Wadi al-Hummus demolitions are ‘a heinous crime we will not accept’ says Palestinian PM Mohammed Shtayyeh

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Israeli forces demolish Palestinian homes in the Wadi Al-Hummus district of Jerusalem

THE PALESTINIAN Presidency on Monday ‘reiterated the firm position of the State of Palestine that supports the right of the People’s Republic of China to maintain its territorial unity and sovereignty, especially in Hong Kong, and express its rejection of any foreign intervention and attempts to destabilise it,’ reports Palestinian news agency WAFA.

It also carried a statement from the Presidency praising China’s ‘steadfast position of supporting the Palestinian people to achieve their internationally recognised rights, including the freedom and independence of the State of Palestine on the 1967 border with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said on Sunday: ‘Since Israel no longer respects any of the signed agreements and is dealing with all areas and classifications as area “C”, then we will treat all areas as “A”.’

Shtayyeh was speaking at a meeting with the committee for the defence of Wadi Hummus, an area in East Jerusalem which has been demolished by the Israelis, and with the families whose homes have already been or are threatened with demolition.

‘This is a heinous crime that we will not accept,’ he said, adding: ‘The occupation aims to empty the city of Jerusalem of its population within the framework of the Israeli occupation Plan 2020 for Jerusalem.’

On July 22, Israel demolished 10 Palestinian-owned buildings in the Wadi al-Hummus area, citing its close proximity to the security barrier.

Wadi Hummus, in occupied East Jerusalem, lies in Area A of the occupied West Bank, which is under the full control of the Palestinian Authority, according to the Oslo Accords.

As per the Oslo Accords, Area A includes the main Palestinian population centres under the Palestine Authority’s (PA) administrative and security control and makes up 18 per cent of the West Bank.

Area B is under the PA’s administrative control and Israel’s security control and makes up 21 per cent of the West Bank.

Area C, which makes up 61 per cent of the West Bank, is under Israeli administrative and security control.

Meanwhile on Monday, the Israeli navy abducted a Palestinian fisherman sailing off the Gaza coast and took him to an undisclosed location.

Local fishermen told WAFA that the Israeli navy opened fire on several fishing boats that were sailing six nautical miles off the Gaza coast, surrounded one boat and detained Awad Tareq Bakr.

Earlier, an Israeli navy ship shot at and opened up its water hose on fishing boats in the area, causing serious damage to two boats in an attempt to overturn them, and causing a child to lose consciousness – the child had to be pulled out of the water.

Zakaria Bakr, a fisherman, told WAFA that the attack damaged the two boats throwing two generators into the sea when the Israeli navy pumped the water causing heavy waves in an apparent deliberate intention to sink them.

Also, overnight Sunday and early on Monday, Israeli forces raided and detained at least 16 Palestinians from across the West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported.

Five Palestinians were detained from al-Arroub refugee camp, in the south of the occupied West Bank.

A 12-year-old boy from the camp was also summoned to appear before Israeli intelligence.

Two Palestinians were detained in the town of Taqou, near Bethlehem in the south of the West Bank, while three Palestinians were detained in Tulkarem and one in Beita, both in the north of the West Bank.

Meanwhile, Israeli police detained five Palestinians in the towns of al-Issawiyeh and Anata to the east and northeast of Jerusalem respectively.

The Palestinian Prisoners Society also said that Israeli forces violently stormed sections 19 and 20 of the Ofer jail and wreaked widespread havoc inside prisoners’ rooms on Monday morning.

According to the PPS, the forces raided a section where children under the age of 18 are held, subdued and handcuffed some of them and transferred them to cells for a while before taking them back to their section.

The forces also transferred about 20 prisoners from section 20 to small cells in the same jail and many others to different jails, including Gilboa prison and jails in the south.

Consequently, the other Ofer prisoners decided to go on hunger strike and close all sections until the jail administration and the Israeli prison service end their repressive measures and respond to their demands.

Meanwhile, the attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank as well as intrusions by Israeli fanatics into the Al-Aqsa Mosque and demolition of homes were highlighted on the front page of the three Palestinian Arabic dailies.

They said three Palestinians were injured near Nabi Saleh village in the Ramallah area after settlers threw rocks at them.

Dozens of fanatic settlers held provocative tours of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, in Jerusalem’s Old City, which the fanatics want to destroy in order to build a Jewish temple on the site.

Al-Quds said the fanatics are pressing their government to end the control of the Muslim Waqf department over Al-Aqsa Mosque and extend the visiting hours, and also to enter the holy walled compound through every gate.

Visitors are only allowed through one entrance, the Mugharbi Gate.

Israeli forces also demolished a house that was still under construction in a village near Bethlehem in the south of the West Bank.

The papers also reported on the tension at Ofer Israeli military camp and detention centre located near Ramallah, and the Israeli prison guards’ raid on two sections of the prison, one where minors are held.

Al-Quds said 40 prisoners have now joined the hunger strike in the Israeli prisons in support of their demand to be released from administrative detention – where Palestinians are held indefinitely without charge or trial.

Al-Ayyam quoted Palestinin Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh’s announcement that his government now considers all areas in the occupied West Bank as Area A, which means under full Palestinian control.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida quoted PLO official, Saeb Erekat, saying their strategy is aimed at ending the Israeli occupation, and building the State of Palestine on the June 4th, 1967 borders.

  • On Sunday, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Minister of Social Development, Ahmad Majdalani, slammed the omission of Israel from the UN Secretary General’s report on countries that violate children’s rights.

‘UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres seems to have heard nothing of the violations committed by the Israeli occupation government against Palestinian children on a daily basis,’ he said, wondering how Israel could be excluded from the report at the same time it is complicit in the murder and imprisonment of Palestinian children.

‘The meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the issue of children in situations of armed conflict will remain a black spot in the history of the Council which, through such a resolution, kills the dreams of Palestinian children,’ Majdalani added.

‘Just what is required to include Israel in the list of shame? Must it carry out more violations, killing and abuse of children in Palestine?’ he wondered.

Majdalani called on UN chief Guterres to ‘bear in mind that what is happening in Palestine is the result of the military occupation,’ and that ‘Israeli practices, mainly the suffocating siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, amount to collective punishment.’

The very next day, Sunday, August 4th, 2019, a Palestinian minor from the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan was taken to hospital after he was brutally beaten by Israeli police officers who raided his family home to arrest him.

Heavily armed police raided the home of the family of Jamal Ali al-Ghoul in Silwan and severely beat him, causing severe bruising all over his body.

He was then taken to hospital for medical treatment, but was later brought to court by the police, handcuffed and with chains on his ankles.