ISRAELI OCCUPATION FORCES ARE SEIZING THE LAND!
THE ongoing seizure of Palestinian land for the expansion of an illegal settlement in the West Bank – with the ultimate purpose of entrenching Israel’s settler-colonialist project in Palestine – has dominated the headlines in Friday’s issues of the three Palestinian Arabic dailies.
The dailies reported that Israeli occupation forces handed the municipal councils of several Palestinian villages in Nablus a district order – notifying them of the imminent seizure of their land for the expansion of Yitzhar settlement.
They added that Israeli forces stormed the Palestinian Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP)’s office in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
According to al-Ayyam, ten Palestinians were rounded up in multiple Israeli military raids across the West Bank. Al-Qudsa said that Israeli troops and naval boats besieging the Gaza Strip opened fire towards Gaza’s fishermen and shepherds.
Al-Ayyam reported that Israeli bulldozers razed hundreds of dunums of Palestinian farmland and destroyed five water wells in the northern Jordan Valley.
(Paestinian} President Mahmoud Abbas’ phone call with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud also hit the front page headlines in the dailies. Al-Hayat al-Jadida elaborated that the Saudi monarch slammed (the) Israeli Prime Minister’s pledge (to) extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley if he wins re-election as ‘null and void’.
Al-Quds and al-Ayyam said the Saudi monarch reiterated his country’s ‘steady positions’ in support of the Palestinian people. Al-Quds also highlighted AFP’s report ‘Jordan Valley settlers hail Netanyahu annexation pledge.’
Chairman of the Qatari Committee for Gaza Reconstruction Mohammad al-Emadi was reported, in both al-Quds and al-Ayyam, stating that his recent statements on the tragic situation in Gaza were exploited.
UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl was reported in al-Quds saying that the United Nations workS to keep the rights of Palestinian refugees protected and that refugees exist.
Krähenbühl said: ‘Some make the attempt to question and undermine the very idea that Palestine refugees exist, even though the international community – led by the Member States represented here in this meeting today – has enshrined its recognition of the refugees in successive United Nations General Assembly resolutions.’
Al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida reported the European Union (EU) expressing its commitment to supporting Palestinians in East Jerusalem.
According to al-Quds and al-Ayyam, 120 Palestinians prisoners in Israeli jails have joined the open-ended hunger strike [that was started by 29 others two days ago].
Al-Hayat al-Jadida added in this regard that the prisoners have decided to implement new measures protesting their dismal and cruel detention conditions.
Focusing on Jerusalem, al-Quds said that Israeli Jewish settlers forced their way to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound under police escort. It added that Israeli police have prevented the Reconstruction Committee, which serves as part of Jerusalem’s Islamic Waqf Department, from restoring serious cracks in the wall next to Bab al-Silsila, which leads to the mosque compound.
It also reported that the Ateret Cohanim settler-colonialist group petitioned the Israeli court once again to evict the Dajani family from the Imperial Hotel in Jerusalem’s Old City.
This step came almost three months after an Israeli court rejected the appeal of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem and approved the sale of three strategically located properties in Jerusalem’s Old City to the Ateret Cohanim settler group.
The assets include the Petra and Imperial hotels overlooking the Omar Bin al-Khattab Square near Jaffa Gate, and a plot of land that includes a building known as al-Muadamiya, located near Bab Hutta in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Al-Quds and al-Ayyam reported that Palestinian Attorney General Akram al-Khatib . . . indicted three of 21-year-old Israa Gharib’s relatives of beating [the 21-year-old] to death. According to al-Ayyam, Israeli settlers hurled stones at Palestinian vehicles travelling along Jenin-Nablus Road.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II was reported in al-Ayyam affirming his rejection of all unilateral measures undermining the two-state solution.
UN Secretary General António Guterres was reported in al-Quds cautioning that: ‘The two-state vision is farther away as [the] situation deteriorates.’
- The legal battle in which Hamas fights against the European policy which labels the resistance movement and its military wing as ‘terrorist organisations’ will not stop, member of Hamas International Relations Office Dr. Basem Naim said on Wednesday.
Calling the EU policy towards Hamas ‘immoral and illegal’, Naim pointed out such policy is operated under pressure from the Israeli occupation and Israeli lobby.
Naim added that the Palestinian people would fight off this policy, hailing the European Court of First Instance’s decision to remove Hamas from ‘terror’ lists.
‘We will continue defending our people with all means possible, including the armed resistance, until Palestinian rights to freedom and independence are restored,’ Naim continued.
Naim confirmed that resisting the Israeli occupation is a legitimate right guaranteed by all international standards, stressing that the Palestinian people would eventually win their legal battle for their rights, ‘just as South Africa among other states which had fought for dozens of years.’
Regarding the resignation of US envoy for the Middle East Jason Greenblatt, Naim said that the ‘deal of the century’ was ‘born dead’ and was unanimously rejected by all segments of the Palestinian people.
‘The resignation of Greenblatt, the plan’s dynamo, reflects a new failure for the deal of the century,’ Naim added.
As for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, Naim described the grassroots movement as a ‘tool in the conflict against the Israeli occupation but not a substitute for other tools.’
Naim explained that he was still sending official letters to Arab and Islamic states among other nations around the globe, as well as human rights groups and international organisations to highlight its position as a resistance movement and elaborate on the just Palestinian cause.
‘Every day, a new gate is opened for the Palestinian people to achieve their aspirations and just rights,’ Naim concluded.
- The Palestinian resistance will thwart Netanyahu’s plans to take over the occupied West Bank, former Hamas chief Khaled Meshal said Tuesday evening.
Meshal’s remarks came following the Israeli prime minister’s statements in which he vowed to annex the Jordan Valley and the occupied West Bank.
Speaking at a mourning tent held in Doha, Qatar, for Palestinian detainee Bassam al-Sayeh, who died due to medical negligence in Israeli prisons, Meshal stressed that Netanyahu was trying to use Palestine, and Israeli violations against Palestinians and their holy sites as ‘material for his election campaign’ amid Arab and Muslim silence.
Meshal reiterated the option of resistance would remain the unified and core strategy for the Palestinian people and would stick to this ‘path’ to face off and thwart Israeli schemes.
The former Hamas chief confirmed that his movement was exerting all efforts possible to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and restore Palestinian rights.
‘It is our duty to free the Palestinian people and land from the brutal occupation, restore their rights, and liberate Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque,’ Meshal added.
Meshal [also] mourned the death of Bassam al-Sayeh, who died due to a deliberate policy of medical negligence in Israeli prisons. He hoped that al-Sayeh’s death would herald the continuation of the option of resistance.
The senior Hamas official [also] stressed that the issue of Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons is a top priority for his movement. Meshal stressed too that Hamas would spare no effort to push the Israeli occupation to release the detainees.
- Facebook has temporarily suspended a chatbot on the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official page for violating the social media giant’s hate speech policy.
This happened on Thursday, after messages appeared on Netanyahu’s official Facebook page, which is run by the right-wing Likud party, saying ‘Arabs want to annihilate us all.’
‘After careful review of the Likud campaign’s bot activities, we found a violation of our hate speech policy,’ a Facebook statement said on Thursday, adding, ‘We also found that the bot was misusing the platform in the time period allowed to contact people.
‘As a result, we temporarily suspended the bot for 24 hours. Should there be any additional violations, we will continue to take appropriate action.’
A Likud spokeswoman later alleged that the post was a staffer’s mistake, claiming that 69-year-old Netanyahu – who chairs the party – had not seen or authorised the message. She added that the freeze went into effect on Thursday morning, and would not affect Likud’s online election campaign.
Netanyahu also sought to disassociate himself from the anti-Arab content on Facebook, telling Israeli public radio that he was not responsible for the message.
‘It wasn’t me. It was one of the workers at our election headquarters,’ he asserted.
‘That mistake was fixed quickly. Think logically: Do you think I would really write such a thing? I have friends in Arab countries … What is this nonsense?’ The Israeli prime minister added.
Meanwhile, the head of the Arab Joint List coalition in the Israeli parliament, Ayman Odeh, has slammed Netanyahu for the chatbot.
‘Netanyahu is a psychopath with no red lines, and he wants to see blood,’ Odeh wrote in Hebrew on his Twitter page, adding: ‘This despicable thug will continue to spill our blood as long as he believes it will help him escape prison.’
Odeh further noted that he had reported the automated pop-up message to Facebook ‘to stop Netanyahu’s racist and dangerous incitement against the Arab population.’
Arab people living in the occupied territories make up 21 percent of Israel’s population. Political commentators and Netanyahu’s critics have long criticised him for demonising the community with his political rhetoric.
The development comes as Israeli settlers will head to the ballot box on September 17. Arabs generally tend to vote for their own parties belonging to the Arab Joint List coalition, or for centrist and left-wing parties.
During legislative elections in 2015, Netanyahu used a similar anti-Arab tone to garner support, claiming in a video that an Israeli right-wing administration was in ‘danger’ and that Arabs were going to polling stations ‘in droves.’