library not to allow New York Times columnist Roger Cohen participate in a panel discussion on “the difference between false news and media propaganda and misinformation” for upholding Zionist views and rejecting Palestinian rights.
“Roger believes that the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza have the right to self-determination, but the Palestinian refugees do not have the right of return, perhaps because they are concerned about the ‘the end of Israel as a Jewish state.’ This is not simply a point of view that Cohen has adopted, but rather this constitutes imposing the Zionist narrative and vision by trying to dismiss the resistance and reproduce a misleading narrative about the Palestinian cause.”
The hosting of Cohen was an outrage for Qataris on twitter. The hashtag #لا_لتطبيع_المكتبة_الوطنية, which translates to “No to Qatar National Library’s Normalization”, was used to disapprove the Qatari state’s reception of Cohen.
GOOD NEWS: 50+ New York University (NYU) student groups endorse #BDS movement for Palestinian human rights, calling on the university "to divest its holdings from companies and funds that are complicit in the Israeli occupation of Palestine" https://t.co/s0sbUIgQDcpic.twitter.com/ZdSmuYDeHW
Mohamed al-Qahtani, a columnist and legal expert, tweeted:
“So the normalizing episode’s continuing on full swing in public and secret while Israel’s persisting to perpetuate the status quo and impose its perspective for peace through establishing settlements non-stop, suffocating Gaza, and using violence against civilians to make political gains”.
#لا_لتطبيع_المكتبة_الوطنية مازال مسلسل التطبيع مستمراً على قدم وساق في السر والعلن من فوق الطاولة ومن تحتها،وما زالت إسرائيل مستمرة في تكريس الواقع وفرض وجهة نظرها للسلام بإقامة المستوطنات على مدار الساعة وخنق قطاع غزة بالحصار،واستخدام وسائل العنف ضد المدنيين لتحقيق مكاسب سياسية pic.twitter.com/Fm2IUeAtye
“Openness and belief in freedom of expression in your view means normalizing with a Zionist entity that we don’t recognize as Arabs.. thanks but we don’t want him [here]! And if the National Library claims to be national and represent the Qatari people.. listen to us and enough normalization”.
إن كان التفتح والإيمان بحرية التعبير بنظركم يعني التطبيع مع كيان صهيوني لا نعترف به كعرب… فشكراً لا نريده! وإن كانت المكتبة وطنية كما تدعي وتمثل الشعب القطري… فاسمعوا صوتنا وكفاكم تطبيع! #لا_لتطبيع_المكتبة_الوطنية@QNLib
Patronizingly, while Cohen recognizes the 1948 plight of the Palestinian people being driven out of their land, he mocked the right of return as “Blight of Return” in a 2013 article for New York Times and called the Palestinian claim to this legitimate right under the UN 194 resolution as an “annihilation ambition”.
Cohen appears to be consistently dismissive of the Palestinians’ right of return, which they view as a core issue in their political struggle at the grassroots and diplomatic level.
For a third consecutive Friday, tens of thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been demonstrating as part of the Great Return March, a six-week program of non-violence at five locations along the Gaza’s border with Israel.
Ektemal Hamad, head of the Women’s Committee of the Higher National Commission for the Great March of Return, wrote in a post on Facebook:
“We are announcing that next Friday, April 20 will be called ‘The Women’s March for Gaza,’ where women will lead the March to the Eastern Border with Israel. It will be an international day for Gazan human rights that will show Palestinian women taking the lead in the struggle.”
By: Ektemal Hamad,(Head of the Women’s Committee of the National Commission for Return and Breaking the…
Gazan women have been quite visible in the current popular mobilization at the Gaza border, which began on March 30, coinciding with Land Day.
However, women groups have been pushing for a leadership position at the rallies, thus the designation of April 20 as the ‘Women’s March for Gaza.’
Again and again. The Palestinians keep proving that nothing can stand in front of their souls. Bullets and tear-gas bombs can never stop them from living! Palestinian women are making "Kaek" (Eid cookies) at the return camp, east of #Gaza.#GreatReturnMarchpic.twitter.com/IzEkucH7in
Senior Fatah official Marwan Barghouti called on Monday for a Palestinian dialogue conference to be held in order to bring an end to the internal division within the framework of the PLO, Al-Jazeera has reported.
The member of the Fatah Central Committee has been imprisoned by Israel for the past 17 years.
Barghouti made his call in a letter sent from his cell, where he is held in solitary confinement, to mark Palestine Prisoners’ Day, which is commemorated today.
He called for the power to run political, resistance and negotiation issues to be given to the PLO if all the Palestinian factions, including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, are represented in the umbrella organization.
Furthermore, he called for no talks to be held with the Israeli government until it announces its commitment to ending the occupation and withdrawing to the 1967 borders.
The Palestinians, he added, should stick to their legitimate right to use all forms of resistance to the Israeli occupation, and give their full support to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
On April 17, each year, Palestinians mark Palestinian Prisoner Day, which commemorates the release of the first Palestinian to be captured by Israel following the 1967 war, Mahmoud Bakr Hijazi, on April 17, 1971.
An Israeli court ruled yesterday that Jewish visitors who often storm Al-Aqsa Mosque without the consent of the Mosque’s administration can chant patriotic slogans as they did not count as religious prayers.
Legal precedent: Jews will be able to call out "UM YISRAEL CHAI" on the Temple Mount.The Jerusalem Magistrate's…
Under the status quo, Israelis are not permitted to enter the site to conduct prayers, but a Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ruled in favor of right-wing Jewish activist and lawyer Itamar Ben Gvir, who was detained for several hours in 2015 for chanting “The people of Israel will live” in Hebrew.
Attorney Itamar Ben Gvir was arrested on the Temple Mount for saying "Am Yisrael Chai". http://t.co/BQOgJarNrM
Ben Gvir was touring the compound with a number of other Jews and responded with the slogan to a Muslim woman who told the group “God is great” in Arabic.
“I believe that the time has come for the courts to rule that Jews are allowed to pray on the Temple Mount [Al-Aqsa Mosque], just as Muslims are permitted to pray at the site,” Ben Gvir said. “There can be no wrongful discrimination at the most important site for the people of Israel.”
Israeli settlers regularly storm the Al-Aqsa compound in coordination with Israeli forces, performing rituals and pledging to destroy the mosque, whilst Muslim worshippers are left outside.
Khitam Mahmoud Ju’aidy was eagerly waiting for April 15 to come as it was the date set for the release of her imprisoned son. Unfortunately, she didn’t live long enough to see him son.
Ju’aidy, 53, from the city of Qalqilya in the north of the occupied West Bank, was pronounced dead at Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem on Monday morning, one day after he son, Abdallah Odeh, was released from prison after serving three years for resisting the Israeli occupation.
She was able to briefly speak to her son on the phone but didn’t get a chance to see him in person because she was in Jerusalem and her son couldn’t travel to Jerusalem, which is locked to Palestinians from the West Bank or Gaza unless they have a permit.
Ju’aidy was taken to Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem five days ago following severe deterioration in her health. She was receiving treatment at Qalqilya hospital for a disease she has had for 10 years. Her health quickly deteriorated until she was pronounced dead at Makassed Hospital on Monday.
Dozens of wheelchair users participated in a race in Gaza City yesterday to show solidarity with sick or wounded Palestinians in prison, the Palestinian Information Centre reported.
Organized by the Wa’ed Society for Detainees and Ex-Detainees and Al-Salam Sports Club for People with Disability, the race was dubbed “Marathon 1,500”, in recognition of the number of imprisoned Palestinians suffering from an illness or disability.
Of the 6,500 Palestinians held inside 22 Israeli jails, about 400 have medical conditions which need treatment.
Yesterday the Committee of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs released a report stating that health condition of Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails is “deteriorating”.
The majority of sick Palestinians are being held in the Al-Ramla Prison, which is overcrowded, and according to the group, most do not receive the necessary healthcare and treatment to deal with their condition. Similarly, disabled prisoners are not given due assistance and so are unable to use toilets and facilities without the help of other inmates.
1| https://t.co/m1Feb19bqF Palestinians mark today as Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, and on this occasion several reports are launched on the situation of indigenous Palestinians in Israel's prisons. #BornAPrisoner
There have been numerous accusations of torture and negligence by Israeli officials, including news last month that the prison administration of the Etzion detention center was providing Palestinian detainees held there with expired food supplies.
A recent report by Amnesty International also found that Israeli authorities and armed forces carried out extrajudicial executions, tortured Palestinian prisoners and targeted human rights defenders.
Amnesty International’s new annual report says that Israeli authorities/armed forces carried out extrajudicial executions/tortured Palestinian prisoners/targeted human rights defenders. Also slammed “Israel’s air, land and sea blockade of the Gaza Strip” https://t.co/7ZAk9LBGdWpic.twitter.com/aRDztcZidC
The report covered Israel’s on-going rights violations, included the lack of accountability “more than three years” later for “unlawful attacks including war crimes” committed by the Israeli military in its 2014 assault on the Gaza Strip.
On the eve of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member, Hanan Ashrawi reiterated on Monday strong support for the over 6500 prisoners held in Israel for resisting the Israeli occupation started.
WATCH: There are more than 6,000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails. 427 of those prisoners were thrown in jail without a charge and without a trial, in what is called 'administrative detention'. pic.twitter.com/QIIKMgLnHT
“As we continue to pay tribute to and affirm our support of all former and current Palestinian prisoners within Israeli jails, we are reminded of their steadfastness and unbreakable commitment to independence and justice in the face of the belligerent military occupier’s willful breach and devaluation of their rights and lives,” said Ashrawi in a statement.
According to the Commission for Prisoners and Ex-Prisoner Affairs, roughly 6,500 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli prisons and detention centers, including 350 children, 62 women (8 of whom are female child prisoners), 500 administrative detainees, 1,800 prisoners who require medical care (700 of whom suffer from serious and chronic conditions), 6 parliamentarians, and 18 journalists.
17 April: Palestinian prisoners day. Israel's practice of detaining thousands of Palestinians is a tool of oppression. https://t.co/igJb8r5bFf
Since Israel began its military occupation of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip in 1967, more than 800,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned by Israel.
This figure represents 20% of the total Palestinian population and 40% of the Palestinian male population. It also includes 10,000 women imprisoned since 1967 and more than 200 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons as a result of torture and lack of medical care.
Furthermore, 8,000 Palestinian children have been arrested since 2000.
Under international law and conventions, including the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (the Third Geneva Convention), the Fourth Geneva Convention and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1966, Israel is legally bound to exercise its powers for the benefit of the occupied area and its people.
“Israel continues to violate the rights of Palestinian political prisoners, including the arbitrary arrests of Palestinians, its continued use of administration detention and solidarity confinement, the ill-treatment, abuse and torture of Palestinian men, women, children, and the elderly, the transfer of detainees from occupied Palestine to Israel, the deliberate medical neglect and lack of health care for Palestinians, and the constant prevention of visitations by family members, among other flagrant violations.”
The PLO official called on the international community, the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross to intervene immediately and bring Israel to fulfill its obligations regarding Palestinian prisoners and to investigate “Israel’s gross violations and illegal behavior.”
“There is no justification or legal basis for persisting with such crimes,” said Ashrawi. “Denying Palestinian prisoners of their fundamental rights and dignity of humanity goes against all forms of international law and international humanitarian law.”
She also demanded the immediate release of all imprisoned Palestinian parliamentarians, in particular Marwan Barghouti, Khalida Jarrar and Ahmad Sa’adat.
“Israel must be brought to adhere to international law and conventions regarding the immunity of elected officials,” concluded Ashrawi, herself member of the Palestinian parliament.
“The Palestinian cause is our number one issue and will remain so until the Palestinian people obtain all their legitimate rights, particularly the establishment of an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” King Salman said in his inauguration speech at the Arab League meeting held in Dhahran.
He also rejected the US Administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, lauding the international consensus against the move. “We emphasize that East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestinian territory,” he said.