PALESTINIAN Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has called on United Nations bodies, particularly the Children’s Fund (UNICEF), to follow up on the recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) report which says Israel is imposing apartheid and persecution in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.
During a meeting with Ted Chaiban, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Shtayyeh demanded greater efforts by international organisations to prevent Israel’s crimes against Palestinian children and to help stop the regime’s violations of international law and humanitarian principles.
He also stressed the need for the formation of an international front to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.
HRW said in a report on April 27 that: ‘The oppression of Palestinians has reached a threshold and a permanence that meets the definitions of the crimes of apartheid and persecution.’
It has forwarded its findings to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for due action stating: ‘Those who strive for Israeli-Palestinian peace, whether a one or two-state solution or a confederation, should in the meantime recognise this reality for what it is and bring to bear the sorts of human rights tools needed to end it.’
Separately, Palestine called on the Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, to stand against the Israeli regime’s actions against a group of Palestinians facing imminent eviction from their homes in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
Palestinian Minister Riyad al-Maliki, in a letter to Bensouda, urged The Hague-based tribunal to adopt a clear and public position against crimes perpetrated by the Tel Aviv regime against the Palestinian residents of the area, who say Israeli authorities intend to force them out and replace the district with an illegal settlement.
The top Palestinian diplomat also condemned the latest decision of the so-called Israeli Supreme Council on Sheikh Jarrah as ‘unacceptable and inadmissible,’ stating that the move completely contradicts international law, particularly as it gives settlers the right to make false claims based on forged papers.
The Israeli Supreme Court on Sunday gave four Palestinian families from the Jerusalem neighbourhood until tomorrow (Thursday) to reach a deal with Israeli settlers regarding the ownership of their homes.
The ‘deal’ proposed by the court requires the Palestinian families to pay the settlers rent until the current owners pass away and then assign the properties to the settlers, not to their heirs.
The Palestinian families have refused the proposal, considering it a recognition of the claimed demands of the settlers.
Meanwhile, Hamas has reiterated its rejection of the moves to postpone Palestinian general elections under any pretext, stressing that such moves will affect Palestinian reconciliation.
Palestinians are furious that Israel will not allow elections in East Jerusalem, and many consider that that the Palestinian government is wrong to postpone the elections and that they must take place.
In remarks posted on the Hamas website, deputy head of the movement Moussa Abu Marzouk warned that cancelling the Palestinian elections will have ‘negative consequences’ for Palestinian unity.
‘We cannot act at the behest of the Israeli occupation,’ Abu Marzouk said, adding that the popular Palestinian intifada in Jerusalem, which has taken place over the past few days, indicates that Jerusalemites are capable of forcing the Israeli occupation to accept holding the Palestinian elections in the city.
‘Jerusalem should be the core of the Palestinian struggle and the basis for national partnership,’ he stressed, and the three stages of the elections must go ahead as planned.
Hamas, he said, wants ‘a way out of this national impasse. We want our Palestinian people to have a peaceful transition of power and hold inclusive elections at all levels without facing obstructions.’
Many Palestinians are determined that the Palestinian elections must take place and are preparing to take mass action over the issue.