A number of Palestinians have been denied travel recently at the Israeli-controlled border crossing with Jordan. The bridge connects the West Bank with the Hashemite Kingdom and is the sole designated exit and entry point for West Bank Palestinians traveling into and out of the Israeli occupied territories.
The women were attempting to travel to Jordan to be reunited with their husbands who work in the UAE, after giving birth in the occupied territories.
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Ahmad Al-Dik condemned Israel’s actions and asserted the right of the babies to stay with their mothers.
“This stance by the occupation state is a violation of the Geneva Conventions,” he explained, “which guarantee freedom of movement for people under occupation, particularly since the two women carry valid documents for themselves and their babies issued by the State of Palestine, which is under occupation.”
Rights groups have pointed out that preventing Palestinians from traveling through this crossing is part of the political pressure put on them. It bears no relation to any valid security or other issues, they insisted.
Israeli occupation forces today dismantled and seized four livestock barns in the town of Nahalin, west of the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.
The town’s mayor, Sobhi Zeidan, told WAFA that Israeli soldiers raided an area to the west of the town and sized four shacks used to keep the livestock, owned by three local brothers, and other equipment.
The Southern Transitional Council (STC), the Yemeni secessionist movement sponsored by the UAE, has recently shown a willingness to establish relations with Israel, with which it is currently in secret talks. The same has been said for Khalifa Haftar, head of the Libyan National Army, who is seeking new support after successive setbacks against Fayez Al-Sarraj’s Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).
These understandings come as Abu Dhabi has been publicizing its ties with Israel in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. In a highly unusual move, planes from the Emirati airline Etihad’s fleet landed on the tarmac at Ben-Gurion Airport on May 20 and June 9, loaded with humanitarian aid for the West Bank.
However, the Palestinian Authority (PA) refused the medical aid, claiming it had not been party to coordination on the delivery, which was conducted exclusively with Israel.
Behind this display, Abu Dhabi is looking to take advantage of the tacit recognition of Israel to secure new cybersecurity contracts, just as the agreement on June 20 was aimed at facilitating joint research in the context of the current epidemic.
Previous contracts concluded in 2019 are understood to have totaled more than $4 billion.
Gulf Arab states do not have diplomatic relations with Israel. However, due to shared concerns over Iran’s influence in the region, they are are increasingly normalizing relations cooperating against a perceived threat from Teheran.
At least five Palestinians were arrested last night by Israeli occupation forces during raids in the occupied West Bank districts of Hebron (Al-Khalil) and Qalaqiliya, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.
In Hebron, occupation forces raided the town of Dura, where they detained two Palestinians — who are ex-detainees in Israeli jails – after raiding and searching their homes.
Israeli police arrested on Friday at dawn 55 Israelis who took part in demonstrations against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, news agencies reported.
According to Israel Radio, thousands of angry Israelis took part in demonstrations staged near Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem, and many clashes erupted between them and police.
Anti-Netanyahu protesters say they were violently attacked by right-wing activists: Several at Jerusalem protest say they were beaten by ‘La Familia’ extremists, with a witness saying group of young people were wandering in search of protesters… https://t.co/gYkfoRJFzf Haaretz pic.twitter.com/atC6i1dkfe
The demonstrators chanted anti-Netanyahu slogans and raised placards calling on him to resign over his corruption cases and mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis, which negatively affected the economic situation as unemployment spiked to over 21 percent in the country.
Last night’s demonstration followed tens of others organized in previous days around and near Netanyahu’s house and elsewhere in Israel – all calling for Netanyahu to resign.
Israeli media reported that the Israeli police sprayed them with high-pressure water cannons in a bid to move them off the streets.
Unemployment in Israel is currently at a high of 21 percent and is rising due to the restrictions imposed across Israel in relation to the fight against the coronavirus.
Last month, Israel boasted about its success in fighting the pandemic after the decrease of daily new cases, but the numbers soared at the start of this month, pushing the government to take strict measures to keep people locked down.
The Israeli Ministry of Health announced on Friday that eight people died of the coronavirus and 549 others have caught the virus. It described the conditions of 301 patients as critical, including 82 on ventilators.
Israel’s Supreme Court rejected yesterday a petition by Adalah, The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, demanding Israeli authorities to implement COVID-19 protective guidelines for prisoners at Gilboa prison, where 30 prison guards and seven Palestinian prisoners are infected, while 489 guards and 58 prisoners are in quarantine.
The court ruled late on Thursday evening that Palestinians held in Israeli prisons have no right to social distancing protection against the COVID-19 pandemic, said Adalah in a press statement.
Earlier on the day, the court had convened to hear a petition filed by Adalah demanding that the Israel Prison Service (IPS) and Israel’s Public Security Ministry take all necessary actions to avoid a COVID-19 outbreak among the 450 prisoners – overwhelmingly Palestinian political prisoners – in the overcrowded Gilboa prison.
.@AdalahEnglish slammed an Israeli Supreme Court decision against social distancing in Israeli prisons: “Palestinian prisoners have no right to protection against COVID-19.”https://t.co/suzLRbM08f
Adalah Attorney Myssana Morany, who submitted the petition on behalf of the families of two Palestinian prisoners, responded to the ruling by the top Israeli court: “Israel’s Supreme Court has chosen to accept the fiction pitched to it by Israeli authorities that COVID-19 social distancing policies – essential for everyone else – are not relevant to the Palestinian ‘security prisoners’ it holds behind bars.”
“This precedent-setting ruling endangers the lives and health of Palestinians held by Israel, and poses a threat to society as a whole. It flies in the face of health and human rights professionals around the world who have called for social distancing within prisons, and leaves Palestinians held by Israel exposed to the virus with no option to protect themselves,” she added.
Adalah said in a statement,
“The Supreme Court justices accepted the claim promoted by Israeli occupation authorities that Palestinians held in prison are no different than family members or flatmates living in the same home, completely ignoring the fact that prisoners are held under duress and Israeli authorities are responsible for their health and the conditions of their incarceration.”
“The court ruling has freed the IPS from the obligation to maintain, and or even strive for, safe social distancing in the cells of Palestinian “security prisoners”. This runs contrary to basic COVID-19 health practices employed by prison authorities around the world,” the group added.
Materials given by state authorities to the Supreme Court and discussed in yesterday’s hearing stressed that social distancing restrictions should not apply to family members or individuals who live together, but nevertheless, they also recognized the need to reduce the population density inside Israeli facilities amongst prisoners serving time for criminal sentences.
Adalah Attorney Myssana Morany commented immediately following the hearing: “Israeli authorities claimed today in court that social distancing policies essential for protecting prisoners serving time for criminal charges are somehow not relevant for ‘security prisoners’. The Israel Prison Service should have stood together with us today and demanded that it be granted the means to protect the people for whose health and safety it holds direct responsibility.”
She continued, “We were, instead, subject to absurd arguments equating prisons with family living rooms, while prisoners continue to be forced to come into daily contact with guards potentially exposed to COVID-19 outside the prison walls.”
More than 5,000 Palestinians, including numerous women and children, are currently detained in Israeli prisons.
The United States Democratic party released a draft of its 2020 platform on Wednesday, in which it refrained from mentioning the Israeli occupation by name.
The 80-page documentserves as the blueprint for the party’s political priorities over the course of four years. The final document will be released next month.
Although, in their draft, the “Democrats oppose any unilateral steps by either side—including annexation—that undermine prospects for two states,” they failed to criticize Israel’s illegal occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Isreal occupied Palestinian territories in June 1967, an act that violates international law and human rights conventions.
The draft also recognizes Jerusalem as the “capital of Israel” and opposes the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement, and “any effort to unfairly single out and delegitimize Israel.”
Below, is the Democratic party’s position on Palestine and Israel, as articulated in their draft:
“Democrats believe a strong, secure, and democratic Israel is vital to the interests of the United States. Our commitment to Israel’s security, its qualitative military edge, its right to defend itself, and the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding is ironclad.”
“Democrats recognize the worth of every Israeli and every Palestinian. That’s why we will work to help bring to an end a conflict that has brought so much pain to so many. We support a negotiated two-state solution that ensures Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state with recognized borders and upholds the right of Palestinians to live in freedom and security in a viable state of their own.”
“Democrats oppose any unilateral steps by either side—including annexation—that undermine prospects for two states. Democrats will continue to stand against incitement and terror. We oppose settlement expansion. We believe that while Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations, it should remain the capital of Israel, an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.”
“Democrats will restore U.S.-Palestinian diplomatic ties and critical assistance to the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza, consistent with U.S. law. We oppose any effort to unfairly single out and delegitimize Israel, including at the United Nations or through the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement while protecting the Constitutional right of our citizens to free speech.”
A 12-year-old Palestinian child was kidnapped by undercover Israeli soldiers yesterday from the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya and released hours later, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.
Local witnesses said that undercover Israeli forces in a civilian car abducted Moath Ewewi in and drove him away to an unknown destination.
Undercover and armed Israeli police abducting and choking a Palestinian child, Moath Ewewi,12 years old, in Isawiya yesterday. This follows months of injuring and arresting children in the besieged East Jerusalem neighborhood. pic.twitter.com/ob5R4ZQreC
Meanwhile, Israeli forces rounded up three Palestinians after breaking into their houses today in the occupied West Bank city of Tubas, claiming to search for “wanted” Palestinians, triggering clashes with residents.
Despite the coronavirus crisis, Palestinians in Jerusalem have witnessed a noticeable escalation in Israeli attacks, home raids and arrest campaigns lately, which is seen as an attempt to put more pressure on Palestinian natives of Jerusalem to force them to leave the city and clear the way for new Jewish-only settlement projects.
The Palestinian Authority official has been arrested by Israel at least 17 times since he assumed his current office as Governor of Jerusalem in August 2018.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates demanded all the concerned international bodies, on top of which the ICRC, the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions and the UN Human Rights Council, to immediately intervene to pressure the occupation authorities to release Gheith.
Salahat warned of settler attacks against the villagers, who were forced at gunpoint to allow settler access to the natural parks.
Wadi Al-Badhan is considered one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Palestine given its abundance of water springs, greenery, cool air, and high biodiversity.
According to the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ), Jewish settlers frequently attack the village, illegally dump wastewater and discharge sewage water onto Palestinian land, thus polluting the villagers’ crops and trees.
The village of al-Badhan is named after the valley and has a population of about 4,000. Tourists and travelers often visit the village’s numerous archaeological sites, including 12 ancient watermills.
“Jewish settler violence should not be analyzed separately from the violence meted out by the Israeli army, but seen within the larger context of the violent Zionist ideology that governs Israeli society entirely,” wrote Palestinian author and editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Ramzy Baroud.
Israel's 'environmental crisis' is of its own making https://t.co/uo7qJemVXS How the colonizer ends up not only destroying those they oppress but also themselves, the land, the water and the very air for all
“Settler violence has long since become part of Palestinians’ daily life under occupation,” according to the Human Rights Group B’tselem. “Israeli security forces enable these actions, which result in Palestinian casualties – injuries and fatalities – as well as damage to land and property. In some cases, they even serve as an armed escort, or even join in the attacks”.
Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law.