Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have continued protesting at the Gaza borders for the fourth week in row as part of the Great March of Return. Today, Israeli snipers killed four Palestinians and injured 430 others. These are exclusive photos of the Palestine Chronicle taken by Abdallah Aljamal.
Palestinian Ministry of Education denied reports that the European Union (EU) decided to suspend funds allotted for school curriculum, saying there is no change in EU policy in this regard.
“These reports originated in Israel and that they were baseless,” the ministry said in a statement.
After contacting the Foreign Ministry and Palestine’s ambassador to the EU, it was found that Israel attempted to distort information from an annual regular meeting held since 2013 for an EU committee that reviews the EU budget, according to the statement.
Israeli media reports claimed that the European Parliament adopted a bill introduced by the Committee on Budgetary Control and related to funds allocated for Palestinian education. An Israeli organization assisted in formulating the bill.
The ministry recently refused attempts to change Palestinian curriculum in East Jerusalem by offering amended textbooks with a curriculum that promotes the Israeli narrative of the 70-year-old conflict.
Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem has long bypassed the encroachment over land to that of Palestinian education. Last year, the Israeli government approved a plan to provide financial incentives to East Jerusalem schools to switch to the Israeli school curriculum.
Under the plan, funding could be tripled per pupil at the schools opting for the Israeli curriculum, an Education Ministry source explained.
The PA condemned the school curriculum plan, pushed forward by Israel’s far-right Minister of Education Naftali Bennett, saying that it aimed to impose the Israeli narrative on the younger Palestinian generation at the detriment of their Palestinian history and understanding of the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“Israeli authorities have for years neglected the education system in East Jerusalem,” said Nisreen Alyan, Head of the Jerusalem Program at The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), in an interview with Reuters.
“While it is the first time the government and municipality see a need to close the gaps in East Jerusalem, the program is designed according to a political agenda,” she added.
European Union (EU) Parliament adopted on Thursday a resolution on the situation in the Gaza Strip. The resolution, however was altered from its original script.
Gaza. EU Parliament condemns killing of protesters, supports independent investigations, calls for lifting of blockade, deplores state of health sector. Also ignores refugees' rights, occupation & slams Hamas & "terrorism". https://t.co/mLb3fVS5Ws
The original text recognized Israel’s right to “protect its borders and defend its legitimate security interest”. It also underlined its disproportional use of force. Moreover, it calls for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Israeli violence at the Gaza border.
L’UE réclame une « enquête indépendante sur les morts à Gaza » La représentante de la diplomatie européenne Federica Mogherini a appelé samedi à une « enquête indépendante » sur l’usage de munitions réelles par l’armée israélienne à Gaza au cours… https://t.co/SfgQZ0TeR9pic.twitter.com/kJDxIiuB9i
Protests have continued to take place on the Gaza border today as thousands of Palestinians demonstrate for the fourth week as part of the “Great March of Return”, leaving at least two dead and dozens injured.
Some 40 others have been injured, adding to more than 4,000 people that have been wounded in the past three weeks. Several of the injuries were caused after Israeli occupation forces fired a barrage of gas canisters to disperse protesters.
This is Ahmad Abu Aqel, a Palestinian protester who was killed today by an Israeli sniper's bullet to the head in Gaza. The images of what that bullet did to him are very disturbing. pic.twitter.com/6qNTGAclmf
Arab media reported today that Israeli forces had positioned some 120 snipers on the border in preparation for the demonstrations. Israeli authorities have permitted soldiers to shoot at anyone who approaches the Gaza side of the fence, despite widespread condemnation from NGOs and the UN over the practice.
UN Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick said:
“We are monitoring the situation in Khan al Ahmar closely and are deeply concerned by what we see here, and in the scores of other vulnerable Bedouin communities.”
UN Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick: "We are deeply concerned by what we see here + in the scores of other vulnerable Bedouin communities… We call on the Israeli authorities to respect their legal obligations, as the occupying power, incl through stopping demolition…
Mr. McGoldrick, along with UNRWA’s Director of Operations in the West Bank, Scott Anderson visited Khan al Ahmar-Abu al Helu, on the outskirts of East Jerusalem, which is home to 181 people, 53 percent of whom are children and 95 percent of whom are Palestinian refugees.
The Bedouin community is at risk of forcible transfer.
UNRWA Director of Ops in the West Bank, Scott Anderson: "The entire community of Khan el Ahmar-Abu al Helu, the vast majority of whom are Palestine refugees who are amongst the most vulnerable Bedouin communities in the West Bank, is facing the risk of demolitions… +relocation"
“The humanitarian impact of home demolition is severe and long-lasting. It is well documented in previous instances that the transfer of Bedouin communities into urban settings is socially and economically non-viable. The Khan al Ahmar-Abu al Helu community has repeatedly called for the provision of suitable planning solutions and services in its current location,” Anderson warned.
In March 2017, @BorisJohnson was asked by UK parliamentarians to save Khan al Ahmar, & stop its demolition & forcible transfer of this Palestinian Bedouin community which would constitute a war crime acc to @btselempic.twitter.com/k10C9ousEc
“We call on the Israeli authorities to respect their legal obligations, as the occupying power, including through stopping the demolition of Palestinian-owned structures and ceasing plans for the relocation of Palestinian Bedouin communities.”
Students at Barnard College, the liberal arts women’s foundation, which is one of the top 60 campuses with the largest Jewish population in North America, voted to ask the university administration to divest from eight companies that do business in Israel.
The referendum, which was promoted by Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine, asked whether the student government should encourage Barnard to divest from companies that “profit from or engage in the State of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.”
At a school that's 33% Jewish, 49% of the student body came out to vote and 64% voted yes — if this isn't an indication that many Jewish students support BDS, we don't know what is.
A privately owned Moroccan body-guarding company has been accused of propagating Zionism and jeopardizing national security, revealed monitor groups in Rabat.
National Action Group for Palestine and Moroccan Observatory Against Normalization said in a joint press conference they have spotted a training institute named “Alpha Institute for Special Guards Training” in Meknes which uses public halls to hold martial arts and weapons training and promote Zionism in cooperation with Israeli security officers.
The findings point to alarming recruitment and the staging of military and paramilitary training of groups in several areas across the country, coupled with an indoctrination of the Zionist ideology, the groups added.
Abdel Qadir al-Alami, the coordinator of the Group, said,
“representatives of the two bodies met with Minister of State for Human Rights Mustafa Al-Ramid in February, and presented a special memorandum on the issue, with which the Minister promised to deal in all seriousness and responsibility.”
However, al-Alami has received no response two months after the meeting, which prompted the two bodies to reveal the issue to the public and communicate with parliamentarians to present it before the official parties, while announcing their resolve to request the opening of a probe by the public prosecutor into their findings.
Director of the Observatory, Aziz Hanawi, said,
“the institute offers military training under Israeli field supervision, and publishes pictures, speeches and provocative videos aimed at demoralizing members of the Moroccan army.”
Hanawi played a video showing the ‘suspicious’ director of the institute accompanied by the head of the ‘takeover’ unit in a Tel Aviv prison and an Israeli rabbi as they supervised a training course.
There are no official diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel. Upon Morocco’s independence, the Israeli intelligence agency (Mossad) set to persuade thousands of Moroccan Jews to leave their homes and move to Israel.
Spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip, Adnan Abu Hasna, said that the agency still suffers from a $300 million financial deficit, which it considers as an existential threat.
Abu Hasna told Voice of Palestine radio, on Wednesday, that the agency continues to work at all levels through the global fundraising campaigns, both in the Arab and international world, while the agency follows an “austerity” policy to eliminate unnecessary expenses.
Important visit to Saudi Arabia. Joined @antonioguterres during his meeting with HRH King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Riyadh. UN SG expressed sincere appreciation for Kingdom’s decision to contribute $50 M to @UNRWA as announced at Arab Summit. pic.twitter.com/3bQI5T1BPF
He added that the current deficit will make the task of UNRWA difficult after next August, stressing that the agency will continue to provide services to refugees in all areas of work and said that, if the agency succeeded in crossing safely until the end of this year, it will recover its financial well.
On April 17, each year, Palestinians mark Palestinian Prisoner Day, which commemorates the release of the first Palestinian to be captured by Israel following the 1967 war, Mahmoud Bakr Hijazi, on April 17, 1971.