Monday, November 29, 2021 Last Update: 5:52 PM GMT

WATCH: Israeli President Storms Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron

Israeli President Isaac Herzog storm the Ibrahimi Mosque accompanied by settler leaders and Knesset members. (Photo: via QNN)

Israeli President Isaac Herzog stormed on Sunday the Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron (Al-Khalil), in a move that has been seen as an explicit and clear declaration of his sponsorship of the Jewish settlers’ plans, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Israeli forces closed the mosque gates, and prevented Palestinian residents from praying or standing nearby, WAFA reported, adding that they further forced the shop owners to close their shops, hindered the work of the press crews, and assaulted a number of them in an attempt to prevent them from covering the intrusion.

The Israeli president lit the first candle of the Jewish Hanukkah holiday at the Ibrahimi Mosque accompanied by settler leaders and Knesset members.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

EU: ‘Time Running out for Two-State Solution’ (VIDEO)

Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff (L) leads an EU delegation of representatives of more than 20 European countries in Palestine. (Photo: via Breaking the Silence Twitter page)

The European Union (EU) has criticized Israel’s continuous settlement construction on Friday, warning that time is running out for the two-state solution with Israel.

EU Representative to the Palestinian Authority Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff confirmed that the Israeli settlement plans defy international law and destabilize the status quo.

“Israeli settlements are in clear violation of international law and constitute a major obstacle to a just, last[ing] and comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” he stated.

Burgsdorff, who led an EU delegation of representatives of more than 20 European countries on Sunday, on a visit to the old Qalandia Airport in the occupied Palestinian lands, stressed that the EU couldn’t “close its eyes” to the Israeli settlement projects.

Ynet News reported that Burgsdorff was referring to two settlement construction announcements recently made by Israel.

The Israeli news website stated that one is a plan to build close to 3,500 settlement units near the Ma’ale Adumim settlement, in the area known as E1 of the occupied West Bank.

The other controversial construction announcement is the 9,000 settlement units planned for the Atarot area of East Jerusalem on the site of Qalandia Airport, which opened in 1924 and closed in 2000.

Palestinians have asserted that they want an airport to return to the Qalandia Airport site. The projects are illegal and against international law, Palestinian officials say, adding that they will end any possibility for a contiguous Palestinian state alongside Israel.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

PLO Condemns Defense Deal between Israel, Morocco (VIDEOS)

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz (R) with his Moroccan counterpart Abdellatif Loudiyi. (Photo: via Benny Gantz Twitter page)

The Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) on Friday condemned in a statement the defense deal recently signed between Israel and Morocco, which lays the foundation for security cooperation, intelligence sharing and future arms sales.

“We wished that the Kingdom of Morocco, which chairs Al Quds Committee, would not have taken this dangerous step in light of the racist measures practiced by Israel against the Palestinian people, its disregard for all peace agreements, its rejection of negotiations and the two-state solution and its imposition of a fait accompli policy,” the statement announced.

“The continued settlement and forced displacement of occupied Jerusalem, the gradual annexation of Palestinian lands, and the undermining of the Arab and Islamic identity of Jerusalem and its sanctities were reasons why Morocco should not have signed the deal,” the statement added:

“This deal constitutes a departure from what was stipulated in the Arab League summits, the Arab consensus and the Arab Peace Initiative,” it continued.

The PLO Executive Committee stressed that the deal was “harmful to Arab national security and the interests of the Arab nation.”

The statement urged Morocco to cancel the deal, stating that any departure by an Arab country from the Arab Peace Initiative – which stipulates that normalization comes after ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian and Arab lands – is unacceptable and a reward for the occupation.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

EU Calls on Israel to Halt Demolition of Palestinian Homes

Over 1,900 Palestinian homes have been completely demolished in Jerusalem by Israeli forces since 1967. (Photo: via ActiveStills.org)

The European Union reiterated on Friday its call on the Israeli occupation authorities to halt demolitions and any other unlawful practices that force Palestinians out of their homes, adding that such demolitions significantly undermine the prospects for peace, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

On November 23, 22 Palestinians, including 15 children, lost their homes when the Israeli occupation authorities destroyed and confiscated several dwellings, tents, livestock enclosures, and buildings under construction in the occupied West Bank, according to WAFA.

“We reiterate our call to halt demolitions and any other unlawful practices that coerce Palestinians out of their homes. Demolitions are illegal under international law and significantly undermine the prospects for peace,” the EU tweeted.

According to the UN-OCHA, 21% more structures were demolished or seized by the Israeli occupation authorities and 28% more people were displaced in the first nine months of 2021 compared to the equivalent period in 2020.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

Facebook Removes Palestinian Pages Covering News from Jerusalem

A campaign calling for a Twitter storm in protest against Facebook’s crackdown on Palestinian journalism. (Photo: via Social Media)

Two Palestinian news pages, Al-Qastal and Maydan Al-Quds, disappeared from Facebook after the company removed them for ‘violating the community standards’, The New Arab reported.

The editors of the two pages condemned Facebook’s decision, saying that the social media giant is “actively fighting Palestinian content”.

Facebook’s move came only a month after it opened a special investigation on Palestine-Israel content suppression.

The two Palestinian pages reported daily news in Jerusalem from a Palestinian perspective, focusing on Israeli violations against Palestinians in the city.

Following the decision, Sada Social Center – which specializes in protecting the Palestinian narrative on social media platforms – has launched a campaign urging users worldwide to give Facebook a one-star review in the Apple and Google app stores over the social media giant’s ongoing censorship of Palestinian digital content, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Facebook came under criticism in October after The Intercept published a leaked list of names that Facebook used to censor content, containing hundreds of names of Palestinian figures and organizations.

(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)

WATCH: Jordanians Rally in Protest against ‘Water for Energy’ Deal with Israel

Jordanians rally in protest against a deal signed with Israel. (Photo: via Twitter)

Thousands of Jordanians rallied on Friday in protest against a deal signed with Israel that will reportedly see the two countries swap electricity for water, Anadolu News Agency reports.

The march began in front of the Husseini Mosque in the capital, Amman, and continued to the Al-Nakhil Square about a kilometer (0.6 miles) away, amid a heavy security presence, an Anadolu Agency correspondent reported from the scene.

The demonstrations were organized by political parties and trade unions in Jordan to reject the Hashemite Kingdom’s decision to negotiate with Tel Aviv on the feasibility of a joint energy and water project.

On Monday, Jordan announced the signing of a declaration of intent for exchanging water for energy with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel.

The three countries will start talks to explore the feasibility of a joint energy and water project, according to Jordan’s Ministry of Water and Irrigation.

The Ministry said in a statement that the declaration of intent meant “entering the process of feasibility studies during the next year 2022, through which Jordan could obtain 200 million cubic meters of water annually.”

Last month, Jordan signed an agreement with Israel to buy 50 million cubic meters of water from Tel Aviv — an additional amount to what was stipulated in the peace agreement signed between the two countries in 1994.

Jordan currently stands second in the list of the world’s water-poor countries, according to the global water index.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Israel, Egypt Sign Memorandum to Increase Gas Supplies

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett meets Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. (Photo: via PM of Israel Twitter Page)

Egypt and Israel have signed a memorandum of understanding to increase natural gas supplies from Israel to Egypt, with the aim of re-exporting, the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum announced on Thursday.

In an official statement, the ministry said that the agreement was signed by the Petroleum Minister, Tarek El-Molla, and his Israeli counterpart, Karine Elharrar, on the sidelines of the Sixth Ministerial Meeting of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum held in Cairo.

The ministry pointed out that the agreement had indicated the “possibility of using the existing pipeline between the two countries to transport hydrogen in the future.”

“The agreement comes within the framework of efforts to expand the use of natural gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the region,” the statement added.

Both ministers had affirmed the “significance of cooperation to reduce harmful emissions to counter climate change and maintain energy supplies in the region.”

In early 2020, Israel began exporting natural gas to Egypt from their Leviathan and Tamar offshore fields under a 15-year deal signed with a private firm in Egypt called Dolphinus Holdings.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Jewish Settlers Erect Menorah on Islamic Mosque Roof near Jerusalem

Jewish settlers erect a big menorah on the roof of a mosque near Jerusalem. (Photo: via Qii_Media, Twitter)

Jewish settlers on Thursday erected a big menorah on the roof of a historical mosque in the village of Nabi Samwil, northwest of Jerusalem, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Anas Obeid, a resident of the village, told WAFA that Jewish settlers, accompanied by staff of settlement organizations, set up a huge menorah on the village mosque purportedly to celebrate the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, Hussam Abu al-Rub, condemned the settler move as an “infringement upon the sanctity” of the site as he stressed his rejection of any Israeli interference in the affairs of Islamic holy sites across Palestine.

He explained that the occupation authorities aim, through these measures, to appropriate the site and obliterate its Islamic features.

There are over 600,000 Israeli settlers living in colonial settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Israel’s nation-state law that passed in July 2018 stated that building and strengthening the illegal Jewish settlements is a “national interest.”

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

Belgium to Label Products Made in Illegal Israeli Settlements

In November 2019, the ECJ ruled on labeling Israeli settlements products. (Photo: File)

Belgium’s foreign office has announced on Wednesday that it will label all products produced in West Bank Israeli settlements, considered illegal under international law.

The announcement drew a swift rebuke from Israel, with the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll, who is currently visiting Belgium, canceling a meeting at the foreign ministry in Brussels and the country’s parliament.

“I canceled my planned meetings with the Belgian Foreign Ministry and Parliament,” Roll wrote on Twitter.

 

Belgium’s decision to label products made in Israeli settlements dates back to a 2019 ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union, which stated that consumers should be aware of any items made in the illegal outposts.

Since the ruling, many EU countries have been slow to implement the labeling.

Even prior to the ruling, the EU had long exempted Israeli products made in settlements from its free-trade agreement, and in 2015 EU member states were issued guidelines on how they could legally label goods produced beyond the 1967 frontier, considered the borders of a future Palestinian state.

Belgium’s decision to label settlement-produced goods comes at a time of heightened tension between the EU and Israel.

Hunger Striking Palestinian Prisoner to Hospital after His Health Deteriorates

Palestinian prisoner Louay Al-Ashkar. (Photo: via Social Media)

Palestinian prisoner Louay Al-Ashkar was moved to the Ramle prison hospital on Wednesday after his health took a turn for the worse as he continued his hunger strike for 47 days, official Palestinian sources reported.

The Prisoners Information Office confirmed that Al-Ashkar was transferred from Al-Jalama prison to the Ramle prison hospital. He is one of two prisoners who remain on strike.

Hisham Abu Hawash is now on the 101st day of his hunger strike against his administrative detention. Family sources affirmed that Abu Hawash’s hearing was postponed once again for five days.

Earlier on Monday, two Palestinian prisoners suspended the hunger strikes they launched months ago against Israel’s policy of administrative detention.

Kayed Fasfous, 34, ended his 131-day-long strike after reaching a deal with Israeli prison authorities to free him on December 14.

Ayyad Al-Harimi, 28, also stopped his 61-day hunger strike after Israel agreed to release him in March 2021 at the end of his current detention period.

Last week, Meqdad Qawasmeh and Alaa Al-Arej also suspended their months-long hunger strike after Israeli authorities agreed to end their administrative detention.

Administrative detention is a policy that allows Israel to hold Palestinians for months and even years without charge or trial, in total violation of the prisoners’ right to due process.

Israel currently holds 4,650 Palestinians, including 34 women, 160 children, and 500 administrative detainees.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)