‘BINYAMIN Netanyahu’s arrogant intervention into British politics is not surprising from someone who has always condoned Israeli state terror. Jeremy Corbyn, in contrast, has always stayed true to his humanistic values in his courageous support of human rights,’ Palestinian ambassador to the UK Manuel Hassassian said on Tuesday.
He continued: ‘It was with dismay that I read the Daily Mail article published over the weekend about Jeremy Corbyn’s presence at a Palestinian commemoration ceremony in 2014. ‘This is an annual ceremony which is held by Palestinians and Tunisians to mourn the dead of a blatant act of Israeli violence and aggression on the PLO headquarters in Tunisia on 1st October 1985.
‘It could be legitimately called an act of terror and state terrorism. The attack was vigorously condemned by the UN Security Council which voted in its favour 14-0. ‘In the attack, 62 Palestinians and 12 Tunisians were killed. ‘Dr Mohammed Shtayyeh, a Palestinian Authority Minister and leading economist, was one of the officials who accompanied the group of parliamentarians on their visit to the Palestinian national cemetery in Tunisia, where dozens of Palestinians are buried.
‘ “We invited an international delegation to visit our cemetery in Tunisia. Since the Palestinians’ forced displacement in 1948, the majority of our people sadly live and die as refugees, and we have national cemeteries throughout the Middle East. The visitors laid a simple wreath for the 62 Palestinian workers, including welfare and pension staff, cleaners, and maintenance staff who were killed in 1985 by a high tonnage bomb dropped by an Israeli fighter aircraft.”
‘ “Many Palestinians are buried in Tunis, as Palestinian refugees are routinely denied permission to be buried in their homeland and village of birth, near family or relatives”. ‘At the ceremony Mr. Corbyn stands with Palestinian Authority officials including Dr. Mohammed Shtayyeh. He takes part in a ceremony of remembrance for those brutally killed.
‘In 1974, the United Nations in Geneva, recognised the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. At the cemetery, in addition to victims of the Israeli bombing, other PLO officials are buried. ‘They themselves were recognised as the internationally legitimate political representatives of the Palestinian people and were working to evolve the Palestinian movement from one of armed struggle within a new political environment where Palestinians rights and grievances were being seriously addressed.
‘Had they not been killed in 1991, they would most likely have been negotiating with Israel and other states on the road to Oslo and a peace settlement. ‘The Daily Mail article grossly and clumsily twists the truth, using tricks of association and frankly bad journalism to mislead the reader, to achieve its desired effect, that is, to dehumanise the Palestinians and de-value Palestinian life. Pro-Israeli media are using these kind of tactics to stifle any criticism of Israel’s present brutal policies against the Palestinians and its increasingly apparent status as an apartheid state.
‘Yesterday’s follow-up article does nothing to correct any of the previous article’s errors.
‘If we are true to our humanity, we must mourn all those killed violently and brutally.
‘Bearing this in mind, I wonder if the Daily Mail will be contacting the tens of thousands of Palestinian widows and widowers of all those who have been callously murdered by the Israeli occupying forces and Israeli secret agents since 1948?’
• The Palestinian cabinet welcomed Colombia’s decision to recognise the State of Palestine on Tuesday. The Palestinian Cabinet said it welcomed the decision of the Republic of Colombia to recognise the State of Palestine, expressed deep gratitude and appreciation to China for supporting UNRWA, reviewed the new draft law on the Right of Access to Information, and strongly condemned the continued Israeli military escalation against Gaza.
During its weekly meeting held in Ramallah on Tuesday, the Palestinian Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Rami Al- Hamdallah, welcomed the decision of the Republic of Colombia to recognise the State of Palestine within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The Cabinet affirmed that Colombia, through this step, proves its keenness to support the Palestinian people and their legitimate rights to self-determination and independence in accordance with the principles of the International Law and many other relevant international resolutions. It condemned the recent terrorist attacks in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and extended its sincere condolences to His Majesty the King, the Jordanian Government, and the Jordanian people, especially the families of the victimised security officers.
The cabinet also expressed its deep gratitude and appreciation to the Chinese Government for signing an agreement with the UNRWA to provide 2.35 million US dollars’ worth of support. It urged the international donor community to help the UNRWA in overcoming its current financial crisis in order to meet its obligations towards millions of Palestinian refugees who depend on UNRWA for vital services such as education, health care, and social services.
It also condemned the ongoing Israeli aggression and military escalation against the Gaza Strip, which raised the death toll of innocent citizens to dozens, including health- personnel and a 23 years old pregnant mother and her 18-month daughter. The Cabinet stressed that targeting innocent civilians requires the international community to intervene immediately to end the Israeli war crimes, calling upon the international community to provide international protection for the Palestinian citizens.
It reviewed the draft law on the Right of Access to Information and hailed steps taken to draft the law in accordance with the obligations of the State of Palestine under international laws and conventions.
The Cabinet assigned the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Information in coordination with the Minister of Justice to continue consultations with relevant authorities on this law and its harmonisation with the media legislations in the State of Palestine to guarantee basic rights and freedoms of Palestinian citizens.
• Israeli forces on Monday forced four Palestinian families to leave their residential tents in Khirbet Yarza community, east of Tubas in the Jordan Valley, to make way for military training in the area, said a local activist. Aref Daraghmeh, who monitors Israeli violations in the Jordan Valley, said Israeli soldiers forced four families to temporarily leave their homes until 6:00am on Wednesday to make way for military manoeuvres with live ammunition in the area.
This is not the first time that these families were forced out of their homes, under the same pretext.
The army usually conducts drills in the occupied West Bank, especially in the Jordan Valley; Palestinian families often receive notices ordering them to leave their homes for various periods until the drills are over.
‘It is extremely difficult for whole families, including children, to be evacuated on such short notice. With no properly arranged place to stay, they must find a way to ensure shelter, food and drink away from home in the intense, gruelling heat of the Jordan Valley,’ said B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights centre. Palestinians living in these areas also have to worry about unexploded ordnance left behind by the Israeli army after the drills, which have led to the death of many Palestinians, including children, over the past years.
Meanwhile Israeli forces on Tuesday demolished a house belonging to a Palestinian resident in the town of Deir Dibwan, east of the West Bank district of Ramallah, said local sources.
Israeli forces reportedly stormed the area, accompanied by bulldozers and heavy machinery, before proceeding to demolish the house. The house belongs to a local resident who was identified as Mohammed Ali.