Without reaching a reconciliation with the Palestinian factions, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday called for the Palestinian parliament to be dissolved.
During a meeting of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council in Ramallah, Abbas issued a decision calling for the PLO’s Central Council to take the needed measures to dissolve parliament.
Hamas's Mahmoud Zahar: No reconciliation with Fatah as long as Abbas is in power. After we liberate Palestine, we will put him and others on trial for betraying Palestinians. pic.twitter.com/b1k6s7NeEh
According to the statement, the Central Council is to carry out the elections only in the occupied West Bank if the situation on the ground does not allow for them to be carried out in Gaza and Jerusalem.
Prior to Netanyahu’s remarks, Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned that the time had come to deliver “the hardest blow” to Hamas should the “violence” on the “border” not stop, he said in reference to the protests being held by unarmed activists.
Lieberman: "There is one choice left, which is to give Hamas a hard blow, even at the price of expanding the conflict there." https://t.co/EDX9BSwLiX
Israeli police said on Saturday they were investigating the death of a Palestinian woman in the occupied West Bank after her husband said he suspected Jewish settlers had pelted their car with rocks.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the circumstances of the incident but footage of the car, which a Reuters cameraman said bore Palestinian license plates, showed what appeared to be a blood-stained broken brick at the foot of the passenger seat, which was covered in shattered glass and blood stains.
A source at the Nablus hospital where Aisha al-Rawbi was brought said the 47-year-old, a mother of eight, was dead on arrival and that she had suffered a head injury. Her relatives said an autopsy was to be carried out at another hospital.
The woman’s husband, Aykube al-Rawbi, 52, said he was driving by a settlement late on Friday after dark along the main road near the Palestinian city of Nablus and that he could not clearly see who pelted the car.
Two New Zealand pro-Palestinian activists have raised NZ$17,576 ($11,435) as of Sunday for a Palestinian charity after being fined by an Israeli court for their alleged role in persuading pop star Lorde to cancel a concert in Tel Aviv last year.
Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab said last week they would not pay the fine of 45,000 shekels ($12,416) awarded to three Israeli teenagers, calling the court’s ruling a “stunt” intended to intimidate Israel’s critics.
Instead, they asked people to donate money through website givealittle.co.nz to the Gaza Mental Health Foundation, a volunteer group that raises funds for mental health and women’s empowerment groups in the Gaza Strip.
As of Sunday, they raised NZ$17,576, according to the website.
Israel's court has fined two New Zealanders $12,000 for encouraging Lorde to cancel her Israel concert, causing 'mental harm' to Israeli teenagers who wanted to attend – the Kiwi duo have instead raised $12,000 for the Gaza Mental Health Foundation via /… https://t.co/HfYuAjjgVZpic.twitter.com/lnvexpHL5r
Lorde canceled her concert in Israel that same month after a campaign by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) group, which campaigns for Palestinian rights, that included the open letter published by Sachs and Abu-Shanab.
Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has ordered an immediate halt to fuel deliveries headed to the besieged Gaza Strip in response to what he said were attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians, his office announced on Friday.
The announcement on Friday follows the killing of six Palestinians by Israeli forces during the ongoing Great March of Return protests.
#Israel decided to stop letting fuel into #Gaza which means back to the lack of electricity & all the repercussions of it.
Lieberman said the measure was in response to “riots” along the fence dividing Israel and Gaza and a midweek beach protest in which fishing boats and demonstrators gathered at the northwest end of the Gaza Strip.
The United Nations has warned that Israel’s 11-year blockade of the strip has resulted in a “catastrophic” humanitarian situation.
Under the UN-brokered deal, Qatar pays for the fuel which is then delivered through Israel with UN monitoring, a diplomatic source said.
A Qatari official, speaking to Reuters news agency on Sunday, said Doha planned to help with Gaza’s power crisis “at the request of donor states in the UN, to prevent an escalation of the existing humanitarian disaster”.
Upon the directives of HH the Amir Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) has announced $150 million in emergency aid to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in the besieged Gaza Strip for years pic.twitter.com/AmBTQG8tmM
Israeli forces have killed six Palestinians, including two teenage boys, during ongoing protests along the Israeli separation fence east of Gaza, according to Ashraf al-Qidra, the enclave’s health ministry spokesperson.
Four Palestinians were killed along the fence east of Al-Bureij in the center of the Gaza Strip, while one died east of Gaza City, al-Qidra said.
The five victims identified so far are Ahmed Ibrahim Zaki al-Taweel (27), Mohammed Abdulhafid Youssef Ismail (29), Ahmed Ahmed Abdallah Abu Naeem (17), Abdallah Barham Ibrahim Suleiman al-Daghma (25) and Afifi Mahmoud Atta Afifi (18).
The Israeli municipality of Jerusalem’s staff, escorted by Israeli police forces, stormed the Silwan neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, on Friday.
Residents of Silwan told Ma’an that staff from the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem stormed several areas of the neighborhood, under armed protection by Israeli police forces, and photographed residential and commercial buildings and raided a few of them.
Israeli police officers and several employees of the City Council of occupied Jerusalem, invaded on Friday at noon, Silwan town, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and photographed many homes and stores.https://t.co/PLJat64MPZpic.twitter.com/weaDRZhHKS
Israel uses the pretext of building without a permit to carry out demolitions of Palestinian-owned homes on a regular basis.
Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in East Jerusalem, though the Jerusalem municipality has claimed that compared to the Jewish population, they receive a disproportionately low number of permit applications from Palestinian communities, which also see high approval ratings.
For Jewish settlers in occupied East Jerusalem, the planning, marketing, development, and infrastructure are funded and executed by the Israeli government. By contrast, in Palestinian neighborhoods, all the burden falls on individual families to contend with a lengthy permit application that can last several years and cost tens of thousands of dollars.
In February, Yasin Al-Saradih from Jericho died after being tortured and shot at short range after his arrest.
Aziz Awaisat was killed on May 19, after he was subjected to torture at the hands of occupation forces while in an Israeli detention center. He suffered a stroke and was later declared dead.
The martyrdom of the prisoner Aziz Awaisat from Jabal al-Mukaber southeast of occupied Jerusalem. Aziz was sentenced to 30 years in prison and he was killed today after prison guards attacked and beating him up in a very brutal way that lead to his martyrdom pic.twitter.com/9NqZBpA4hT
While Muhammad Zaghloul Al-Khatib Al-Rimawi died in September after being beaten by Israeli occupation forces during a pre-dawn raid on his home in Beyt Reyma, northwest of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.
Some 218 Palestinians have died in Israeli detention since 1967.
Israel yesterday ordered two New Zealand activists to pay 45,000 shekels ($12,000) in damages for persuading pop-star Lorde to cancel her concert in Tel Aviv.
The decision was handed by the Jerusalem Magistrates Court and based on Israel’s 2011 anti-BDS law, under which anyone who calls for a boycott of Israel or an Israeli institution can be sued for damages. The ruling is thought to represent the first time the controversial law has been cited as the basis of a court decision.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of three teenage Lorde fans who were left “disappointed” by her cancellation of the concert. The case was brought before the court by Israeli attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who heads the Shurat HaDin Israeli Law Centre which is known for fighting against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, Haaretz explained.
The Guardian added that:
“The Israeli teenagers claimed their ‘artistic welfare’ was damaged because of the cancellation and that they suffered ‘damage’ to their good name as Israelis and Jews”.
Lorde, who hails from New Zealand, was slated to perform in Tel Aviv this June but announced in December 2017 that she would cancel the concert after reading an open letter calling on her to boycott Israel. The open letter was written by New Zealanders Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab, of Jewish and Palestinian extraction respectively, and described the ongoing Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the dire effect this has on Palestinians’ daily lives.
The pair wrote:
“In this context, a performance in Israel sends the wrong message. Playing in Tel Aviv will be seen as giving support to the policies of the Israeli government, even if you make no comment on the political situation.”
In just 12 hours the activists who were "fined" $12,000 by Israel for calling for @lorde to cancel her gig have already raised over $7,000 for Gaza Mental Health. ? Donate here :https://t.co/jkqTmEiXfk
“Israel might seem like a world away from New Zealand but that shouldn’t stop us from speaking out and being on the right side of history […] Please join the artistic boycott of Israel, cancel your Israeli tour dates and make a stand. Your voice will join many others and together we can and will make a difference.”
As yet it is unclear whether the court ruling will be enforced and the activists will be required to pay the damages.
Lorde is not the only artist to cancel an appearance in Israel and support the BDS movement. Others include Shakira, Brazilian singer Gilberto Gil, and Lauryn Hill. A number of other artists also pulled out of this year’s Meteor Festival, with a total of 15 bands heeding BDS’ call to withdraw from the event.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said yesterday “Israel is everything we want the entire Middle East to look like going forward” and that US-Israel relations are “stronger than ever”.
Speaking at an award ceremony held by the Jewish Institute for National Security of America in Washington DC, Pompeo hailed Israel as “democratic and prosperous”, adding “it desires peace, it is a home to a free press and a thriving economy,” Arutz Sheva reported.
.@SecPompeo: In the entire Middle East, there is only one consistently pro-American, free enterprise, democratic nation. And that is the State of #Israel. Under @POTUS’ leadership, the U.S. is standing firmly on the side of Israel, and our relationship is stronger than ever. pic.twitter.com/oAIsbjrgXC
Pompeo also discussed the long-awaited US peace initiative – dubbed the “deal of the century” – hailing it as a “truly historic” effort to reach an agreement.
Pompeo said that “we [the USA] are very hopeful that one day the Palestinian people will have the same kinds of things, the same material, the same opportunities that the people of Israel have,” according to the Jerusalem Post.
“We very much want you [the Palestinians] to have a space.”
Yet the Secretary of State also admitted that despite this “hope” for a Palestinian “space”, he had that same day denied a $165 million transfer of aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) citing the PA’s “funding of terror”.
Pompeo was referring to the PA’s refusal to adhere to US demands to cease so-called “martyr payments” to the families of those killed by Israeli occupation forces or those incarcerated in Israeli prisons.
Though US-Israel ties have historically been strong, under President Donald Trump’s administration these ties have reached new heights.
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