Friday, October 19, 2018 Last Update: 4:13 PM GMT

US’ Pompeo: ‘We Want the Whole Middle East to Look like Israel’ (VIDEO)

Pompeo reiterated US support to Israel during his visit to the Middle East. (Photo: via Twitter)

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.

Pompeo then compared Israel to Iran, citing the latter’s “corrupt leaders [who] assault the human rights of their own people and finance terrorism in every corner of the Middle East”.

Pompeo lamented that the US administration under former President Barack Obama “had more respect for the leaders of Iran than it did for the State of Israel.”

“Under President Trump’s leadership, the United States is standing where it should firmly be: On the side of Israel.”

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.

Pompeo added:

“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.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Israel Bars US Medics from Entering Gaza, Citing Links to BDS

An activist holds a sign calling for the boycott of Israel. (Photo: Anne Paq, via Activestills.org)

Israeli authorities have refused entry to the occupied Gaza Strip to two members of a US medical delegation because they are Jewish, reported Haaretz.

Initially, the refusal was extended to the entire group, from the Washington branch of Physicians for Social Responsibility, citing the organization’s alleged involvement with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

After Israeli human rights NGO Gisha petitioned the Supreme Court, Haaretz reported,

“The state backtracked on those two reasons and said it would permit eight of the delegation’s 10 members to enter the Strip as planned, on October 21”.

However, in regard to two of the members — “a neurosurgeon and a social worker with considerable experience treating people with trauma disorders” — the state said they required “additional security checks”. The state’s final response is reportedly due tomorrow.

The delegation is attempting to enter the blockaded enclave in order to carry out “consultations with colleagues on various medical issues”, as well as to provide “medical treatment and instruction in the clinics of the host organization, the Gaza Community Mental Health Program”.

Explaining the entry refusal last month, the Israeli army noted:

“Many of the applicants are Jews, for whom the risk of going to the Gaza Strip is routinely more significant”.

However, as Haaretz reported, D’vorah Kost, one of the two delegation members who was refused entry, has visited the Gaza Strip twice: in an affidavit, she wrote that,

“The people she met in Gaza are aware that she is Jewish and that her Judaism had never posed a problem”.

The physician who was refused entry, Dr. Donald Mellman, has visited the Gaza Strip seven times.

Israeli authorities also claimed that the physicians’ organization is “involved in activities that encourage boycotting Israel, in cooperation with the BDS movement”.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Israel Deploys Army to Khan Al-Ahmar

Israeli army destroyed access roads to the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar. (Photo: via Twitter)

Israeli occupation authorities were deployed in large numbers around the Palestinian village of Khan Al-Ahmar yesterday, Shehab.ps reported.

Local sources said that more than 30 battalions were deployed at the gates and roads leading to the Palestinian village which has been slated for demolition.

According to sources, the leadership of the Israeli civil administration, the Israeli body which administers the occupied territories, were seen on a nearby hilltop with maps in their hands.

Supporters, including foreigners, have been gathering in the village in solidarity with its residents for 114 days. They reject the Israeli order to demolish it.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Israel Demolishes Two Palestinian Homes in Hebron

House demolitions are regularly undertaken by the Israeli forces against Palestinian homes in the West Bank. (Photo: via MEMO)

Israeli occupation forces yesterday demolished two Palestinian homes and confiscated solar panels in Al-Halawa neighborhood in the south of West Bank city of Hebron (Al-Khalil), Quds Press reported.

The Coordinator of the Anti-Settlement and Wall Committee Ratib Al-Jabour told the news site that the Israeli occupation’s bulldozers demolished two small homes in the neighborhood.

Israel occupation army demolishes Two Rooms, Confiscates Solar Panels Donated By EU.Jabour added that the soldiers…

Gepostet von Palestinian Street am Mittwoch, 10. Oktober 2018

He added that occupation forces confiscated solar panels used to supply the two homes with electricity.

The homes, Al-Jabour said, belong to Palestinians Khalil Younis Arram and his cousin Ahmad Ismail Arram. Both were demolished under claims of having been built without the impossible to obtain building permits.

The area the homes are located in is surrounded by settlements and has come under increased settler attacks, with occupation forces also confiscating any new equipment which is donated to residents including mobile homes funded by the EU.

Prior to the demolition, occupation forces closed the roads leading to the area.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Jewish Settlers Vandalize Palestinian Vehicles in Nablus

Israel fosters a “culture of impunity” for Israelis committing violent acts against Palestinians. (Photo: via Twitter)

Jewish settlers vandalized several Palestinian-owned vehicles, on Wednesday, in the Qaryut village south of the northern West Bank district of Nablus.

Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, said that Jewish settlers broke into Qaryut, and punctured tires of several vehicles.

Jewish settlers also sprayed racist anti-Arab graffiti in the area before leaving it.

Many Palestinian activists and rights groups have accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israelis committing violent acts against Palestinians.

Better known as “price tag” attacks, extremist Jewish settlers use violent acts of retribution on Palestinians and their property to demonstrate their opposition to Israeli restrictions on settlements and their outposts in the occupied West Bank.

Daghlas added that Jewish settlers have intensified their raids into Palestinian villages in the area and increased assaults, particularly towards Palestinian farmers harvesting their olive crops.

For hundreds of Palestinian families, olive trees are the main source of income, however, when harvest season approaches, Israeli settlers target Palestinian lands and cause severe economic damages.

Palestinian towns and villages in the Nablus area are surrounded by Jewish settlements and outposts, many of which are protected by the Israeli military and have gained notoriety for being comprised of the most extremist settlers.

The Palestinian government has no jurisdiction over Israelis in the West Bank, and violent acts carried out by Israeli settlers often occur in the presence of Israeli military forces who rarely act to protect Palestinian residents.

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

Israeli Minister Shaked Supports Total Annexation of Area C

Israeli Minister of Justice, Ayelet Shaked, (Photo: MEMO)

Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked supports the total annexation of “Area C” of the occupied West Bank, she said in an interview published yesterday.

Speaking to The Atlantic, Shaked said that she supports the total annexation of “Area C” – which amounts to some 60 percent of the occupied West Bank and that in doing so Israel would absorb 100,000 Palestinians as citizens.

Shaked explained:

“These processes take time to ripen. At the moment, the annexation plan looks like science fiction, but I think that slowly, gradually, people will see what’s going on in the Middle East and realize that it really could happen.”

Shaked also spoke out about Israel’s controversial Nation State law, adopted in July, which declared that “Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it”.

Shaked told the Atlantic she sees “no contradiction between the fact that Israel has full personal equality of citizenship but extends national rights only to the Jewish people.”

She continued:

“Perhaps if the words Jewish and democratic had been included in the final version, it would have been easier to swallow.”

In the immediate aftermath of the Nation-State law, Shaked warned the Israeli Supreme Court against interfering with or overturning the controversial law, saying “such a move would be an earthquake, a war between the authorities”. Her comments drew the ire of onlookers who saw her as threatening the state’s legal institutions, but in yesterday’s interview, she stood by her comments.

She explained:

“I didn’t mean it as a threat, I was describing a given situation: The supreme court will not do that. If it had done something like that, it certainly would have led to a war between the authorities.”

Shaked also told The Atlantic that she thought Naftali Bennett, Israel’s education minister and leader of the Jewish Home party (of which Shaked is a member), would be the best successor to current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Shaked explained that “in the post-Netanyahu era, Naftali Bennett is best suited to be prime minister,” but did not rule out running for the office herself at a later date.

She admitted:

“This is not to say that after a long career in politics, as a member of Knesset and justice minister, it’s something I wouldn’t want in the distant future.”

Both Shaked and Bennett are key figures in the Jewish Home party, a religious-Zionist political party that advocates for illegal settlement of the occupied West Bank. Jewish Home currently holds eight seats in the Knesset and has become increasingly popular, with a recent poll demonstrating that the party could gain ten seats if elections were held imminently.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

US Student Held in Israel for BDS Support (VIDEO)

Lara Alqasem, a US student with Palestinian grandparents, was barred from entering Israel over BDS support. (Photo: via Social Media)

An American student has become the latest victim of Israel’s law targeting supporters of the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Lara Alqasem, 22, has been held since last Tuesday at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport.

Lara Alqasem, a 22-year-old U.S. citizen with Palestinian grandparents, landed at Ben-Gurion Airport last Tuesday with a valid student visa. But she was barred from entering the country and ordered deported, based on suspicions she is a boycott supporter.

Her “crime”, according to the Strategic Affairs Ministry, is that while studying for her bachelor’s degree in Florida, she was president of an organization that supported the BDS campaign against Israel.

An Israeli court has ordered that she remain in custody while she appeals.

As of Sunday afternoon, supporters of the student have raised nearly $6,500 for her legal fund on a GoFundMe page. On Monday, over 100 academics and Jewish professionals signed a petition demanding that Israeli authorities release the Palestinian-American student.

Alqasem is the latest individual to fall foul of the Israeli law targeting supporters of BDS. In May, US civil rights activists were deported by the Israeli authorities following their detention at Ben Gurion Airport. The law has been slammed by human rights groups, which have denounced the measure as “blatantly anti-democratic”.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Israeli Forces Injure Two Palestinians in Naval March (VIDEO)

Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian boats protesting in Gaza. (Photo: Mohammed Zaanoun, via Activestills.org)

Two Palestinians suffered injuries, on Monday evening, after Israeli forces opened fire at crowds gathered at the northern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip to take part in a naval march setting off from the Gaza seaport against the nearly 12-year Israeli siege.

A Ma’an reporter said that Palestinian youths, who participated in the naval march, set fire to tires to blur the vision of Israeli snipers, while Israeli forces opened fire and fired tear-gas bombs towards the youths.

Two Palestinians suffered injuries, however, their medical condition remained unknown.

مسيرات العودة

شاهد: شبان يتجاوزون بقارب صيد السياج الشائك داخل بحر شمال قطاع غزة مع بحر الأراضي المحتلة عام48.

Gepostet von ‎شبكة قدس الإخبارية‎ am Dienstag, 9. Oktober 2018

The National Committee for Breaking the Siege, which called for the naval march, said that the continuous protests by the Palestinian people in Gaza represent their awareness of the magnitude of the dangers facing the current conflict.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza will be launching its first ever naval paramedic team to provide aid to peaceful protesters taking part in the naval march.

Many attempts have been made throughout the years to draw the public’s attention to and break the on-going siege of the Gaza Strip whether via ships attempting to sail into Gaza or ships attempting to sail from Gaza.

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

Palestinian Forced to Demolish His Own Home in East Jerusalem

116 Jerusalemite facilities were demolished in 2017. Nearly 241 residents became homeless as a result. (Photo: PIC)

A Palestinian man was forced to demolish his own home, on Monday, in the Beit Hanina neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem after receiving demolition threats from the Jerusalem municipality.

Ayman Naim Kawasbeh told Ma’an that he removed furniture and other belongings, and proceeded to demolish his own home, in which he had lived for a decade along with his wife and six children, the youngest being three years old.

Kawasbeh said that he received a demolition order from the Jerusalem municipality, warning that he will end up paying exorbitant fees that would amount up to 40,000 shekels ($11,035) if the municipality demolishes the house, therefore he decided to carry out the demolition on his own.

The demolition order was delivered to Kawasbeh under the pretext that his house was built without the difficult-to-obtain Israeli permit.

Kawasbeh mentioned that he had previously attempted to obtain an Israeli building permit and was able to delay the demolition, however, the Israeli authorities did not grant him a permit and delivered a demolition order instead.

Kawasbeh stressed:

“We live a real-life tragedy. Winter is around the corner and we have no home, no shelter. I don’t know what i will do in the upcoming days.”

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.

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

Israeli Minister Bennett Wants ‘Shoot to Kill’ Policy in Gaza

Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett. (Photo: via Social Media)

Israeli’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett said yesterday that he would impose a “shoot to kill” policy in Gaza, including against Palestinian children.

Bennett made the comment on Israel’s Army Radio after he was asked what he would do differently if he were the defense minister. Bennett replied:

“Everything. I would not allow terrorists to cross the border from Gaza every day… and if they do, we should shoot to kill. Terrorists from Gaza should not enter Israel… Just as in Lebanon, Syria or anywhere else we should shoot to kill.”

Bennett was then asked if he would also instruct the Israeli army to adopt a shoot to kill policy against Palestinian children, to which he replied:

“They are not children — they are terrorists. We are fooling ourselves.”

Bennett’s comments come against the backdrop of an ongoing feud with Israel’s Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman. Last week Bennett, who is also the leader of the religious-Zionist Jewish Home party, accused Lieberman of “weakness” for engaging in ceasefire talks in Gaza.

This is not the first time Bennett has made extreme comments and advocated for violence against Palestinian children. In July, he said that Israeli warplanes should drop bombs over the heads of Palestinian children flying kites into Israel.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)