SAEB EREKAT, secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), on Wednesday urged the European Union to intervene to prevent Israel from building a settlement in E1 area, east of occupied Jerusalem, as announced on Tuesday by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Erekat handed the European Union Representative to Palestine, Sven Kuehn von Burgsdorff, during a meeting at his office a letter to the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, calling on him to urgently intervene to prevent the Israeli occupation government from implementing its settlement and annexation plans, especially the colonial settlement project known as E1.
He warned that if the E1 project is implemented, it will destroy any future opportunity for peace based on the principle of two states on the 1967 borders.
Erekat also received at his office a delegation from the European Parliament representing Spain, Sweden, Denmark, France and Greece, and another delegation that included 22 German diplomats, in separate meetings.
He demanded in his talk with his guests that the international community must do everything necessary to preserve the principle of two states on the 1967 borders by holding an international conference with full powers on the basis of United Nations resolutions and international law.
- A few days before the commencement of the third Israeli elections in one year, a number of Palestinian Arabs in Israel demonstrated on Wednesday against Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, charging him of being racist and saying he is not welcome in the Arab towns.
The popular committees in Tamra and Kabul, two Arab towns in the Lower Galilee in northern Israel, demonstrated against Netanyahu, who is contending for another term in office, along with his right-wing Likud Party.
The protesters carried signs denouncing Netanyahu and his party as racist, anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian.
‘We are demonstrating against the number one instigator against our Palestinian people everywhere,’ said Mohammad Subuh, head of the Tamra Popular Committee and member of the political bureau of the National Democratic Party, a member of the Arab Joint List coalition that is running in the upcoming Israeli elections.
‘Netanyahu has enacted racist laws and spearheaded all racist measures against our people.
‘He is the instigator and instrument behind the racist policies, including home demolitions, waging wars against our people and imposing a blockade on our people in Gaza,’ he said.
‘We are here to tell him (Netanyahu) that you are not welcome in our Arab towns. These are our towns and this is our people.
‘We will not allow you to insult our society and our people everywhere,’ concluded Subuh.
- Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh on Wednesday called on the European Union member states to oblige international companies operating in the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories to end their work there in light of the report released by the Human Rights Council of the database of companies working in the settlements.
He also called on them to not deal with universities operating in the settlements and not recognise their certificates, and move from only labelling settlement products to actual boycott of these products.
This came during Shtayyeh’s meeting at his office in Ramallah with a European Parliament delegation headed by member of the European Parliament from the United Left bloc and Chairman of the Committee for Relations with Palestine Manu Pineda and in the presence of the European Union Representative to Palestine, Sven Kuehn von Burgsdorff, where he discussed with them the latest political developments.
The Prime Minister said the European Union must break the status quo and recognise the Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital as demanded by its parliaments who voted in favour of recognition of Palestine.
He said Palestine welcomes any serious initiative to resolve the conflict with Israel and find a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue, while he lambasted the American so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ as disastrous because it nullifies the two-state solution and is not consistent with international law and United Nations resolutions.
US President Donald Trump’s deal does not have a European, Arab or Palestinian partner, he said. ‘It is finished for us.’
Shtayyeh pointed out to the necessity of holding an international multilateral peace conference and not to be content with American sponsorship of the peace process. There should be other parties involved, such as the International Quartet, he told his guests.
He reminded the delegation that the apartheid regime in South Africa collapsed when the world stood against it, suggesting to have a similar international alliance to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land.
- Ibrahim Ighbarieh, 54, and his brother, Mohammad, 51, have completed 28 years in Israeli jails for resisting the occupation, the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) said on Wednesday.
The two brothers are from the Arab village of Musherfeh, in Israel, and were both detained on February 26th, 1992 and sentenced to life in prison.
They were supposed to be released in 2014 as part of a US-sponsored Palestinian-Israeli deal in which Israel would release all Palestinian political prisoners held since before the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993.
However, after releasing three batches of Palestinian prisoners, all from the occupied Palestinian territories, Israel reneged on the fourth and final batch that included prisoners from occupied East Jerusalem and inside Israel and who totalled 26.
PPS said Mohammad Ighbarieh received his master’s degree while in prison and has published four books, while his brother, Ibrahim, published one book.
- The Palestinian government on Wednesday called on Amazon e-commerce company to redress the inequities and discriminatory practice it has espoused toward the Palestinians in the occupied territories.
In a letter addressed to Amazon CEO and President Jeff Bezos, Palestinian Minister of Finance, Shukri Bishara, and Minister of National Economy, Khaled Osaily, said they were astonished to learn of Amazon’s policy of offering free shipping to customers in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and in Israel, while charging Palestinians fees of as much as $24 when they list the ‘Palestinian Territories’ as their country.
‘In the hope of advancing a favourable outcome for the Palestinian people and for Amazon, we write to invite you to redress the inequities and discriminatory practice espoused by this Amazon policy,’ the two ministers said in the letter.
They said they were surprised to learn that in order to remedy this, Amazon has suggested that the Palestinians in the occupied territories put their address as ‘Israel’.
‘It is unacceptable for Amazon to flaunt international law and polity in this way,’ said the two ministers in their letter so Bezos. ‘Nearly 140 UN Member states – the vast majority – have formally recognised Palestine as a State. Yet Amazon, using its overwhelming financial and commercial clout, now seeks to extract from Palestinians a formal admission that they are part of Israel.’
Bishara and Osaily accused Amazon of aiding and abetting Israel’s violation of international law when it offers free shipping to settlements in the occupied Palestinian land, which they said are illegal under international law.
‘Amazon’s reprehensible practice must cease immediately,’ they said. ‘If it does not do so, then the world will come to realise that the lofty words and aspirations of Amazon’s commitment to equality, fairness and corporate social responsibility are entirely hollow.’