Wednesday, September 28, 2022 Last Update: 8:51 PM GMT

EU Representative Visits Palestinian School Facing Imminent Threat of Demolition

EU representative Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff plants tress at the Ras al-Teen elementary school. (Photo: Tamer Bana, via WAFA)

The Representative of the European Union to Palestine, Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff, visited on Tuesday the EU-funded Ras al-Teen elementary school, near Ramallah, which is facing the imminent threat of demolition by the Israeli authorities.

The EU representative said that the aim of the visit is to show solidarity with Palestinian students and residents of the Bedouin communities in the area.

He stressed that this visit expresses the EU’s clear position on the right of students to education in all areas, stating that supporting the right to education is an essential part of the EU’s work.

The school principal, Nora al-Azhari, urged the EU to assist in the school’s infrastructure development and provide for its needs as provided for other schools.

The school, which provides education to around 46 students living in nearby Bedouin communities, was built with EU funds in 2020 and received during the same year a demolition notice from the Israeli authorities under the pretext it is located in area C of the West Bank. The school is frequently subjected to raids and harassment by Jewish settlers and Israeli army forces.

(WAFA, PC, SOCIAL)

BDS Victory: Sydney Festival Halts Foreign Government Funding after Mass Boycott

The board for one of Australia’s biggest cultural festivals announced on Tuesday the immediate suspension of investments from foreign governments, a year after the event was rocked by controversy over funding from the Israeli embassy.

The Sydney Festival board announced the decision after “an independent review into the role of international government investment” commissioned by the festival board, according to its statement.

“Sydney Festival has today announced a range of important measures to improve the decision-making process around partnerships and sponsorships ahead of the Sydney Festival 2023 Program Launch,” the statement read.

“This includes an immediate suspension of investment from international governments and their cultural agencies.”

The boycott of the 2022 edition of the Sydney Festival began last December and took place after it was revealed that the three-week event had received tens of thousands of dollars of funding from the Israeli embassy in Australia.

The funding was meant to help pay for a dance production choreographed by an Israeli.

Israel had been listed as a “star partner” on the festival’s website due to the sponsorship.

Pro-Palestine activists slammed festival management for its decision to approve the funding and called for a boycott of the event.

More than 20 acts pulled out of the festival over the funding.

The 2023 edition of the festival is set to take place in January.

(The New Arab, PC, SOCIAL)

Father Manuel Musallam Calls on Palestinian Christians to Protect Al-Aqsa Mosque from Israeli Raids

Father Manuel Musallam. (Photo: via Hamas website)

Palestinian catholic priest Father Manuel Musallam called for all Christians in Palestine to mobilize and protect Al-Aqsa Mosque from planned Jewish settler raids in the coming days and weeks, the Middle East Monitor reported.

In a press release on Monday, Musallam said that the “success of the settler plans to demolish Al-Aqsa Mosque means the demolition of the Christian and Islamic existence in Jerusalem.”

Addressing Christians in Jerusalem and across historic Palestine, he asked they must “stand side-by-side along with Muslim brothers, defending Al-Aqsa Mosque from the Israeli aggression.”

Musallam, who served in Jordan, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip before his retirement, highlighted the importance of mobilization in the streets and roads leading to Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

He also called for organizing “united Islamic-Christian marches in all the Palestinians cities and towns to move towards Jerusalem and reiterate their Palestinian identity against the occupation’s plans.”

(WAFA, PC, SOCIAL)

Prisoners Affairs Commission Documents Severe Beating of Two Palestinian Children during Detention

Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian youth. (Photo: ActiveStills.org)

The Prisoners Affairs Commission said on Tuesday that its lawyer Hiba Saleh documented the severe beating of two Palestinian minors at the hands of Israeli forces during detention, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

According to the attorney, Diyar Ivan Salibi, 16, from the town of Beit Ummar in the south of the West Bank, was severely beaten, kicked, and hit with a gun butt when he was arrested at his home before he was taken to a detention center in a settlement, where he was kept for nine days after which he was moved to Damon prison in the north of Israel.

Ahmad Ziad Nimr, 17, from Kufr Aqab, a northern Jerusalem neighborhood, was detained near Lions Gate in the old city of Jerusalem. He was severely beaten by Israeli police when he and other youths were arrested before he was taken to the Russian Compound police station in West Jerusalem, where he underwent interrogation for one hour.

Nimr was then cuffed in the hands and legs in the infamous interrogation room number 4, which does not have cameras. There, he was beaten severely and interrogated for two hours. He was later taken to a court, which extended his detention.

A research conducted by Save the Children last October found that “children in the Israeli military detention system face inhumane treatment such as beatings, strip searches, psychological abuse, weeks in solitary confinement, and being denied access to a lawyer during interrogations”.

(WAFA, PC, SOCIAL)

PA Foreign Ministry: 25 Palestinian Refugees aboard Sunken Migrant Boat off Syrian Coast

A fishing boat carrying refugees dock in Lampedus, Italy. (Photo: Vito Manzari, via Wikimedia Commons)

At least 25 Palestinians were aboard the vessel that tragically sunk off the Syrian coast, having departed from Minyeh in Lebanon carrying around 150 passengers, The New Arab reported.

At least 94 people are now known to have died after the ship sunk while heading to Italy via the eastern Mediterranean.

Of the 25 Palestinians confirmed aboard the vessel, 6 lost their lives, three have been successfully rescued while 16 are still among the missing, said the Palestinian foreign ministry.

“The ministry is following up every single drowned or missing person, and our embassy in Lebanon is doing everything we can to help and stand by the families of the martyrs,” said Political Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ahmad Al-Dik in a statement.

Al-Dik’s statement stressed that the current figures are preliminary and may require considerable further investigation.

The Palestinian embassy in Lebanon had already joined an operations room for coordinating efforts to reunite the living and the dead with their families, alongside Lebanese ministries and NGOs.

All 25 Palestinians were residents of refugee camps inside Lebanon.

(The New Arab, PC, SOCIAL)

New Poll: Support for Two-State Solution Declines among Arabs, Jews in Israel

Israel’s Apartheid Wall. (Photo: Tamar Fleishman, The Palestine Chronicle)

Support for the two-state solution has declined to below 50 percent among Palestinian citizens of Israel and Jews in Israel, a poll conducted last week by the Israel Democracy Institute found.

The poll was conducted in parallel to Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid declaring his adoption of the policy at the UN General Assembly during which he claimed that a large majority of Israelis support it too.

According to the poll, only 39 percent of the Israelis supported the two-state solution compared to 46 percent in December 2019 and 54 percent in August 2017.

The poll also found that only 36 percent of the respondents believed that the new Israeli government should push for the two-state solution compared to 50 percent in February 2021.

Among Palestinian citizens of Israel, 60 percent supported the two-state solution compared to 79 percent in the previous poll.

Meanwhile, 31 percent of Jews in Israel supported the policy compared to 44 percent in the previous poll.

At the same time, right-wing voter support for the two-state solution declined to 20 percent compared to 29.5 percent in the previous poll, while the support of left-wing voters declined from 85 percent to 69 percent.

The poll was conducted between September 18-20 and included 753 respondents, including 604 Jews and 149 Palestinian citizens of Israel.

(MEMO, PC, SOCIAL)

30 Palestinian Prisoners Start Mass Hunger Strike against Israel’s Administrative Detention

30 Palestinian prisoners launched an open hunger strike against Israel’s administrative detention. (Photo: via Social media)

Thirty Palestinian prisoners started an open-ended hunger strike on Sunday in protest of their administrative detention, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Hassan Abed Rabbo, a spokesman for the Palestinian Prisoners Affairs Commission, told WAFA that the prisoners decided to go on hunger strike as a protest against the policy of administrative detention, which allows Israel to hold them in prison for renewable periods without charges or trial.

Qadri Abu Baker, the chairman of the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission, noted that a new group of 50 prisoners will join the hunger strike next Thursday.

Israel has escalated its administrative detention policy against Palestinians as the number of administrative detainees currently exceeded 760, including minors, women, elderly.

(WAFA, PC, SOCIAL)

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian Journalist: Two Killed this Year, 20 in Prison

Israeli occupation forces often commit violations against Palestinian journalists. (Photo: via ActiveStills.org)

Marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian Journalist on September 26, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA said that two Palestinian journalists were killed by Israeli army gunfire this year, while 20 are currently in prison.

The first half of this year witnessed the Israeli army’s murder of the journalists Shireen Abu Akleh and Ghufran Warasna, while 20 other journalists are languishing in Israeli prisons, including Bushra al-Tawil, from the city of al-Bireh, and the journalism student Dina Jaradat, from Jenin.

The latest report by the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate recorded 479 violations and crimes committed by the Israeli occupation forces against Palestinian journalists in the first half of 2022.

Data showed that the violations varied between detention and prevention of coverage, which had the largest share for a total of 175 cases, and deliberate killing, arrest, and targeting with bullets as 35 bullets hit journalists, in addition to the travel ban, appearing in courts, summons, beatings, and other abuses aimed at preventing journalists from doing their work.

The data also showed a remarkable increase in attacks by Jewish settlers against Palestinian journalists under the protection of the occupation army.

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian Journalist was decided by the International Federation of Journalists in 1996, following the “tunnel” uprising when Palestinians protested the Israeli occupation authorities’ opening of a tunnel under Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem, and many Palestinians were killed, including journalists.

(WAFA, PC, SOCIAL)

Report: Meta had ‘Adverse Human Rights Impact’ during Israeli Bombing of Gaza

Meta has repeatedly deprived Palestinians of freedom of expression. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

An independent study commissioned by Meta has shown that the social media giant has repeatedly deprived Palestinians of freedom of expression, treated Arabic language content more harshly than Hebrew content, and blocked Palestinian journalists from their platforms.

The parent company of both Facebook and Instagram found “a lack of oversight at Meta that allowed content policy errors with significant consequences to occur”, when studying their response to Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza in May 2021.

“Meta’s actions in May 2021 appear to have had an adverse human rights impact on the rights of Palestinian users to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, political participation, and non-discrimination”, said the report’s findings published on Friday.

Notably, the #AlAqsa hashtag was added to a block list by a Meta employee, which resulted in #AlAqsa being hidden from search results.

Al Aqsa refers to the third most holy site in Islam in the center of Jerusalem which came under repeated attack by Israeli forces during Ramadan last year.

The report, however, “did not identify intentional bias at Meta writ large or among employees individually.”

Despite this, the BSR study highlighted issues such as hate speech detection software that was significantly developed for Arabic content – but had not been implemented for Hebrew.

As international attention focussed on the forced expulsions of Palestinians from Jerusalem and Israel’s brutal 11-day bombing of Gaza, many social media users accused Facebook of censoring content on the platform and Facebook-owned Instagram.

In late May 2021, at least 30 Facebook employees filed an internal appeal seeking the restoration of content on the platforms which they said was improperly blocked or removed. A month later, 200 Facebook workers signed a petition urging the platform to take action on the censorship.

(The New Arab, PC, SOCIAL)

Israeli Forces Kill Young Palestinian Man near Nablus

Sa’ed al-Kuni was killed by Israeli forces near Nablus. (Photo: via Social Media)

A young Palestinian man was killed and three others wounded Saturday night in an Israeli army raid on Nablus, north of the occupied West Bank, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Sa’ed al-Kuni was shot dead by an undercover Israeli force that broke into the neighborhood of Al-Taawon in Nablus, according to security sources.

At least three Palestinians were injured in the Israeli raid and were rushed to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.

Another two Palestinians were also arrested during the Israeli raid in the nearby Masaken neighborhood in Nablus.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Israeli occupation forces have killed more than 140 Palestinians and injured many more in the occupied territories since the beginning of the year.

(WAFA, PC, SOCIAL)