Palestinians condemn Israeli air attack on Hezbollah


DIFFERENT Palestinian factions have denounced the Israeli raid on a Hezbollah convoy which killed six of the Lebanese resistance movement’s fighters.

The Islamic Jihad movement praised the fighters martyred in the raid as heroes, as it condemned the Israeli aggression.

In a statement released on Monday, the movement said that the blood of the martyrs is the ‘victory gospel for the entire nation’.

Resistance movement Hamas denounced the attack, saying that the Zionist entity was messing with regional security. ‘Hamas denounces the killing of some of the leaders of Hezbollah in the Israeli strike,’ spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement.

He added that Israel was ‘messing’ with the security of the region and trying to make up for the military ‘defeat’ it sustained during its latest offensive on the Gaza Strip.

Abu Zuhri noted that Israel launched the airstrike in southwestern Syria on Sunday only to achieve internal goals related to its snap election that will be held in March of this year.

For its part, the Fatah movement also condemned the Israeli assault, saying in a statement that the Zionist entity will pay a costly price for ‘its flagrant attack on a group of Hezbollah fighters’.

The Palestinian factions statements came a day after Israeli helicopters fired missiles at a group of Hezbollah fighters who were inspecting the town of Mazraat al-Amal in the Syrian Quneitra region, the resistance movement said. The strike left six martyrs, Hezbollah announced.

• The Palestinian Council of Ministers has asserted that the Palestinian people had recourse to international and humanitarian law and demanded international justice not out of incitement, saying that this is one of the fundamental rights of all peoples.

During its weekly session held in Ramallah on Tuesday 20 January, under Rami al-Hamdallah, the cabinet said that adherence to our national constants, our people’s demand for getting rid of the occupation, achieving its dream of embodying its national sovereignty on the soil of the independent state of Palestine on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, finding a just solution to the question of refugees based on UN General Assembly Resolution No 194, releasing our heroic prisoners, and enabling us to have sovereignty over our natural resources are rights guaranteed by international legitimacy.

This confirms our honest desire for reaching the aspired solution, which not only our people yearn for, but will enable the Israeli people to live in security and peace.

The cabinet deplored the competition between Israeli parties over showing the extent of their racism, extremism, and hostility towards our people and their disavowal of its national rights with the approaching date of the general elections in Israel.

It warned of the implications and repercussions of the incitement campaign it is practising within a systematic process it is launching against our Palestinian people and its president and national leadership.

The cabinet affirmed that the insistence of the Israeli government every day on violating the rules of international and humanitarian law are aimed at all those who work for right, justice, and peace in the region and the world.

During its session, the cabinet welcomed the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his accompanying delegation to Palestine, stressing the deep Palestinian-Japanese relations and valuing the support of the Japanese government and people for the Palestinian people in their struggle to end the occupation and establish the Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The cabinet also welcomed the preliminary study of the case of Palestine by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), underlining the importance of this step towards achieving the values of international justice and guaranteeing respect for international law and towards trying the Israeli perpetrators of crimes against our Palestinian people.

The cabinet stressed that Israel would not stop its crimes and violations of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people unless the international community held it accountable.

Also, the international community should provide international protection for the Palestinian people and acknowledge the right of the Palestinian people to get rid of the occupation and all of its legitimate national rights as approved by international legitimacy.

The cabinet strongly denounced the murder of the youth, Sami al-Ja’ar, son of the city of Rahat, by the bullets of the Israeli police in cold blood during the provocative raid by the police of a number of houses in the city, and the martyrdom of the youth Sami al-Zayadinah and the injury of dozens as a result of inhalation of tear gas fired by the occupation police on the participants in the funeral of the martyr Al-Ja’ar.

The cabinet said that the occupation authorities will continue to carry out crimes and assassinations against any Palestinian in light of the continuing silence of the international community on the Israeli violations and treating the occupation state as a state above the law.

It asked international institutions to act and adopt measures to hold Israel accountable and prosecute it internationally for its crimes against the Palestinian people and its violations of international law.

The cabinet valued the fact that the Arab ministerial meeting asked the Arab summit and the Arab Peace Initiative Committee to carry out the necessary contacts and consultations to mobilise international support to again propose a new Arab draft resolution at the UNSC to end the occupation and to continue consultations in this regard with the member states of the UNSC and regional groups.

The Arab ministerial meeting also expressed support for the efforts made by the state of Palestine to accede to international institutions, conventions, and treaties, including the ICC, and providing the necessary legal aid and counselling in this field.

The committee stressed the continuing joint Arab action to guarantee international recognition of the state of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on the 1967 borders, by the countries that have not yet recognised it.

• Israel has denied an entry request by a United Nations Human Rights Commission investigator on women, after she asked for permission to visit ‘Palestine’.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Paul Hirschson said on Monday that the issue was the language of the request and the travel itinerary, which did not include a visit to Israel.

‘The special investigator asked to visit “Palestine.” We explained to her that there is no such country. Should she wish to visit the Palestinian [National] Authority as part of a visit to Israel, that would be no problem. Israel has an excellent record of working with UN special investigators,’ he said.

According to the UNHRC, the Palestinian National Authority invited its special rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, to visit the Palestinian territories from January 19 to 29 to explore issues regarding violence towards women.

On Friday, Manjoo said she had sought an entry visa from Israel for six weeks with no success. ‘Regrettably, I did not receive the necessary support, including a visa by the government of Israel, ahead of my travel,’ Manjoo said.

‘It is unfortunate that I have been denied the opportunity to engage directly with women survivors of violence, and that the exercise of my mandate has been hindered by the unwillingness of the government of Israel, as the occupying power, to facilitate access to the occupied Palestinian territory.

‘My intention, as per practice during my country visits, was to support the Palestinian National Authority to strengthen its capacity to protect and promote women’s rights and to meet its international human rights obligations,’ Manjoo said.