Tuesday, September 21, 2021 Last Update: 1:49 PM GMT

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Seeks to Suspend US Arms Sales to Israel, Saudi Arabia

US Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (Photo: via Twitter)

The United States Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez last week presented an amendment to the US defense budget bill. If agreed, the amendment will block the transfer of $735 million worth of Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) to Israel.

The Biden administration approved the controversial sale less than a week before Israel launched its recent bombing campaign against Gaza, which killed more than 250 people including women and children.

The amendment related to Israel was, tweeted Ocasio-Cortez, linked to the “bombing of Palestinian civilians and media centers” in May. This was a reference to the bombing of a building in Gaza City that housed the offices of the Associated Press and Al Jazeera as well as residential units.

The proposal was introduced alongside six other amendments, including one to block arms sales to Saudi Arabia, blamed for the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, and another concerning the US relationship with Colombia.

Along with other progressive representatives, including Rashida Tlaib and Marc Pocan, Ocasio-Cortez introduced a similar resolution opposing the sale of arms to Israel earlier this year.

“For decades, the US has sold billions of dollars in weaponry to Israel without ever requiring it to respect basic Palestinian rights. In so doing, we have directly contributed to the death, displacement, and disenfranchisement of millions,” wrote Ocasio-Cortez at the time.

“At a time when so many, including our President, support a ceasefire, we should not be sending ‘direct attack’ weaponry to [the then Israel] Prime Minister Netanyahu to prolong this violence.”

The member of the House of Representatives insisted that it is long past time to end the US policy of unconditional military arms sales, particularly to governments that have violated human rights.

Despite claims by the Biden administration that it is committed to working behind the scenes to de-escalate violence against Palestine, the US has blocked several attempts by the UN Security Council to call for a ceasefire.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Diabetic Palestinian Prisoner Refuses Insulin to Protest ‘Administrative Detention’

Administrative Detention allows Israel to hold Palestinian prisoners without charge. (Photo: ActiveStills.org, file)

A Palestinian detainee held in an Israeli prison has begun refusing insulin therapy for his diabetes in response to Israel’s extension of his administrative detention order, one day before he was due to be released, the Palestinian news agency Al-Qastal reported.

Amin Shuwaiki, 61, was detained last May by Israeli forces as part of a campaign targeting dozens of activists in Jerusalem, during Palestinian protests against the seizure of homes in the Sheikh Jarrah area, according to Al-Qastal.

Shuwaiki was placed in “administrative detention” for a period of four months. However, Israeli authorities extended the detention order just one day before it was due to expire.

Shuwaiki, a father of seven, needs insulin injections three times a day in order to treat his diabetes.

His wife Hanaa told Al-Qastal that news of the extension of the administrative detention order was “very difficult” for Shuwaiki. “He was not expecting this, so he decided to take action,” she said.

Hanaa added that Shuwaiki was arrested in a “very savage way” in May, with Israeli forces beating him and breaking his arm and some of his ribs.

He had been arrested nine times previously by Israeli forces, with the last arrest being in 2007.

“During his detention, [Israeli] occupation authorities could not bring any charge against Amin, and didn’t prove that he was affiliated with any political faction. His last detention in 2007 was on a really laughable charge – handing out presents to children in the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Hanaa added that Shuwaiki was a well-known trader in Jerusalem but had recently spent most of his time at home, delegating trading responsibilities to his children because of his advanced age.

Israel currently holds hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in administrative detention without charge or trial. Other Palestinian prisoners have gone on extended hunger strikes to protest their prolonged administrative detention.

(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)

Hamas Presents ‘Clear Roadmap’ for Prisoner Exchange Deal with Israel

Palestinians protest in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. (Photo: via Social Media)

Hamas has presented a “clear roadmap” for a prisoner exchange deal with the Israeli occupation authorities, the movement’s Political Bureau member Zaher Jabareen said on Monday, stressing that the “ball is now in the Israeli court.”

The Hamas leadership and the movement’s military wing, said Jabareen, pay special attention to the prisoners’ file, especially those who are serving long sentences. He noted that Israel has been trying to link the reconstruction of Gaza with the Israeli soldiers held in the besieged enclave.

“Hamas and the resistance leadership reject such a link. The movement has told all of the mediators that it is impossible to link the two issues. Moreover, the intentions of the Israeli occupation authorities are not clear.”

The release of prisoners re-arrested and imprisoned after being released in the 2011 prisoner swap is a precondition for any new deal, said Jabareen.

Jabareen also told the New Arab that the conditions for a swap “get more difficult through time”. He said that Hamas has added to the freedom list the six prisoners who escaped from Gilboa Prison only to be recaptured recently.

According to Arab48.com, Egyptian sources have revealed that the issue of the prisoner exchange deal was highlighted during the recent meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

In First, Palestinian Flag Flies outside Denmark Parliament Building

The Palestinian flag was raised at the Danish Parliament to celebrate Flag Day. (Photo: via WAFA news agency)

The Palestinian flag was raised outside the Danish Parliament building in the capital Copenhagen yesterday, in the first such event to mark Palestinian Flag Day, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Organized by the Forum of the Palestinian Community in Denmark and House 48, the event was held in the presence of the Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Denmark, Manuel Hassassian, and Danish Parliament Member, Sikander Siddik.

Speakers stressed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the establishment of their own independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, WAFA reported.

They called on the Danish government to recognize the State of Palestine and act to stop the criminal practices of the Israeli occupation, WAFA added. They also stressed the right of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons to freedom.

Palestinians around the world celebrate Flag Day on September 30, marking the day President Mahmoud Abbas raised the Palestinian flag outside the United Nations headquarters in New York for the first time in 2015.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Palestinians Urge Red Cross to Provide Protection to Palestinian Prisoners

Palestinians take part in sit-ins held in front of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). (Photo: via QNN)

Hundreds of Palestinians today took part in sit-ins held in front of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) premises across multiple West Bank cities, in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Participants in the sit-ins – which were organized by Palestinian national and Islamic factions and various institutions involved in prisoners’ affairs – called on ICRC to promptly intervene and provide protection to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, particularly the six prisoner escapees, who were subjected to severe torture after they were recaptured by Israel.

Protesters called on international institutions to pressure Israel to end its policy of administrative detention, and to work attentively to save the lives of sick and hunger-striking prisoners in Israeli jails, according to WAFA.

The Israel Prison Services IPS waged a war against all the prisoners following news of the escape of the six prisoners, raiding and attacking them in their cells, moving them to other prisons, separating them, isolating some, and denying them certain rights, including family visits and buying from the canteen.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

Sharett: ‘Israel and Zionist Enterprise were Born in Sin’

Palestinian refugees were forced by Zionist militias to flee their homes during the ‘Nakba’ – The Catastrophe – of 1948 . (Photo: via UNRWA)

In a remarkable political conversion, Yaakov Sharett, the heir to an iconic Zionist family and son of Israel’s second Prime Minister, Moshe Sharett, has turned his back on the founding ideology of the occupation state.

“The State of Israel and the Zionist enterprise were born in sin,” said Sharett in an interview with Haaretz. The 95-year-old spoke at length about his journey from a faithful servant of Zionism in the state of Israel to one of its harshest critics.

Sharett was born in 1927. His father was Israel’s first foreign minister and one of the country’s leaders who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1948. Sharett also served Israel as a member of the Shin Bet, the country’s security agency.

Ending his days in Tel Aviv as an anti-Zionist, Sharett predicts dark days for the country he spent nearly his entire life serving. “This original sin pursues and will pursue us and hang over us,” said Sharett referring to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine prior to Israel’s creation in 1948.

Sharett recollected the history of Zionism and its rise within Jewish communities. He argued that the moment Zionism called for the Jews to immigrate to Israel, in order to establish an ethnic-nationalist state, a conflict was created. “I see in this whole transformation of the majority [Arab] to a minority and the minority [Jewish] into a majority as immoral,” explained Sharett.

“Have you seen anywhere in the world where the majority would agree to give in to a foreign invader, who says, ‘our forefathers were here,’ and demands to enter the land and take control?” Sharett rhetorically asked.

“The conflict was inherent and Zionism denied this, ignored it… as the proportion of Jews to Arabs changed in favor of the Jews, the Arabs realized that they were losing the majority. Who would agree to such a thing?”

Lamenting his continued presence in Israel he said that he sees himself as “a collaborator” against his will.

“I’m a forced collaborator with a criminal country. I’m here, I have nowhere to go. Because of my age, I can’t go anywhere. And that bothers me. Every day. This recognition won’t leave me. The recognition that in the end, Israel is a country occupying and abusing another people.”

Sharett also railed against Israel’s turn towards religious fundamentalism and ultra-nationalism. “When I see the prime minister with a kipah on his head, I don’t feel good,” he added. “This is not the Israel I want to see. How did it happen that this new place, that was to have brought innovations, became the blackest place, controlled by the nationalist ultra-Orthodox? How is it that here of all places, there’s reactionism and zealotry, messianism, the desire to expand and control another people?”

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Palestinian Prisoner Enters 67th Day of Hunger Strike

Palestinian prisoner Kayed Fasfous. (Photo: via Social Media)

A Palestinian prisoner entered his 67th day of hunger strike on Monday, as he and five others continue their protest against their administrative detention, according to the Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Affairs Committee.

Kayed Fasfus, entered his 67th day of hunger strike, while Miqdad Al-Qawasma is on his 60th day, Alaa Al-Araj is on his 42nd day, Hisham Abu Hawash is on his 34th day, and Shadi Abu Aker is on his 26th day.

Hassan Abd Rabbo, the media advisor to the Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Affairs Committee, said in a press statement that the prisoners are suffering from difficult health conditions, including body aches, weight loss, a lack of salt and fluids in the body and severe fatigue and exhaustion.

All six prisoners have been arrested several times.

Around 520 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in Israeli administrative detention without charge or trial, according to the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Organization Addammer.

Under administrative detention orders, Israel imprisons Palestinians for six months at a time, which can be extended indefinitely.

(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)

‘Globalize Intifada’: Pro-Palestine Protesters March in New York

Hundreds of pro-Palestine protesters march in New York (Photo: via WAFA news agency)

Hundreds of pro-Palestine protesters marched on Friday to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in Manhattan waving the Palestinian flag and holding “Globalize Intifada” banners, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

The march was part of the so-called Strike MoMA campaign, which began as a series of 10 weekly protests from April 9 ​​to June 11, against MoMA’s alleged complicity in war profiteering, environmental harm, and dispossession of communities worldwide, according to WAFA.

The Palestinian intifada was chosen as a model of resistance against colonial violence and oppression, and “Globalize the Intifada” as the rallying cry of Friday’s march, with banners also reading “Honor the Martyrs of Palestine.”

The 10-week initiative was founded by the Strike MoMA Working Group, which is part of a group called the International Imagination of Anti-Imperial Feelings (IIAAF).

The Friday march was part of the so-called “second phase” of StrikeMoMA.

“No struggle is left when we move together and individually, but in agreement. At MoMA, the framework for abolition, decolonization, anti-capitalism and anti-imperialism overlaps in the course of the struggle,” the movement’s manifesto said in a section entitled “Operational Conditions for striking MoMA. “These included both Israel and South Africa as apartheid states.”

Another group that participated was Within Our Lifetime, whose goal is to liberate Palestine and who names the US and Zionism as two forms of colonial oppression.

A large number of organizations took part in the protest, including groups called Decolonize This Place, MoMA Divest and the Direct Action Front for Palestine.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

Palestinian Freedom Fighter Ayham Kamamji Reveals Details about Escape (VIDEO)

Munadel Nufei’at (L) and Ayham Kamamji, were captured during a military raid in Jenin. (Photo: via Social Media)

Palestinian freedom fighter Ayham Kamamji, who was captured by the Israeli occupation forces along with Munadel Nufeiat, had survived two assassination attempts by the Israeli occupation forces since the two broke out of the Israeli Gilboa Prison on September 6, his attorney has said.

Following an hour and a half meeting with his client, Kamamji’s lawyer, Munther Abu Ahmad, told Palestine TV that the two prisoners were shot at by Israeli forces twice: near Al Affoulah and near Fathat Sale, in the Jenin area. However, they were not hit in both cases.

Kamamji also revealed to his lawyer that the two were subjected to severe beating and torture by the Israeli army when were captured in Jenin, north of the occupied West Bank.

Kamamji added that he had been hiding in the northern West Bank city of Jenin for 11 days, and had just moved to the house where he was captured only 15 minutes before their capture.

Kamamji, who hails from Kafr Dan village, near Jenin, further told his lawyer he had wished to visit his mother’s grave but was not able to do so, since he was constantly on the run since their daring escape from Gilboa Prison on September 6.

“I felt like I was in paradise when I entered Jenin on the third day of our escape. My only wish was to visit my mother’s grave but I couldn’t”, he said, according to his lawyer.

Israeli occupation authorities announced the re-arrest of the four other freedom fighters, Mahmoud Arda, 46, and Yaqoub Qadri, 49, on the southern outskirts of Nazareth late on September 9.

Zakaria Zubeidi, 46, and Mohammed Arda, 39, were arrested on September 10, in the Palestinian village of Shibli-Umm al-Ghanam.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

Israeli Court Extends Remand of Re-arrested Palestinian Political Prisoners

The four re-arrested Palestinian political prisoners appear in front of Israeli military court in Nazareth. (Photo: Video Grab)

An Israeli court in Nazareth extended the remand of four re-arrested Palestinian political prisoners for 10 days, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported on Sunday.

The Israeli court had already extended their remand for 9 days last week, and issued a set of charges against them, including jailbreak, planning an armed attack, conspiring to escape the prison, and associating with a prohibited organization.

The four Palestinian prisoners had been rearrested by the Israeli forces on Saturday, September 11, after five days of large-scale operations throughout occupied Palestine.

The six freedom fighters broke out of the maximum-security Israeli prison by digging a tunnel under a sink in their cell, using spoons, plates, and even the handle of a kettle.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)