CHINA’S new special envoy on Middle East affairs, ambassador Zhai Jun, confirmed today his country’s rejection of all Israeli measures aimed at annexing the Jordan Valley and Judaising the old town of Hebron, in the occupied West Bank.
The Chinese envoy added during a press interview at the headquarters of the Chinese embassy in Ramallah, that Israel should stop all measures that would escalate violence in the Palestinian territories, including settlement expansion and its measures in Jerusalem.
Regarding US unilateral decisions, Jun said that the United States of America has been recently adopting a bullying approach in international relations, through assaulting international justice and acting unilaterally, which has caused successive blows to the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis.
He stressed that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statements on the legitimacy of settlements in the West Bank violate all international laws.
He said that officials in the United States of America have recently made many irresponsible statements regarding issues in the Middle East, which he stressed do not serve peace and security in the region, foremost among which was Pompeo’s statement regarding settlements.
He stressed that the unilateral, selfish, and arrogant American stances are straining the situation in the Middle East, especially the transfer of its embassy to Jerusalem and the abandonment of commitments it pledged towards the peace process.
The Chinese envoy stressed that the American side should assume its responsibility and play a constructive and positive role, instead of the negative role it is playing at the present time regarding the Palestinian issue.
He called on the Israeli side to refrain from its actions that escalate the situation and have a detrimental impact on the peace process in the Middle East.
He affirmed the Chinese government’s firm position regarding the Palestinian issue, including the internationally endorsed two-state solution, stressing that he will do his best to move the peace process forward and enhance communication with all parties concerned.
- On this day in 1987, the First Palestinian Intifada broke out across occupied Palestine. The uprising, which lasted for over six years, witnessed the deaths of thousands of Palestinians at the hands of Israeli occupation forces, and the detention of tens of thousands.
On December 8, 1987, an Israeli settler identified as Herzel Boukiza rammed his vehicle into Palestinian workers returning home through Erez/Beit Hanoun checkpoint between Israel and Gaza. Four workers from Jabalya and Maghazi in the Gaza Strip were killed in the terror attack.
The next day, and following the funerals of the four martyrs, angry Palestinians took to the streets in Jabalya to protest the premeditated attack.
As Palestinian leaders gathered to discuss the escalating situation, protests and clashes broke out within the refugee camps, spreading rapidly across the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Palestinians took control of neighbourhoods, barricading roads to prevent Israeli army vehicles from entering. Largely unarmed, they defended themselves only by throwing stones at the soldiers and their tanks. Shopkeepers closed their businesses and labourers refused to go to their workplaces in Israel.
After six years of daily confrontations, and of the Israeli army’s breaking the bones and killings of Palestinians, a total of 1550 Palestinians were killed, over 70,000 injured, between 100,000 to 200,000 were detained. Among these over 18,000 were held under administrative detention for long periods of time without charge or trial.
The ‘stones Intifada’ came to a halt only after the signing of the Palestinian-Israeli Oslo Accords in September 1993, which led to the creation of the Palestinian Authority, and which allowed thousands of Diaspora Palestinians to return home for the first time since they were forced out of Palestine in 1948.
- Palestinian political prisoner in Israeli detention, Mohammad Adel Dawoud, 58 years, entered today his 33rd year in Israeli jails, said the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).
Dawoud has been serving a life sentence in Israeli prisons, and is one of the pre-Oslo Agreement prisoners to whose release Israel has repeatedly denied in several swap deals.
Dawoud has lost both of his parents while behind Israeli bars and was barred from family visits several times under security reasons.
There are more than 5,000 Palestinian and Arab prisoners in Israeli jails serving various sentences for resisting the Israeli occupation of their homeland.
- The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate has documented 90 violations by the Israeli occupation forces against journalists in the Palestinian territories during November 2019.
In its monthly report on Israeli violations against journalists published today, the Syndicate said 15 journalists were hospitalized after being injured from rubber-coated metal bullets, live bullets and tear gas canisters fired by Israeli soldiers as well as from severe beatings.
It said the gravest of these violations occurred on November 11, when an Israeli sniper shot journalist Muath Amarneh, a photographer with J-media, in his left eye causing him to lose sight completely.
Amarneh was covering Israeli forces’ human rights violations in the West Bank town of Surif. 10 other journalists also sustained light to moderate injuries during the same event.
On November 20, Israeli police broke into Palestine TV’s office in occupied Jerusalem and handed staff an order by Israeli Minister of Home Security Gilad Erdan imposing a closure of the office for six months.
On the social media, the Journalists Syndicate said it monitored 100 cases of removal of Palestinian accounts or posts by Facebook and Whatsapp during the same period, which it said was due to the growing cooperation between the Israeli occupation authorities and the administrations of these apps.
At the home level, the Syndicate said it documented a number of violations by the Hamas authorities in Gaza against journalists, but no such cases were monitored in the West Bank by Palestinian Authority security forces during the same period.
- At least two Palestinians sustained moderate injuries on Sunday early morning as Israeli fighter jets struck several locations in the north of the besieged Gaza Strip, local sources said.
Israeli warplanes bombed a location west of Gaza City, injuring two Palestinians. They were rushed to nearby Shifa Hospital for medical treatment.
The warplanes also bombed two other locations east of Gaza City and east of the town of Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip, causing serious damages to the sites bombed but no human casualties.
The Israeli occupation forces claimed that the airstrikes came in response to the firing of three projectiles from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel, which were allegedly intercepted by the Iron Dome system.
- Hamas is open to everyone regarding the Palestinian elections, member of Hamas Political Bureau Suhail al-Hindi said Saturday.
The Palestinian Authority and Fatah should have the will to hold fair and transparent elections, al-Hindi continued in a press release.
Al-Hindi stressed that his movement had showed positive flexibility and made several concessions for the sake of holding Palestinian elections, noting that Hanna Nasser, head of the Central Elections Commission, had lauded Hamas’ move in this regard.
Organisation of elections is one of the means of breaking the Israeli siege off Gaza and alleviating the hardships inflicted on the Palestinian people, al-Hindi noted.
Regarding his movement’s written response to Palestinian elections, al-Hindi pointed out that Hamas had called for ‘neutralising’ the Constitutional Court to ensure the transparency of the electoral process.
The senior Hamas official urged for ‘more freedom’ to be granted to the Palestinian people of the occupied West Bank to express their opinions.
Al-Hindi reiterated the necessity to hold Palestinian elections in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Jerusalem.