Dec. 16, 2014
Daily summary- Thursday, January 9, 2014
Jordanian - Palestinian consensus to formulate a unified position regarding Kerry’s settlement
President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordanian monarch, King Abdullah II, agreed to formulate a unified position regarding John Kerry’s proposals on the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. This came during talks between President Mahmoud Abba and Jordan's King Abdullah II yesterday in Amman on developments in the peace negotiations, in light of Palestinian desire for consultation and coordination with Jordan, especially in this delicate phase of elaboration the negotiating framework between the Palestinian and Israeli sides under the auspices of the United States.President Abbas confirmed after briefing King Abdullah II on the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and the Palestinian position, his keenness to continue communication and coordination with Jordan and Saudi Arabia, praising Jordan's support under the leadership of King Abdullah II to the Palestinian people to regain their legitimate rights. Abbas praised the King's efforts in urging international community and parties concerned with peace to support achieving a just comprehensive solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.(http://www.alquds.com/news/article/view/id/482262)
Israeli sources: Jordan fears Palestine refugees would stay in Jordan
Jordan's King Abdullah asked US Secretary of State John Kerry during their meeting earlier this week in Amman, not putting forward a "framework agreement" between the Palestinian and Israeli sides without addressing the refugee issue.Maariv reported on its website, that the Kingdom of Jordan is worried about the fact that Palestinian refugees might stay on its territory, Prime Minister Abdullah Nsour told Parliament in Amman on the progress in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians: "progress in the negotiations is not great.” According Maariv, Nsour said that the Kingdom "must be part of any final solution, especially with regard to the issue of Palestinian refugees living in Jordan,” stressing that“Jordan believes that the right of return and compensation is for all Palestinian refugees who reached Jordan in 1948, including Jordanian citizens."(http://maannews.net/arb/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=663791)
US Administration threatens the PA to cut aid if it does not sign a "framework agreement"
The United States threatened the PA to cut aid and grants provided by Western countries, in case negotiations with the Israeli side failed, and if the Pas does not sign the agreement Foreign Minister John Kerry is seeking.Member of the PLO Executive Committee, Tayseer Khaled, saidthe US administration sent a clear message through its Foreign Minister John Kerry, saying that it "can’t ensure the continuation of international aid from donor countries to the Palestinian Authority if it does not signa “framework agreement” and negotiationsfails and that Israel might resume settlement construction in E1 areas. (http://qudsnet.com/news/View/262317/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%B1%D9%8A%D9%83%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%AA%D9%87%D8%AF%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%B7%D8%A9-%D8%A8%D9%82%D8%B7%D8%B9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%84-%D9%84%D9%85-%D8%AA%D9%88%D9%82%D8%B9-%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%81%D8%A7%D9%82-%D8%A7%D8%B7%D8%A7%D8%B1/)
Kerry returns to the region next week in a renewed effort to pass the "Jewish State"; US team headed by Indyk works on a law proposal
“Al-Quds” learned yesterday that US Secretary of State John Kerry, who returned to Washington from his recent trip to the region on Monday, and plans to return next week to practice more pressure on the Palestinians to accept a Jewish State of Israel, aftermaking strenuous efforts to persuade Jordan's King Abdullah II and Saudi King Abdullah “to exercise their influence to persuade the Palestinians to accept the point, and not to miss the opportunity to conclude a just and comprehensive peace, that guarantees an independent State based on the borders of 67.” “Al-Quds” also learned from Washington that the Foreign Minister is working with the US team, headed by former US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk, on a proposal,"whereby a Constitution or constitutional law, linking Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish State, and Israel's recognition of the rights of Arab citizens as non-Jewish citizens, and that provides for their protection and the protection of their rights of citizenship, in accordance with international standards", without defining such standards.(http://www.alquds.com/news/article/view/id/482242)
Settlers attack in Nablus and Tulkarm, Israeli army demolishes houses in the Jordan Valley
Israeli occupation forces demolished yesterday morning, a number of houses and sheds in the towns of Auja and Jeftlik in the Jordan Valley, displacing a number of families in the open.Settlers, protected by the Israeli occupation forces cut yesterday olive trees on land between the villages of Shufa and Kaffa, south of Tulkarm.Eyewitnessestold “Wafa” that a large number of Israeli soldiers and settlers have cut olive trees on land belonging to Abdel Halim Mohammed Ismail. Extreme settlers also set firedawn yesterday, in two vehicles in the village of Madama, south of Nablus.(Al-Ayyam)
Israeli Radio quoted Yaalon as saying yesterday that these abuses "are simply terrorist acts,” adding that "the phenomenon ‘Price Tag’ is a terrorist act that we will not allow, and we will not allow extremist groups to control a territory that is not theirs, and threaten and attack the Palestinians."(Al-Hayat Al-Jadida)
Fears in Israel of escalating settler violence
Israeli analysts said they fear that the humiliation experienced by the settlers in the village of Qasra, would lead to escalating their movements, first, because theywere surrounded by a group of Palestinians, and secondly because they were rescued by Israeli army that they usually confront, and believe that it is not tightening enough on the Palestinians.(Al-Ayyam)
Israeli seriously injured in a stabbing operation in Jerusalem
Israeli media reported yesterday evening that an Israeli (60yearold) was seriously injured as a result of being stabbed in the upper part of his body near the central bus station in Jerusalem. According to these sources, “Magen David Adom” crews arrived at the area and evacuated the injured Israeli to “She’ari Tzedik” hospital,while Israeli police continue to examine the reasons for the stabbing.(http://paltimes.net/details/news/56503/%D8%A5%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%A9-%D8%A5%D8%B3%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%A6%D9%8A%D9%84%D9%8A-%D8%A8%D8%AC%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AD-%D8%AE%D8%B7%D9%8A%D8%B1%D8%A9-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%B9%D9%85%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%B7%D8%B9%D9%86-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D8%AF%D8%B3.html)
B'Tselem: the army covers settlers while attacking in Urif
A video picturedby a resident of the village of Urif, received by B'Tselem, shows the army providing security cover for settlers, while attacking the village of Urif, south of Nablus in the northern West Bank.According to B'Tselem, the video documents the arrival of masked settlers from "Yitshar" to the eastern outskirts of the village of Urif near Nablus, last Monday, and then to a construction site of a water reservoir under construction funded by the USAID.The video shows a settler breaking the electricity counters and throwing stones at the House of Osama Safadi’s family, adjacent to the construction site, and at a nearby school (only 100 meters away), accompanied by soldiers, in addition to at least one armed settler carrying a wireless device, apparently to guard the settlement.(Al-Ayyam)
Knesset rejects the "two State solution" draft law
The Israeli Knesset voted yesterday against the “two-State solution" draft law, which prevents Israel from unilaterally annexing land, according to the Jerusalem Post website.The draft law submitted by labor member of Knesset Hilik Bar, allows the annexation of territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip under a peace agreement leading to two States (Israel and Palestine).(Al-Hayat Al-Jadida)
Dutch pension fund decides to boycott Israeli banks
According to Haaretz yesterday, the Dutch pension fund “PGGM” decided to withdraw itsmoney from Israeli banks and boycott itfor opening branches in settlements and investing in settlements.The newspaper said that the fund withdrew millions of "Euros" from Israeli banks, which financially and morally harmed the banks.The Fund (largest Dutch pension fund) administration confirmed in a letter the sent to the departments of major banks in Israel "that opening branches of banks and investing in settlements is contrary to international law, according to the decision of the Criminal Court in the Hague, which confirmed the illegality of settlements, and that it is contrary to article 49 of the Geneva Convention, which prohibits the occupation from transferring population to occupied areas.” (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida)
Jerusalem selected as the capital of the Arabmedia in 2014
Councilof Arab media unit announced yesterday the selection of Jerusalem as the capital of the Arabmedia in 2014, in order to emphasize its Arabic character at a time when Israel continues to implement plans to Judaize the Holy City,in addition to highlighting the reality of journalism in the city.Secretary General of the Council Haitham Yousif, confirmed at a press conference held today in Amman, the need for close cooperation and contact with the press and media institutions in Jerusalem, and focus on their concerns and the situation of journalists, noting that the council of Arabmedia unit aims to standardize journalists on issues of interest to Arab citizens.(Al-Quds)
Jihad declares the death of one of its fighters east of Gaza
Islamic Jihad said that one of its activists was killed yesterday in the Gaza Strip during an Israeli attack, but Israel denied any involvement. Spokesman of the Islamic Jihad said that Mohammed Salama Al-Ajleh (32yearold), Member of the military wing of the movement was on a mission east of Gaza City, and was killed by Israeli tank fire.Army spokeswoman said that the army did not implement any attacks in the area.(Al-Hayat Al-Jadida)
** Israeli Deputy demands continuous supervision over Al-Aqsa (Al-Ayyam)
** Hamas frees seven members of Fateh, after denying having any political prisoners (Al-Ayyam)
** The Popular Committee: armed groups in Yarmouk camp fail any attempt to evacuate sick and the elderly of the camp (Al-Ayyam)
** An Israeli plan to separate Christians and Muslims inside the green line (Al-Ayyam)
** Gaza: the killing of a baby girl who was shot dead in a family fight in the Zaytoun neighborhood (Al-Ayyam)
** Patriarch Twal confirms that the Pope's visit to the Holy Land has a "political dimension" (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida)
** Karzai calls on the President to visit Afghanistan (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida)
** Al-Hamdallah: national project can’t be achieved without reaching reconciliation (Al-Quds)
** Al-Ahmad: my visit to Gaza is at the President’s demand, I communicate with Haneyeh to coordinate a date (al-Quds)
** UNRWA workers union threatens in escalation the strike (Al-Quds)
|Front Page Photos |
Al- Quds: Gaza – citizens in the funeral of Al-Ajleh (32 years old),
Al-Ayyam:1) Nablus – Two Palestinian boys stand near a burnt car in Madama, 2) President Abbas during his meeting with King Abdullah II.
Al Hayat Al Jadida:1) President Abbas during his meeting with King Abdullah, 2) Gaza – Al-Ajleh funeral, 3) Burt car in Madam, 4) Children in Rafah during a solidarity event with Al-Yarmouk camp, 5) Ambassador Al-Jamal funeral in Ramallah.
|Voice of Palestine News |
Gaza Strip: Two injured in an Israeli air strike in Khan Younis, while they were on a motorcycle. Their condition was moderate to serious. Israeli troops also made an incursion into the Khuzaa’ region of Khan Younis. Israeli reconnaissance planes are hovering over Gaza.
Inside the Green Line: There is a demonstration against the Prawer Plan today in spite of news that the plan was foiled. It was not actually foiled but was “redistributed”. A new minister – Begin resigned – now supervises the plan in the Negev and the Knesset is still discussing the decision. So it has not been canceled and popular activities continue to take place against it.
Today, there is a demonstration at 10:00 a.m. in central Beer Sheva. There is a call for wide participation from Arab communities across the country. It will be a demonstration to confirm their objection to all the measures being taken by the Israeli authorities, including the decision against Wadi Na’am; Israeli authorities issued a decision to displace all of its residents and resettle them in the village of Shheibar.
I don’t think this demonstration will get out of control and will remain peaceful although I don’t rule out some confrontations with the police. There is already a heavy presence of Israeli police in the streets.
What about the new development in Nazareth, and Ramez Jarayseh becoming the mayor of Nazarath again after a recount of the votes?
This is not final. There still needs to be final decision from the high court after the votes for disabled people are tallied. There is a very slim difference between the two mayors. It will take some time in court before a final decision is made.
|Voice of Palestine Interviews|
**Shaker Rishiq, head of the workers union in UNRWA, on the ongoing strike and threats to escalate measures
Q: Where are you now in terms of escalating measures?
Unfortunately, until now the employees are still on hunger strike and one has even been sent to hospital for chest pains. But still, we are hoping that an UNRWA official would at least visit him in hospital. The hunger strike is not a goal, but an expression of the injustice towards the employees and the refusal of UNRWA to meet demands. Yesterday we heard that the UNRWA commissioner general met with the Prime Minister and that there would be a breakthrough, but until now he have not heard anything; nobody has contacted us. It seems that UNRWA has turned its back on the government, on the services, salaries, etc. So yes, there could be an escalation in activities so that UNRWA takes responsibility. But there also must be more involvement by the government.
**Sami Mshasha, spokesperson for UNRWA
Q: What does UNRWA say about all this – the strike, the accusations, etc?
It is very unfortunate what Dr. Shaker said, describing UNRWA as if it were the devil on earth. UNRWA has never “turned its backs” on anyone including to the PA. there was an important meeting with the Prime Minister yesterday and one of the main issues was resolved – that of the 55 employees on temporary contracts. Yesterday, it was decided that all 55 would remain, even though they had temporary contracts.
The second issue is the fact that the strike has continued without reason. 37 days of strike have been consecutive, save for a few exceptions, which are not enough. Rishiq says they will compensate for all the school days that were lost, but the truth is, the school year is on the brink of collapse. I would like to tell the union, “We got your message – you have legitimate demands, yes. But let us suspend the strike and return to the negotiating table.” It is not fair to punish 800,000 Palestinian refugees because of employment demands.
Also, let me set this straight – that the UNRWA did not present any initiatives. This is not true, we presented a four-point initiative yesterday. It is on our website. UNRWA employees get higher salaries than 130,000 PA employees and this is still not enough. We are suffering a huge deficit. Go back to the negotiating table.
**Arab MK Mohammed Barakah, on Avigdor Lieberman’s proposal for population swaps
Q:The Labor Party proposed a draft law preventing the government from annexing any Palestinian territory in the West Bank and Gaza without first reaching a final peace agreement – is this law considered positive in terms of the negotiating process?
Without a doubt, it has the seeds of something positive. Of course there are some loopholes that we cannot use. Labor justified this law by saying that it wants a Jewish state and therefore, not accepting a two-state solution will lead to a bi-national state, which is something unacceptable to us. But in principle, the law says the government cannot change the political reality or sovereignty over the Palestinian territories before reaching a peace deal. I think that is positive. Of course, the right wing parties, which are the majority in the Knesset and the coalition, foiled this draft law.
Q: This draft law coincides with other proposals, such as the population swap, which you also rejected. What does this proposal really mean and could it pass in the Knesset?
This has not been proposed as a draft law in the Knesset. Rather this was a statement by foreign minister Lieberman, who said he agreed with Kerry’s plan but that it would also include land and population swaps. We know that the Palestinians have already agreed to limited land swaps, but to talk about population swaps is another story. We Palestinians inside Israel completely reject this and is also unacceptable by the Palestinian leadership.
Such a proposal puts a question mark on the legitimacy of Palestinian existence inside the state of Israel and we do not want to deal with such issues. Second, this would mean that we are swapping with the settlers, which is unacceptable. We live on our land, in our country while they are aggressors and invaders. There cannot be a swap between us.
The Israeli government has made it as if the Palestinians inside the Green Line want to remain inside an Israeli state. This is misleading. It is not that we do not want to be in a Palestinian state, it is just that we do not accept that anyone undermine the legitimacy of our existence in our homes.
**Minister of foreign affairs Riyad Al Malki, on political developments
Q: What is your comment on the new Israeli escalation in Gaza?
Israel claims that mortar rockets were fired into its territories and hence responded quickly through this shelling. But as you know, Israel has been trying for the past few days to inflame the southern areas in order to put pressure on the political reality and find justifications to postpone American pressures on Israeli negotiators, especially in terms of American ideas on the peace process.
Q: What about the ideas being developed by Secretary Kerry in terms of passing an Israeli law stipulating Palestinian recognition of a Jewish state?
Recently, Kerry has been much closer to Israeli positions than to Palestinian ones. These efforts are more of the same and an effort to get the Palestinians to drop their reservations over recognizing a Jewish state. He thinks that if this takes place, he will be able to get a Palestinian recognition, but this will never happen. President Abbas said it more than once.
Q: What about Kerry’s meeting with Arab foreign ministers on Sunday? What will be discussed during that meeting?
We don’t know exactly what Kerry will tell them but most definitely we will already have positions taken with our Arab brothers before the meeting takes place. We expect that the Arabs will propose the same positions as us. And if Kerry comes on Sunday to Paris to propose the idea of a Jewish state, the Arab stance must be completely supportive of the Palestinian position which rejects this. And I really think this will be the main thing Kerry will bring to the table and the reason why he wants to meet with the Arab ministers.
Q: the foreign ministry said it would release a report on the circumstances surrounding the death of Ambassador Jamal Jamel in the next few days. Is there any truth to the news that it was not an explosion of the safe that caused his death?
It is too premature to make a final assessment or change the initial reports. We don’t have enough information to confirm or deny the information we received from the Czech authorities about his death. We are waiting for the details. Two political attachés will travel to Prague today to attend Jamel’s memorial and then follow up with Czech authorities in their investigation.
Occupation storms houses in Jenin
Israeli occupation forces stormed today the northern West Bank city of Jenin and raided two houses, searched them without performing any arrests. Local sources told "SAFA" that the incursion was concentrated in the eastern neighborhood of Jenin and reached two houses belonging to Talal Al-Wahi, Abu Allam Al-Atrash, the occupation forces searched the house after taking out their residents during the search. (http://safa.ps/details/news/120018/html)
Israeli Minister: If an agreement is signed, Israel will suffer from major security problems
Israeli Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Shtainets said yesterday that any future political agreement with Israel would bring troubles. According to Israel Channel 7 TV Shtainets said in a speech before a business conference in Tel Aviv that he is pessimistic of any agreement signed with the Palestinian side, claiming that “there will be no real solution with the Palestinians, Israel is On the horns of a dilemma.” (http://www.pnn.ps/index.php/israel/77949)
Official to "Quds net": Palestinian leadership will approve Kerry proposals
A senior Palestinian official revealed a new approach of the Palestinian leadership to accept the proposals made by US Secretary of State John Kerry for the success of the negotiations. the official stressed said today that the" leadership is still discussing Kerry’s security and political proposals, and the US Administration has been notified by the refusal of some security proposals and acceptance the others until the moment.” The official added that "President Mahmoud Abbas presented Kerry's plans and proposals to Arab countries, and that he gained support and consent of these proposals,” adding that" President Abbas may announce his formal approval of the proposals soon, but with some reservations on some items of the US plan." (http://qudsnet.com/news/View/262367)
Shameless intervention in support of Netanyahu
By George S. Hishmeh | Special to Gulf News
Several decades ago, when I began my career in journalism at the Daily Star in Beirut, Lebanon (and later became editor-in-chief), I was assigned to interview, at a late hour one evening at the capital’s international airport, a prominent member of the British Labour Party and the House of Commons who was at the start of a Mideast tour. Edith Summerskill, who was sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians, had loudly criticised the position of the British government vis-a-vis the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. So I hoped she would then respond to some of my questions, but she surprised me when she said she would not criticise the British government outside Britain; she would do that once she returned home. Her position stunned me, but I later appreciated her attitude.
So last week, I was shocked to learn from Haaretz, the Israeli daily, that Republican Senator John McCain had declared publicly during an unexpected visit to occupied Jerusalem that he shared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s concerns about whether some parts of the so-called “framework” agreement that is being negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians by US Secretary of State John Kerry are enforceable, viable options that do not jeopardise Israel’s security.
I thought McCain would have done better had he followed in the footsteps of Summerskill and not embarrass a senior member of the US government. The US Secretary of State was in occupied Jerusalem at the same time on his tenth visit there to craft a Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement and the following day, he was scheduled to see Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Alongside McCain was his frequent fellow traveller, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, as well as Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming — they had all travelled to Afghanistan before coming to occupied Jerusalem. For the record, the three senators did not bother — disappointingly — to visit Abbas, whose office was only a few miles away.
The Washington Post reproduced the following day a more detailed account from its correspondents in occupied Jerusalem. They reported that the Arizona senator said Netanyahu “has serious concerns about the plan as it has been presented to him,” particularly about the future security of Israel and the viability of a future independent Palestinian state. The paper added that McCain and Graham “suggested that they and other supporters of Israel in Congress will greet Kerry’s programme sceptically”.
McCain, according to the paper, further expressed concern whether some aspects of the agreement were “truly enforceable and viable options” that would not put Israel in jeopardy”. He also did not miss a chance to criticise the administration, arguing that the Barack Obama administration was allowing Syria to collapse and potentially endanger Israel through generous terms for nuclear rapprochement with Iran. In turn, Graham had this to say: “Here’s the one thing that I think dominates the thinking in Israel: That once you withdraw (from the West Bank), then the ability to go back is almost impossible.” He then cited the situation in Gaza, now controlled by Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement. “Look at Gaza. What’s the chance of going back into Gaza militarily?”
But the coverage in Mondoweiss, a progressive Jewish website, was more hard-hitting against the two right-wing senators. Its headline read: ‘Netanyahu mouthpieces’ McCain and Graham crash Kerry’s Jerusalem party’, explaining that the “pro-Israel” senators showed up in occupied Jerusalem “apparently to remind” Kerry that “they do not feel he is sufficiently supportive of Netanyahu’s negotiating positions”.
Mondoweiss staffer Ira Gluntz wondered “whether this has happened before” and “[whether] the fact that we are talking about Israel make it OK?”
She noted that Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC television interviewed Democratic Representative Jane Harman, who is said to be well known for her “avid pro-Israel and pro-lobby position” and a former powerful chairwoman of the House Intelligence Committee. Harman also “took a shot at the Senate delegation,” and went on to add “I think being the mouthpiece of the Prime Minister of Israel while our Secretary of State is there is not very smart. She continued, it “should not have happened”.
A former State Department senior official, R. Nicholas Burns, inexplicably declined to be interviewed on the subject, dismissing the visit as “politics as usual”.
If anything, the Arab leaders ought to immediately concentrate on starting a qualified public relations office in Washington, the sooner the better. Or else, they should not any longer wonder why they have been losing the ball in the US capital despite the fact that the tide is slowly turning against Israel’s sinister manoeuvring here.(http://gulfnews.com/opinions/columnists/shameless-intervention-in-support-of-netanyahu-1.1275257)
Israel’s racist policies
Jordan Times Editorial
If it were left to Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, most Arabs of Israel living in the Galilee would be expelled from their homes, town and cities, and part of their territories would be added to the projected Palestinian state in exchange for parts of the West Bank that Israel covets.
Implementing such thinking would be nothing short of ethnic cleansing; it all would happen for Israel, as clearly expressed by Lieberman, to become as “Jewish” as possible, with no room for minorities, be they ethnic or religious.
One hopes that Israel will not be allowed to get away with such diabolic schemes, and that Lieberman and his ilk will be stopped from making provocative statements such as this.
The citizenship of the Arabs of Israel cannot be taken away arbitrarily.
Even under Israeli law, no one, including Arabs, can have his or her citizenship rescinded in the manner proposed by the Israeli foreign minister.
Declarations such as the extremist Israeli foreign minister’s are meant to complicate even more an already thorny issue.
The intention is to make the peace talks fail and any advancement on the path to Palestinian statehood impossible.
The timid signs that US Secretary of State John Kerry might be making some progress in his talks with Israelis and Palestinians must sting Lieberman and push him to put more impossible conditions to any peace deal his country might reach with the Palestinians.
The Israeli foreign minister, unfortunately, does not talk only for himself.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must be in cahoots with Lieberman’s provocations, to avoid being cornered by Kerry.
Washington needs to take note of this latest Israeli racist declarations and, if indeed impartial, ban such utterings.(http://jordantimes.com/israels-racist-policies)
No peace without the return of refugees
Al Dustur Editorial
The return of refugees has come to the fore once again, along with American-Israeli pressures to annul this right, which is guaranteed by international laws and charters, namely UN Resolution 194, which stipulates the right of return and compensation for refugees.
In this regard, it is no secret that the Zionist enemy rejects the right of return for refugees and insists on settling them in their host countries along with compensation. The American administration supports Israel on this, proposing that they be resettled in Scandinavian countries and Australia.
Here, we must point out that this Zionist approach is the manifestation of the Zionist strategy based on occupation and displacement in order to maintain Israel as a purely Jewish state free of Arabs. This is what the forefathers of Zionism adhered to by carrying out massacres and pillages to force the Palestinian people to flee their homeland, ultimately leading to the expulsion of over 800,000 Palestinians to neighboring countries and into the Diaspora.
Since Oslo [Accords] were signed and until today, the enemy has tried to cajole the Palestinians into cancel out the right of return; they have failed miserably, given that this is a sacred and historical right with no statute of limitations. This has been reconfirmed over 100 times in UN resolutions over the past 50 years, reaffirming that the international community is insistent on the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes from which they were forced to flee because of the massacres carried out by Zionist gangs.
The Zionist mind has squabbled to find a new libel around which it could circumvent the right of return and write it off altogether, which is demanding that the Palestinian leadership recognize the Jewish character of Israel. If this recognition does happen, it would completely eradicate the right of return from tis very roots and would also pave the way for the expulsion of Palestinian-Arabs inside the Green Line on the premise that this is Jewish and not Palestinian land. The extreme right wing has called for this more than once already.
In the final analysis, the first and foremost victim of cancelling the right of return are the Palestinian refugees themselves, who have lived in refugee camps abroad for more than six decades, dying a little each day in the hopes of returning. The second aggrieved party is the host countries, especially Jordan, which hosts over 40% of Palestinian refugees. This makes it necessary for the three parties – the Palestinians, Israelis and Americans, to keep Jordan briefed on talks on the refugee issue, since it directly affects it. There are serious ramifications for Jordan should the decision be made not to allow these millions of refugees back to their motherland, Palestine.
Jordan and its King have made it clear more than once that Palestinian refugees have both the right to return and to compensation according to Resolution 194 and that there would be no comprehensive solution to the Palestinian problem except with the return of these refugees.
Bottom line: the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland is a sacred and historical right with no statute of limitation; it is also an individual and collective right at the same time and the pivotal point of the conflict between the Palestinians and the Zionist enemy. Any attempt to cancel out this right will be met with failure because its damages and dangerous ramifications will harm the Palestinian people and the refugees’ host countries, thus damaging their vital interests as well. This then calls for an active and decisive position based on canceling all agreements with Israel in order to torpedo this dangerous conspiracy which is sounded the alarm bells in the entire region. (http://www.addustour.com/17090/.html)
Detaining settlers is a unique precedent and a model example of popular peaceful resistance
Settlements have been and will always remain the main obstacle to achieving peace; also, settlements were and will remain the practical expression of Israel’s expansionist plans. They will also remain the manifestation of Israel’s mantra of “the land of Greater Israel” for which many parties and powers in Israel call.
Settlements and settlers have confiscated Palestinian land and rights in every possible corner, under different pretexts, all of which fall under the category of taking over the land and depriving the rightful owners of it. And over and above all of this suffering and injustice, in contravention of all international and humanitarian law, the settlers, these land usurpers, have not stopped attacking citizens and their properties for one day. They cut down trees, burn them or uproot them; they steal their fruit and attack their owners or burn down placed of worship, or write racist slogans on walls and burn or smash cars. In short, they do not suffice with stealing the land but continue to assault its owners in every way possible.
What is worse, they carry out these attacks without being held accountable or put on trial. We have never heard that a settler was sentenced or jailed or even arrested because of his repeated attacks, which only further encourages these racists to continue their attacks on everyone and everything.
Two days ago, something extraordinary happened. The people of Qusra and Qaryout faced off with a group of settlers, detaining 15 of them, hitting them back in defense of their rights and properties. The scenes of these detained settlers and their pictures, which were splashed across media outlets, expresses the real confrontation with the attacker which they deserved, and in peaceful ways without the use of weapons. Then the Israeli army intervened and declared the area a closed military zone before the settlers were turned over to Israeli army forces in coordination with the PA.
No doubt, the clear and strong message conveyed by this incident was received by those involved: the settlers realized that their attacks would not pass by unnoticed and that they would face strong and sincere popular resistance from the land owners; also Palestinian forces which are subject to similar attacks realized that there are all sorts of ways to defend the land and trees, which was proven by the farmers and citizens of Qusra and Qaryout.
We raise our hats to the people of these two villages who confronted the settlers; they have offered us a unique precedent, which will be a new marker on the road to defending our land and which will go down in history as one form of true, peaceful and popular resistance. (http://www.alquds.com/news/article/view/id/482268)
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