Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin, discussed in a telephone conversation last Thursday the latest developments related to the Palestinian issue.
They also talked about ways to strengthen the relations between their two countries and peoples.
The two presidents also wished each other happy Christmas and New Year, wishing for peace and stability to prevail in the region and the world.
President Abbas reiterated the importance of starting a political track based on United Nations (UN) resolutions, and the importance of holding a meeting for the International Quartet at the ministerial level.
He also stressed the importance of Israel putting a stop to all unilateral measures such as settlements, confiscation of land, demolishing homes, expelling Palestinians from Jerusalem, abusing prisoners, holding the bodies of martyrs, and stopping settler terrorism.
President Abbas said that the continuation of these Israeli measures will lead to an explosion in the situation.
Abbas added that economic and security steps are not a substitute for the political track.
He stated that Israel’s continued rejection of the two-state solution and its efforts to undermine it, in addition to continuing to stifle the Palestinian economy by deducting from tax revenues will not work.
Decisions will be taken by the Palestinians about these issues, especially as the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organisation is getting ready to convene an important session.
The two presidents agreed to follow up on all issues of common interest.
Meanwhile, thousands of people rallied in the centre of Ramallah last Thursday to mark the 57th anniversary of the launch of the Fatah movement.
Participants hoisted the yellow Fatah flag alongside the red, white, black, and green Palestinian flag as they shouted slogans in support of the struggle for independence.
Speakers at the rally hailed the launch, saying it reinvigorated the Palestinian identity following the 1948 Israeli occupation of Palestine that turned the Palestinians into refugees.
On January 1st, 1965, Fatah, also known as the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, launched its first commando attack against Israel, setting the ground for the start of the armed struggle for the liberation of Palestine.
It is the largest of the Palestinian political factions that compose the Palestine Liberation Organisation, recognised as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
The number of Palestinian freedom fighters sentenced to life terms in Israeli prisons had reached 547 by the end of 2021, said the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS).
It said that Israeli military courts sentenced three Palestinians to life terms in December.
Some prisoners serve multiple life terms. The highest is for Abdullah Barghouti, who is serving 67 life sentences, said the PPS.
Israel is currently holding over 4,500 Palestinian freedom fighters in its jails for their resistance to its occupation.
- Israeli settlers have opened indiscriminate fire at Palestinian homes in the occupied East Jerusalem (al-Quds) neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
Israeli forces stood by during the incident on Wednesday evening and took no action to stop it, the Palestinian Wafa news agency reported.
They also detained a 13-year-old Palestinian boy from the neighbourhood.
Over the past months, Sheikh Jarrah has been the scene of a crackdown by Israeli police on Palestinians.
Israeli authorities have been trying to forcibly evict dozens of Palestinian families from East Jerusalem claiming that its homes belong to Israelis, but Palestinians accuse the occupying regime of a land grab.
The forced evictions are part of Israel’s attempts to change the demographic character of the occupied territories.
Israeli authorities seized 4,700 square metres of Palestinian-owned land in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem with the aim of turning it into a public park.
The Tel Aviv regime has also demolished many Palestinian houses in Jerusalem or forced their owners to demolish the buildings in a bid to pave the way for the expansion of Israeli settlements.
The United Nations has reported a 21 per cent increase in the number of Palestinian structures that were seized or destroyed this year.
Israeli settlement construction is illegal under international law and an obstacle to the so-called two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Nearly 700,000 Israelis live in illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The UN Security Council has in several resolutions condemned the Tel Aviv regime’s settlement projects in the occupied Palestinian lands.
- The head of Hamas’s political bureau Ismail Haniyeh says all the Palestinian factions firmly support the families of the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in the face of the Israeli regime’s threat to forcefully evict them from their homes.
Haniyeh said: ‘I say to our people in Sheikh Jarrah, the resistance with all its factions and the nation are standing behind the steadfast citizens who are defending Jerusalem (al-Quds), the al-Aqsa Mosque and our holy sites.’
The Hamas leader hailed the Sheikh Jarrah families for refusing to accept an Israeli court’s offer that would make them tenants of their own homes and for sticking to their land and rights and for showing a high level of responsibility and awareness.
Palestinian families facing the threat of forced eviction from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood last Tuesday rejected an Israeli court’s so-called conflict resolution proposal that would enable Israeli settlers to confiscate their land in 15 years.
The four families were required by Israel’s supreme court to respond to the proposal, put forward in August, under which they would be offered ‘protected tenancy status’ for a 15-year period in return for accepting that their land belongs to the Israeli Nahlat Shimon settler organisation.
Haniyeh added that the Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood have been under a lot of pressure to accept the unjust compromise that would strip them of their own homes’ ownership.
Israeli police last Tuesday stopped a group of activists who rallied in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood to express their solidarity with its residents and forced the activists to leave the area.
In a statement last Tuesday, Haron Nasser al-Din, a member of the political bureau of Hamas, said the issue of Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood cannot be compromised, warning Israel that it will pay the price for its ‘crimes’ in the occupied city of Jerusalem.
Hamas says Israel will pay the price for its ‘crimes’ in the occupied city of al-Quds, ruling out any compromise with the regime.
The official stressed the Hamas movement’s rejection of ‘any form of compromise on the homes threatened with seizure in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood’, noting that the Israeli judiciary is part of the Israeli occupying regime’s security system that facilitates the seizure of the lands and homes of al-Quds by settlers.
The Israeli regime’s plans to force a number of Palestinian families out of their homes at the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem and Israeli violent raids on worshippers at al-Aqsa Mosque prompted Palestinian retaliation that was followed by a brutal Israeli bombing campaign against the besieged Gaza Strip on May 10th last year.
About 260 Palestinians were killed in the Israeli offensive.
In response, Palestinian resistance movements, chief among them Hamas, launched Operation al-Quds Sword and fired more than 4,000 rockets and missiles into the occupied territories, killing 12 Israelis.
Apparently caught off guard by the unprecedented barrage of rockets from Gaza, Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire on May 21st, which Palestinian resistance movements accepted with Egyptian mediation.