PALESTINE Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has accused the United States administration of pressuring and blackmailing the Palestinians to compromise on their national rights.
Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting in Ramallah on Monday, Shtayyeh said: ‘The US policy has been and is still aimed at encircling the Palestinian leadership and people and coercing us politically, economically and financially.
‘US President Trump said that he decided to cut all aid from us and prevented some Arab countries from fulfilling their obligations toward us in a systematic process of pressure and a programmed blackmail attempt to force us to compromise our national rights and Jerusalem for money.’
He went on: ‘To those we say that the person with rights is strong and those who have the will and faith in their homeland and hold on to their land do not bargain them for money.’
Also on Monday, Muslim officials called on the public to attend prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque to ward off attempts by Jewish fanatics, supported by the Israeli government, to change the status quo at the Muslim holy site.
Intrusions into Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem by Jewish fanatics have escalated after Israel closed the Ibrahimi Mosque in the southern West Bank city of Hebron to Muslim worshippers and opened it exclusively to Jews who marked the Jewish New Year.
Meanwhile, the Algerian president, Abdelmadjid Tebbourne has declared that the Palestinian cause is sacred and that his country will not support normalisation of relations with Israel.
However, the government of Sudan has indicated that it may go ahead with ‘normalisation’ with Israel in return for financial and economic aid.
Israeli occupation forces on Monday detained at least five Palestinians, including an elderly anti-occupation activist, from various parts of the occupied territories.
They seized 61-year-old Khairi Hannoun after storming his house in Anabta town, east of the northern West Bank city of Tulkarm on Monday.
Hannoun made headlines last month after Israeli soldiers beat him and threw him to the ground as he took part in an anti-settlement and land grab protest in Shufa village, south of Tulkarm.
An Israeli soldier pressed his knee on Hannoun’s neck while he was on the ground, in a scene reminiscent of the death of African-American George Floyd after a US police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck while detaining him on May 25 in Minneapolis.
Hannoun has spent a total of eight years in Israeli prisons for his anti-occupation activities.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces detained a Palestinian after ransacking his house in Hebron district in the south of the West Bank, and they conducted a similar raid in Deir Samet village, southwest of Hebron, resulting in the detention of another.
Israeli soldiers manning a checkpoint west of the Ibrahimi Mosque in the city stopped and detained a minor.
In East Jerusalem, Israeli police detained a Palestinian during a raid in the al-Issawiya neighbourhood.
Also on Monday, three young Palestinians were severely beaten by Israeli occupation soldiers after they were apprehended said the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission.
It said, based on an affidavit from Ahmad Alqam, 17, from Beit Ummar town, in the south of the West Bank, that after Israeli occupation soldiers had detained him during a dawn raid on his family home the soldiers beat him severely on his face and back on the way to the Asqalan detention facility.
During the interrogation at the facility, the soldiers forced him to sit in a low chair with his hands and feet cuffed to it for hours.
He remained there for nine days before being transferred to Damoun detention facility, the Commission said.
Meanwhile, the Commission recounted the testimony of Mustafa Bayari, who was detained during a dawn raid on the Jalazone refugee camp near Ramallah.
Soldiers severely beat him and banged his head into a wall several times.
Then they transferred him for interrogation to the infamous Russian compound detention facility in West Jerusalem where his interrogators deliberately assaulted and humiliated him, and detained him there for 38 days before moving him to the Ofer detention facility near Ramallah.
Bayari’s health has deteriorated after being tortured in detention, said the Commission and, as a result, he is now suffering from acute head and ear pain and eyesight problems.
The Commission also reported the case of Abdullah Sobh, 19, a resident of Jenin, who was detained at a military checkpoint near Tulkarm city.
It said Sobh was subject to arbitrary and indiscriminate beatings and interrogation at the Huwwara detention facility where he remained in detention for 17 days before being transferred to Ofer military detention facility.
Also on Monday, Israeli occupation forces ordered two brothers to dismantle agricultural buildings in the area of Khirbet Yerza, in the northern Jordan Valley.
Aref Daraghme, a rights activist and witness, said that the Israeli military authorities ordered Rami and Hafez Masaeed to remove their structures within 96 hours under the pretext that they were built without a permit and to bring the land back to the way it was previously.
- The death toll and new cases from the coronavirus pandemic in Palestine and the region has dominated the front-page headlines of the three Palestinian Arabic dailies published yesterday.
Al-Ayyam, al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida said that nine people died of the coronavirus in Palestine yesterday and 683 new cases were recorded.
Al-Quds said six have died in East Jerusalem and 146 new cases were recorded.
It also said Israel recorded 10 deaths to bring the overall total to 1,236.
Al-Hayat al-Jadida said 11 deaths were recorded in Lebanon and 239 new cases in Jordan.
Al-Ayyam said the authorities in Gaza have eased corona restrictions in the north of the Gaza Strip and in Gaza City.
- The Ramallah-based human rights organisation, Al-Haq, sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Ireland, Micheál Martin, on Monday, urging support for the Control of Economic Activities (Occupied Territories) Bill and the recognition of the State of Palestine.
Following suggestions made by Martin in the Irish parliament that the Occupied Territories Bill is not in compliance with Ireland’s obligations under European Union law, Al-Haq pointed out to him in a press statement that the prohibition of the importation and sale of settlement produce is not only in full conformity which EU law and policy, as affirmed by eminent legal experts such as Professor James Crawford of the International Court of Justice and Professor Takis Tridimas of King’s College London, but would moreover bring Ireland into compliance with its Third State obligations.
Al Haq noted that Irish political party, Fianna Fáil’s, 2020 election manifesto made commitments to ‘Progress the Occupied Territories Bill’ and ‘Continue to spearhead the campaign to seek the recognition of the state of Palestine by the Irish Government’, as well as that it was Fianna Fáil itself which introduced the Bill, initially tabled by Senator Frances Black in Ireland’s upper house, to the parliament’s lower house.
Al-Haq also recommended the recognition of the State of Palestine, as was included in Fianna Fáil’s own manifesto and the Programme for Government, as a method by which Israel’s deeply entrenched and pervasive culture of impunity for international crimes and human rights violations may be combatted.
It noted that non-recognition of the State of Palestine has been a consistent tactic in attempts by Third States to frustrate the pursuit of justice for Palestinians at the International Criminal Court.
In this respect, the Palestinian human rights organisation pointed out, recognition by further States with the standing of Ireland may contribute towards the ultimate goal of achieving justice for the extrajudicial killing of Palestinians by Israel, such as Iyad Hallaq and Ahmad.