Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Last Update: 1:01 AM GMT

Stephen Hawking, a Friend of Palestine, Dies Aged 76

Stephen Hawking. (Photo: via Twitter)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Stephen Hawking, a renowned physicist, and ambassador of science passed away last night, aged 76.

Considered by many to be among the world’s greatest modern scientists, he probed the mysteries of the universe in his wildly popular books, including the landmark “A Brief History of Time”.

Stephen Hawking was a friend of Palestine and he publicly condemned the Apartheid State of Israel, calling for an academic boycott in 2013.

In 2017, he posted a link on Facebook asking his followers to help support science students in Palestine.

The world famous British Scientist was a long-standing supporter for Palestine, young physicists and Birzeit University. Hawking visited the University in 2006 and lectured hundreds of faculty members and guests, and thousands of students, and joined the academic boycott of Israel.

When visiting the Palestinian University, Hawking advocated for the right to academic freedom in a press release published by Modoweiss. He praised Palestinian scientists, saying, “I support the rights of scientists everywhere to freedom of movement, publication and collaboration.”

Since the news of his death, there has been an outpouring of messages of adoration and grief for Hawking’s death, and his brave in principled stand for Palestinian freedom.

(PC, Social Media)

Gaza: Israel Uses Drones to Drop Tear Gas on Protesters for First Time

Israeli tank at the Erez border crossing between Gaza and Israel. (Photo: via Euro Med Monitor)

Israeli occupying forces used unmanned drones to drop tear gas on Palestinians in Gaza for the first time last Friday, according to the Times of Israel.

Some 200 Gazans had gathered at the border fence with Israel as part of a weekly protest against the ten-year blockade when an unmanned aerial vehicle approached the scene. Footage from the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news agency shows the drone dropping canisters of tear gas on the protesters who can then be seen running blindly from the scene.

The Gazan Health Ministry said that at least two people were wounded in the clashes, with at least eight other Gazans injured by Israeli fire during protests elsewhere in the coastal enclave.

According to military sources, the usage of drones to fire tear gas is still experimental and has not yet been made operational.

Gaza has seen several clashes since the announcement of US President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, with protests planned every week. Last month, two Palestinian teens were killed after being shot with live ammunition as they approached the perimeter fence, reportedly in search of work in Israel.

Gaza has been facing a mounting humanitarian emergency for many months, confronted with an energy, water and healthcare crisis. Residents have also been prevented from leaving the Strip, forcing a young Gazan girl to travel without either of her parents to the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah yesterday in order to have a kidney transplant last month.

A recent report also found that more than 1,000 Palestinians have died as a result of the ongoing 11-year Israeli siege imposed on the besieged enclave.

Coordinator of charities Ahmed Al-Kurd said that “450 of the victims died due to the fallout of the healthcare system and the lack of medicines, medical equipment and treatment transfers.”

“Today, we launch a resounding scream to the world: save Gaza from these disastrous conditions,” Al-Kurd said, asking: “How long will you wait and how many more victims do you want in order to take action?”

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Arab Parliament Speaker Urges Support for UNRWA

Palestinian children in Gaza take part an UNRWA campaign. (Photo via UNRWA)

Arab Parliament Speaker, Mashaal bin Fahm Al-Salami, called on parliaments around the world to urge their governments to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) so that it continues its work in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 302.

Al-Salami said in a statement that he had sent letters to a number of world parliaments that have always supported UNRWA such as: the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Australia, Switzerland, Canada, Denmark and Norway.

Al-Salami praised in his letters the countries support to UNRWA, stressing that the Arab Parliament rejects attempts to politicize the humanitarian role played by UNRWA after the US froze part of its contribution to the agency’s budget.

Al-Salami stressed that UNRWA work should only end after the implementation of UN General Assembly Resolution 194, which called for the return of the Palestinian refugees and compensation for those who have been displaced from their homes.

Al-Salami also thanked the Arab countries, which are among the top 20 countries that support UNRWA.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)


Palestinians Reject Israeli President’s Call to Impose Sovereignty over West Bank

A Palestinian activist climbs the Israeli Apartheid Wall in the West Bank. (Photo: ActiveStills.org)

The Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates expressed in a statement deep concern over remarks made by Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin, at the “Israeli Institute for Democracy”, which called for “Imposing Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria,” the Israeli name for the occupied West Bank.

“The Ministry believes that these extreme right-wing positions calling for the expansion of settlements are part of the right-wing attempts to legitimize the annexation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and turn it into an issue of Israeli public opinion to impose its control and extremist ideology on the government, in addition to (legitimizing) measures of Judaization continuously carried out by the occupation on the ground to annex area C.”

The Ministry strongly condemned these statements, which it stressed, breach international law.

“The Israeli government bears full and direct responsibility for its consequences.”

The Ministry affirmed that Israel cannot market itself as a democratic state while it’s occupying Palestine.

It called upon the international community, particularly the Security Council, to deal with the statements of Israeli officials calling for the annexation of the Palestinian territories and take the necessary measures under international law to stop this ongoing rebellion against international peace and legitimacy.

“In order for the Security Council to hold the legal and ethical responsibilities towards the Palestinian people, above all, the UN should recognize the state of Palestine as a full member state, and it should provide international protection for the Palestinians, and implement UN resolution 2334.”

(Wafa, PC, Social Media)

Palestinian PM’S Convoy Struck by an Explosion (VIDEO)

Palestinian Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah. (Photo: via aawset.com)

An explosion has struck the convoy of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah upon his entrance into the Gaza Strip, lightly injuring several people.

The explosive device detonated shortly after Hamdallah and his convoy passed through the Israeli-controlled Erez checkpoint, known by Palestinians as Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza on Tuesday.

Hamdallah was unharmed and appeared on live television shortly after the incident at the inauguration of a wastewater treatment facility. However, five others were lightly injured in the blast. The Palestinian Authority intelligence chief Majed Faraj was part of the convoy.

Fatah, the West Bank-based political party to which Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas  belongs, called it a “terrorist attack” and blamed it on Hamas, the ruling party in Gaza.

However, on Twitter, Hamas condemned “the crime of targeting the Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamadallah, considering it part of the attempt to destabilize security in Gaza and to foil efforts to achieve national unity”.

(Al Jazeera, PC, Social Media)

Adalah: New Israeli Law Allowing Withholding Bodies of Palestinians is Illegal

Hundreds marched demanding Israel to return bodies of Palestinians. (Photo: Maan)

The Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, approved on Wednesday a law that allows the Israeli police to hold the bodies of Palestinians killed by the police or other security forces until families agree to preconditions on funeral arrangements.

According to the Haifa-based human rights center Adalah, this is a violation of both Israeli and international law.

Forty-eight Knesset members voted in favor of the law, which applies to Palestinian citizens of Israel and Israeli police only. It does not apply to West Bank Palestinians or to the Israeli military.

The new law was legislated following a precedent-setting Israeli Supreme Court ruling on a petition filed by Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel which determined that Israeli police did not have the legal authority to hold bodies – particularly given that doing so constitutes a violation of basic rights.

“The holding of bodies and preventing their immediate burial is a violation of both Israeli and international law,” said Adalah in a statement. “The United Nations Committee Against Torture raised concern about the failure to return bodies and cautioned Israel to avoid such situations in the future. There is no parallel in constitutional or in human rights law to the legislation of this sort. This law politicizes a humanitarian issue.”

(Wafa, PC, Social Media)

West Bank: Israeli Soldiers Prevent Paramedics from Providing First Aid (VIDEO)

An Israeli soldier preventing a paramedic from providing first aid to the injured. (Photo: Bahaa Nasser via English Palinfo)

At least eight Palestinians were injured, one of them seriously, during clashes with Israeli occupation forces on Monday afternoon at the northern entrance to al-Bireh city.

Oggi in Palestina Guardate come si vive in Palestina ……Fate vedere al mondo la vera faccia del sionismo

Posted by Sulaiman Hijazi on Montag, 12. März 2018

The clashes broke out following a student march protesting the arrest of Omar al-Kiswani, the president of the student union at Birzeit University who was arrested by Israeli undercover soldiers in the university campus on Wednesday.

The Israeli soldiers assaulted the ambulance crews and prevented them from providing first aid to the injured.

(English Palinfo, PC, Social Media)

Minister Demands Release of 340 Students in Israeli Custody (VIDEO)

Israeli settlers attack a school in Nablus, forcing the school to evacuate all student during exams. (Photo: Social Media)

The Palestinian Ministry of Education has lashed out against the Israeli authorities for detaining 340 Palestinian students.

The ministry is demanding that Tel Aviv release the students. Palestine’s Minister of Education, Sabri Saidam, confirmed that the students are being held and accused the Israeli authorities of systematic violations.

“Some 340 university students are held in Israeli prisons,” Saidam said in a press conference, on Sunday.

Last week, Israeli forces detained Omar al-Keswani, head of the student council at Birzeit University. “A massacre was about to take place on campus as Israeli forces opened fire during the raid” to arrest al-Keswani, Saidam adding that the raid was “organized state terrorism and unprecedented arrogance.”

He explained that when the Israeli officials stormed the Birzeit University campus to detain al-Kiswani, they fired indiscriminately on the student body population.

Saidam also urges the International Federation of Universities and Unesco to intervene and stop Israeli violations.

“There are around 311 school students in Israeli custody,” he said. “The Israeli occupation is targeting the Palestinian education system.”

He disclosed that nine school students were killed and 603 more injured by Israeli forces last year.

According to Defense for Children International – Palestine, Israeli forces have detained, interrogated, arrested or jailed more than 10,000 minors in almost 18 years.

(teleSUR, PC, Social Media)

Israeli Apartheid Week 2018: Solidarity with the Palestinian People around the World (VIDEO)

Israeli Apartheid Week demonstration in Palestine. (Photo: via Twitter)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Each year, Israeli Apartheid Week takes place across the world. It aims to raise awareness about Israel’s ongoing settler-colonial project, Israel’s apartheid policies, and to build support for the growing campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

In Ireland, an Israeli military checkpoint was recreated on Henry Street, one of the busiest shopping areas in Dublin. The aim is to show a glimpse of what it is like to live under military occupation.

🇮🇪 #Ireland : #Video :: Yesterday’s mock Israeli Apartheid wall and checkpoints on Henry Street, one of Dublin’s busiest shopping areas. This was part of the IPSC #StopHP national day of action for Israeli Apartheid Week 2018. The street theatre was to reflect the restriction of movement, human rights violations and to raise awareness about the inhumane and unjust daily life that Palestinian’s face at checkpoints under the control of an apartheid regime. . . *HP’s technology and equipment facilitate Israel’s brutal decades-long military occupation of Palestine and the associated apartheid regime, war crimes and ongoing colonisation. It does this in a variety of ways, especially through its provison of technology to the Israeli military, its involvement with Israel’s illegal settlements and military checkpoint regime, and the development of Israel’s biometric system used for population and territorial control and surveillance of Palestinians both inside Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territory. . . احدى نشاطات التضامن الإيرلندي مع فلسطين ضمن فعاليات اسبوع مناهضة الفصل العنصري الإسرائيلي #قاطعوا_الاحتلال . . By @fatinaltamimi

A post shared by Eye On Palestine (@eye.on.palestine) on

The 25-year-old Swedish activist Benjamin Ladraa is walking from Sweden to Palestine to raise awareness of Israeli’s human rights violations in the occupied territories.

He is currently in Bulgaria and he will probably reach Istanbul on March 20.

(PC, Social Media)

Palestinian Prisoner Mansour Fawaka Released after 14 Years of Imprisonment

In 2017, Fawaka was among the prisoners who joined the ‘Freedom and Dignity’ mass hunger strike. (Photo: via Facebook)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Palestinian prisoner Mansour Fawaka was released after 14 years of imprisonment in Israeli jails and he could finally hug his mother in Ramallah.

In 2017, Mansour Fawaka was among the prisoners who joined the “Freedom and Dignity” mass hunger strike against the harsh and inhuman conditions of Palestinian prisoners detained in the Israeli jails.

On Day 37, his health conditions deteriorated and he was showing “dangerous symptoms”: loss of consciousness, vomiting and severe pain.

(PC, Social Media)