JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Students of the Al-Aqsa Sharia School for Girls gathered outside of their campus on Wednesday to collect their textbooks, after Israeli police prevented the books from being delivered directly to the school, located inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
Head of the school, Ahad Sabri, told Ma’an the school administration was forced to distribute the books outside of the compound, near the Lions’ Gate entrance, as police continued to refuse to allow the books to be taken inside on the first day of the school year.
Two other schools inside the compound, another high school and a kindergarten, were also affected by the police ban on Tuesday
. Sabri said the books were banned because they were marked with Palestinian Authority logos.
Sabri told Ma’an that it was not the first time Israeli authorities have restricted educational materials from entering Al-Aqsa. She said that just last week, Israeli forces prevented a private car from delivering a scanner to a girls’ school, forcing children to roll it through on a wheelchair.
She noted that Israeli police also prevented standard A4 paper from being delivered to the school for a two-week period last year.
Palestinian patients undergo kidney dialysis in Gaza City on 26 January 2014
The Palestinian Authority has reduced the number of medical referrals for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by 80 per cent, Quds Net News reported on Tuesday. According to rights groups, the PA has made this move as a way to put pressure on the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, which effectively runs the besieged territory.
In a meeting organised by the Monitor of Policies and Palestinian Coalition, researcher Iyad Al-Ribahi said that the reduction of medical treatment referrals puts the life of thousands of patients at risk, especially following soon after another PA decision to force thousands of medical staff into early retirement.
Meanwhile, the Director of the Independent Committee for Human Rights, Dr Ammar Dweek, said that the reason given for the reduction of referrals touches on the basic rights of Palestinian citizens in Gaza. He pointed out that this is a matter of life and death, and called for practical measures and a lobbying campaign to reverse the decision. This, he said, should include the names and details of the patients affected directly; they are people, he insisted, not numbers.
Read: Treatment referrals for Gaza patients down by 75%
Statistics issued by the relevant department in the Ministry of Health in Gaza show that the number of referrals in July 2017 was just 477, compared with 2,071 in July last year.
Dweek added that more than 400 patients from the Gaza Strip were summoned and investigated by the Israeli intelligence service Shin Bet at the Erez Border Crossing, as a condition for dealing with their applications for medical treatment referrals through the PA.
Representative of the World Health Organisation, Quds Net News reported, pointed out that the Rafah Border Crossing was not open for four consecutive months, and this made the conditions for the patients in Gaza much worse.
(Source / 23.08.2017)
The Palestinian Authority (PA) Foreign Minister Riyadh Al-Maliki
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyadh Al-Maliki said on Monday that 24 years of negotiations with the Israeli occupation “have not achieved anything,” Safa news agency has reported. He made his comments during a meeting with Britain’s Minister of State for Middle East Affairs, Alistair Burt MP, in Ramallah.
“We have persuaded the international community that the best way to reach a state is negotiations,” said Maliki, “but after 24 years of negotiations we did not achieve anything.” He called for the international community to provide an answer to this problem through active intervention and imposing peace by establishing a Palestinian state and granting the Palestinians their rights, mainly the right to self-determination.
The two ministers also discussed the US efforts to resume negotiations prior to the visit of an American delegation scheduled for the end of August to achieve the same result. In this regard, Maliki called for the right-wing Israeli government to give up its occupation mindset and adopt the two-state solution as a strategic choice.
He asked Britain to support the Palestinian demands in international forums. The world community, he insisted, should not only condemn the Israeli occupation verbally, but also with practical measures. Israel, said the Foreign Minister, is immune to such condemnation.
Read: No negotiations with Israel before settlement activity is halted
(Source / 23.08.2017)
The Trump administration is urging the United Nations not to publish a blacklist of international firms that do business in Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land, the Washington Post reported on Monday.
According to the Washington Post, the U.N. Human Rights Council voted to approve the database of companies last year, despite objections from the United States and Israel that described the list as a prelude to anti-Israel boycotts.
American companies on the list drawn up by the Geneva-based council include Caterpillar, TripAdvisor, Priceline.com, Airbnb and others, according to people familiar with it. It is not clear whether the list has been finalized.
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, has told U.S. officials he plans to publish the list by the end of the year and has asked for comments by Sept. 1 from countries where affected firms are headquartered, the same source added.
Zeid, a Jordanian diplomat who was his country’s ambassador to the United States, had agreed to one postponement this year, partly in response to a U.S. request. He has indicated he plans to move ahead now, arguing that the list is a resource for consumers and travelers.
In a statement Monday, Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Danny Danon, called the council’s moves toward publication of the list “an expression of modern anti-Semitism.”
In June, Zeid told the council that the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 violates international law and “has denied the Palestinians many of their most fundamental freedoms, and has often been brutal.”
(Source / 22.08.2017)
An Israeli court ordered Tuesday the eviction of the Shamasna family from their home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem.
Earlier on Monday, the court had refused an appeal submitted by the family against the eviction order which was issued several years ago.
Speaking to the PIC reporter, Mohamed Shamasna expressed concern that the family house could be evicted at any moment.
For his part, Hatem Abdel-Qader, a member of Fatah movement’s Revolutionary Council, considered the eviction order as a political decision par excellence which only serves Israeli settlers.
Israelis have claimed that Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood was once the site of a 19th century Jewish community. Many families in the neighborhood have been embroiled in legal disputes for decades, as various Israeli settlers have attempted to claim ownership over their homes.
According to the Israeli law, Jewish Israelis are permitted to claim ownership over property believed to have been owned by Jews before 1948
A Palestinian rides on a donkey with a settlement in the background
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli government defended the legality of the outpost “Regularization law” at the Israeli Supreme Court on Monday, and said that the expropriation of Palestinian-owned land would benefit Palestinians because they would receive financial compensation for it, reportedly describing Palestinian laws prohibiting the sale of land to Israelis as “racist.”
The hearing came in response to two petitions filed by human rights groups to the court demanding to strike down the law, which would pave the way for the retroactive legalization of dozens of illegal Israeli settler outposts.
The Regularization law, passed by the Israeli parliament in February, states that any settlements built in the occupied West Bank “in good faith” — without knowledge that the land upon which it was built was privately owned by