The Free Zone

Trump’s Envoy: No Reconciliation Without Disarming Hamas

US President Donald Trump’s Middle East Peace Envoy Jason Greenblatt released a statement on Thursday, echoing statements by the Israeli government on the recent Palestinian reconciliation deal signed earlier this month by the rival Hamas and Fatah movements. Greenblatt, who has visited Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory a number of times since Trump took […]

Palestinian Teen Shot by Israel Forces in Gaza

A Palestinian teenager was shot in the leg Israeli forces off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday evening. Witnesses told Ma’an that the 19-year-old, whose identity remained unknown, was sailing off the coast of Beit Lahiya when Israeli naval forces opened fire on the teen’s boat. As part of Israel’s blockade of […]

Germany Warns of ‘One-state Reality’, Slams Israel Settlement Expansion

The German government has condemned the latest steps taken by Israeli authorities to expand settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. In a statement released by the German Foreign Office yesterday, Berlin noted how “plans to construct almost 3,000 additional housing units in the West Bank were adopted this week”. The German government stated it “would like to take this opportunity […]

Refugees Plan to Sue Britain over Infamous Balfour Declaration

The Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) refugee department condemned on Thursday British government plans to celebrate the centennial of the infamous Balfour Declaration of November 2, 2017, saying it was the cause for the expulsion and displacement of the Palestinians from their homeland, while promising to sue Britain unless it goes back on the celebrations. Zakaria […]

British MPs Urge UK Government to Take Action on Gaza

Some 60 British MPs and Peers have signed a letter to the UK’s Secretary of State for International Development Alistair Burt, urging him to take action to alleviate the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. The letter spoke of the dire humanitarian situation in the besieged coastal enclave, pointing to the fact that despite the […]

Israel Detains 24 Palestinian Journalists

The number of the Palestinian journalists arrested by the Israeli occupation reached 24 after two media personnel were detained at dawn yesterday, Quds Press reported. According to the Palestinian Prisoners Club (PPC), brothers Ibrahim and Amer Al-Ja’bari are senior manager at the Transmedia Company which Israel shut down after confiscating its computers and broadcasting equipment. […]

US Mideast Envoy: Palestinians Must Commit to Nonviolence

Jason Greenblatt, the United States’ special envoy to the Middle East, responded to the Palestinian unity deal by breaking neutrality and siding with Israel on the matter. Israeli officials announced that they would not negotiate with the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in Gaza until the resistance movement met a list of Tel Aviv’s demands. “All […]

Israel Government to Construct Thousands of Settlement Units

The European Union has requested clarifications from Israeli authorities over recent promotion of plans, tenders and permits for thousands of settlement units across the West Bank. This week, Israeli authorities further promoted plans, tenders and permits for thousands of settlement units across the West Bank, including, for the first time since 2002, in the heart […]

Kuwaiti Official Orders Israel Delegates to ‘Get Out’

A Kuwaiti official yesterday told the Israeli delegation to leave the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) conference which is being held in Russia. Speaker of Kuwait’s National Assembly Marzouq Al-Ghanim told the Israeli delegation: “You should pack your bags and get out of the hall after you saw the reactions of the world’s honourable parliaments.” “Get out […]

US Company Launches Solar Project in Gaza

The Gaza Strip will have three new solar energy plants operating by April, the US-based energy firm behind the project said yesterday, providing the territory with some relief from daily blackouts but far from meeting its severe power shortages. Gaza’s daily power needs are estimated at nearly 600 megawatts. Israel, Egypt and the enclave’s only […]

Israeli Forces Demolish Palestinian Building, Home in Occupied East Jerusalem

Israeli forces on Wednesday demolished a building in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency. Wafa reported that crews from Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality, accompanied by police escorts, raided the neighborhood and destroyed the building under the pretext that it was built without a permit. The […]

Israel Closes Palestinian Media Groups in West Bank Raids

Israeli forces closed several Palestinian media companies in the occupied West Bank in a wave of overnight raids, drawing criticism from the Palestinian Authority (PA). The Israeli military authority in the occupied territories, COGAT, said in a statement that it raided eight Palestinian companies, accusing them of inciting violence against Israel. “These practices are part […]

US Politicians Push For Condemnation of UNESCO

Two Republican politicians have submitted a resolution to Congress condemning UNESCO, days after the US announced that it would be withdrawing from the organization over its “anti-Israel bias”, according to the Times of Israel. Senator Ted Cruz and Republican Matt Gaetz authored the resolution last Friday which condemns UNESCO for trying to delegitimize the Jewish […]

New Israel Law to Shield PM from Corruption Charges

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party is to propose a bill for a law to give immunity to Knesset members from any corruption investigations, Safa reported yesterday. The bill was proposed for the first time in August last year, but it was not advanced by the Knesset. The Chairman of the Knesset’s Interior Committee, MK David […]

PA Condemns Israel’s Approval to Build New Settlement Units

The Palestinian presidency condemned on Tuesday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approval of the construction of 300 housing units in the settlement of Beit El, north of Ramallah, as well as approving the construction of 31 settlement units in the heart of Hebron. Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas, said settlements are illegal […]

Palestinian Officials Begin Transferring Control of Gaza Borders From Hamas to Fatah

Head of the Palestinian Authority (PA) borders and crossing committee Nathmi Muhanna arrived in the Gaza Strip on Monday in order “to carry out the first article of the reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo regarding taking over the crossings,” Muhanna told Ma’an. Muhanna entered Gaza through the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing, and was welcomed by the […]

Israeli Jets Bomb Syrian Anti-Air Battery near Damascus

A Syrian anti-aircraft battery 50 kilometers east of the capital of Damascus was attacked by the Israeli air force. The anti-aircraft battery disabled in this attack had, according to Israeli intelligence, been the site of a confrontation in March with the Syrians. The Israeli air force alerted Russian officials prior to the attack so as […]

Following Blair’s Comments, Hamas Calls for Cancelling Condition to Recognize Israel

After former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the international community was wrong to do as Israel wanted to isolate Hamas, the movement has called for the condition that it recognize Israel before being included in negotiations to be retracted, the Safa news agency reported. On Twitter, member of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Mousa Abu-Marzouk also […]

Gaza Fishermen Union Denies Reports Saying Israel to Expand Fishing Zone

Israeli authorities reportedly announced on Monday that they would be expanding the designated fishing zone off the coast of the Gaza Strip from 6 to 9 nautical miles starting Wednesday October 18th, 2017, according to Israeli media. Reports said that Israel demanded all Gaza fishermen “not violate” the boundaries of the designated zone, threatening them […]

Former UK PM Admits, ‘We Were Wrong to Boycott Hamas’

World leaders were wrong to boycott Hamas after it won Palestinian elections in 2006, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has said for the first time according to the Guardian newspaper. In an interview with the paper, Blair said: “In retrospect I think we should have, right at the very beginning, tried to pull [Hamas] […]

Israeli Settlers Continue Assault in Nablus Villages

As the olive harvest season begins, Jewish settlers have continued to assault Palestinian farmers in the southern villages of the occupied Nablus, north Jerusalem. The anti-settlement activist, Bashar Al-Qaryouti, told Quds Press that a group of Israeli settlers from the illegal settlements of Shiloh and Elite attacked many Palestinian farmers from in the occupied village […]

Ashrawi: US Withdrawal from UNESCO Isolates It in International Arena

Member of the Executive Committee of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Hanan Ashrawi, said on Sunday that “if the US continues to threaten to withdraw from multilateral organizations that recognize Palestine, it will find itself outside most international bodies.” She said the US and Israel “have decided to stand at odds with these basic principles and […]

Settler Assaults Two Palestinian Children in Hebron

An Israeli settler on Sunday morning physically assaulted two children while they were on their way to school in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, according to local sources. Noura Nasser, principal of Qurtuba school in Hebron, told WAFA that an Israeli settler who was hiding behind a vehicle parking outside the school assaulted […]

Israel Shoots, Injures Youth Near Gaza Border

Five Palestinian youths were injured during clashes with Israeli forces near the border in the central and northern Gaza Strip on Friday, according to Palestinian sources. Spokesperson of the Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra said in a statement that two youths were injured in the legs with live ammunition during clashes in central Gaza, and […]

EU Offers Support to Reunite Gaza Strip and West Bank

EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said on Friday that the EU is ready to help the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to reunite under “one single and legitimate Palestinian Authority.” Mogherini made her comment after the main Palestinian factions – Fatah and Hamas – announced an agreement ending the 11-year-old political division. “The […]

Israel Says Acceptance of Palestinian Unity Contingent on Disarming Hamas

Israeli officials presented mix reactions to the Palestinian reconciliation agreement on Thursday, with leaders both criticizing and welcoming the landmark agreement. Israeli media reported that following the announcement from the Hamas and Fatah movements that an agreement had been reached, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement saying that any reconciliation should include recognizing […]

Qatar Hails Palestinian Reconciliation Agreement

A political science professor at Qatar University, Dr. Mohammed Al-Mesfer, has said that Doha considers the Palestinian reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah as an achievement that serves the Palestinian cause. In an interview with Quds Press, Al-Mesfer said that “Qatar has been calling for reconciliation between the Palestinian factions and did not object to […]

Palestinian Priest Says Resistance Must Not Lay Down Arms

A member of the Christian-Islamic Committee in support of Jerusalem and the Holy Places, Father Manuel Musallam, has called for the Palestinian resistance groups not to give up their weapons, and to retain them until Palestinians receive their full rights and freedom. Speaking to Shehab news agency, Father Musallam said that the Palestinian people have […]

Israel Will Follow US Lead, Withdraw from UNESCO

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed the Foreign Ministry to prepare for Israel’s withdrawal from UNESCO, just a day after the US announced it would leave the international organization in December 2018, according to Haaretz. Netanyahu welcomed the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw stating: “This is a brave and moral decision, because UNESCO has […]

Israeli Apartheid in Hebron Unprecedented, Says UN Organization

Israeli occupation authorities have intensified the restrictions imposed on Palestinian residents of Hebron, according to an update by UN OCHA. A new fence installed by Israeli occupation forces around two Palestinian neighbourhoods in the so-called “H2” area of the city, As Salaymeh and Gheith, has further separated up to 1,800 Palestinians from the rest of […]

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