Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, January 2020
Palestinians Are 13 Million Strong by January 2020, Persistant in their Struggle for Freedom from Israeli Occupation and Oppression
January 1, 2020
While brutal force has been used to create Zionist Israel and sustain it thus far, Zionist claims to Palestine are false. Actually, from the five thousand years of known written history, there has been a continuous Palestinian-Canaanite presence in the Holy Land. Despite the Zionist false claims, the ancient Israelites ruled part of the land for only 85 years (during the reign of David, Solomon, and Solomon's son).
After that, the Egyptians conquered Palestine-Canaan in 925 BC, followed by Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans, before the Arab Muslim rule, starting from 636 AD.
By the Time Jesus started his mission, the three population groups of Canaanites, Palestinians, and Israelites were melted together in religion and language. Most of them became Christians when Constantine converted in 313 AD. Then, most of them became Muslims in the 7th and 8th centuries AD.
So, Palestinian Muslims, Christians, and Jews are the ones who have the right to claim descent from ancient Israelites, Palestinians, and Canaanites, not Zionists from other continents.
The following news stories are just examples of the Israeli occupation government violations of Palestinian human rights, on daily basis.More detailed news stories can be found at the following sources:
http://english.wafa.ps/, https://english.palinfo.com/, https://imemc.org/, https://paltoday.ps/ar/
Israeli Occupation Forces Arrest 12 Palestinian Young Men From Jerusalem
January 1, 2020 12:40 AM IMEMC & Agencies
The Israeli occupation forces, on Monday evening, arrested 12 Palestinian young men in Jerusalem, five of them from the Bab al-Amoud area, the Palestine News Network reported.
Footage circulated on the internet showing Israeli police officers brutalizing and detaining five young men during their presence in the Bab al-Amoud area near the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
Earlier Monday evening, the IOF arrested four young men after raiding their homes in at-Tur town in east Jerusalem, while two others were taken prisoner during a similar campaign in Hizma town.
The IOF also arrested a Jerusalemite young man after ransacking his home in Shu’fat refugee camp, claiming they found a weapon and ammunition allegedly belonging to him.
Edited for IMEMC: Ali Salam
Israeli Occupation Soldiers Abduct Five Palestinians, Injure One, In Jenin
January 1, 2020 1:25 PM IMEMC News
Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded, on Wednesday at dawn, Jenin city, Jenin refugee camp, and Qabatia town, in northern West Bank, searched and ransacked many homes and abducted five Palestinians, in addition to wounding one during ensuing protests.
Media sources in Jenin said the soldiers shot Jamil Nabil Awwad, 22, with a rubber-coated bullet in his leg, in the al-Marah neighborhood, in Jenin city.
They added that the soldiers attacked Palestinian protesters in Jenin and its refugee camp, and fired many gas bombs, rubber-coated steel bullets and rounds of live ammunition.
The soldiers also invaded and ransacked many homes, before abducting five Palestinians, identified as Ibrahim Nathem Turkman, Bakr Hilal Sabe’ and Omar Amer Abu Salam, from Jenin city.
In Jenin refugee camp, the soldiers also searched homes and abducted Hotheifa Sobhi Jabarin.
Furthermore, the soldiers invaded Qabatia town, south of Jenin, searched homes and abducted Mos’ab Abdul-Nasser Hanaisha, 21. The Palestinian is a student at Birzeit University.
Israeli Occupation Army Abducts Four Palestinians In Hebron
January 1, 2020 2:44 PM IMEMC News
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Wednesday at dawn, Beit Ummar and the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, before abducting four Palestinians, including three former political prisoners, and summoned one for interrogation.
The Hebron office of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that the soldiers searched many homes in Beit Ummar, and abducted three former political prisoners, identified as Qussai Ahmad Abu Hashem, 20, Malek Ayesh Abu Hashem, 17, and Mohsin Mohammad Za’aqeeq, 18.
It added that the Israeli occupation soldiers smashed many doors, and destroyed furniture, during the violent searches, and summoned Moayyad Khalil Abu Maria, 20, for interrogation.
In addition, the soldiers abducted another Palestinian, identified as Abdul-Karim Mohammad al-Qeeqi, 43, from the al-‘Arroub refugee camp.
The soldiers also invaded and ransacked the home of Wisam Ibrahim Abu As’ad, in Ethna town, west of Hebron.
Also at dawn, the soldiers abducted two young Palestinian men from Beit Rima and Deir Ghassana towns, northwest of Ramallah in central West Bank.
The occupation soldiers also invaded Jenin city, Jenin refugee camp, and Qabatia town, in northern West Bank, searched and ransacked many homes and abducted five Palestinians, in addition to wounding one during ensuing protests.
On Tuesday at night, the soldiers invaded Tubas city, in central West Bank, and attacked Palestinian protesters with live fire, wounding a young man in the thigh, in addition to causing many to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.
Israeli Occupation Soldiers Abduct Two Palestinians Near Ramallah
Israeli occupation soldiers abducted, on Wednesday at dawn, two young Palestinian men from Beit Rima and Deir Ghassana towns, northwest of Ramallah in central West Bank, and abducted two young men.
Several army jeeps invaded Beit Rima town, before the soldiers stormed and searched homes and abducted Saji Nitham Rimawi, 24.
The soldiers also invaded homes in Deir Ghassana, before abducting a young man, identified as Yasser Barghouthi.
On Tuesday at night, the soldiers invaded Tubas city, in central West Bank, and attacked Palestinian protesters with live fire, wounding a young man in the thigh, in addition to causing many to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.
Nearly 29,610 Illegal Extremist Israeli Settlers Invaded Al-Aqsa in 2019
January 1, 2020 12:22 AM IMEMC & Agencies
Azzam Khatib, director of the Waqf department, stated that a total of 29,610 illegal extremist Israeli settlers have forced their way into Al-Aqsa Mosque, in 2019, raising concerns of an organized scheme to change the long-held status quo at the holy compound, the Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA) reported.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Khatib stated that the record number of extremist Israelis who invaded the Muslim holy compound, located in Jerusalem’s Old City, under heavy protection of Israeli police, special forces and intelligence, was a breach of the historical and legal status at the Mosque.
“All signs and data indicate an escalation in the frequency of violations against the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surroundings through a series of unprecedented trespasses, which constitute an infringement of the historical and legal status of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, as an Islamic mosque for Muslims alone, under the patronage of King Abdullah II (of Jordan),” said Khatib.
He warned against “attempts by the occupying power to exploit the issue of Al-Aqsa Mosque as a platform to achieve political gains and for electoral propaganda for individuals and groups, who do not understand the dangers of these actions, in their efforts and insistence to agitate the feelings of millions of Muslims around the world.”
Khatib stressed that the Islamic Waqf department insists on confronting all measures and violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque and all its buildings, including Bab al-Rahma, also known as the Golden Gate, which he said is an integral part of Al-Aqsa Mosque and which Israeli police have been trying to keep Muslim worshippers away from it while allowing Jewish concentration at the site during their presence at the Mosque compound.
Edited for IMEMC: Ali Salam.
Palestinian PM: Israel Decision to Withhold Tax Revenues “Brings us Back to Square One of the Crisis”
December 30, 2019 7:47 PM IMEMC & Agencies
Palestinian Prime Minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh said today that the Israeli cabinet’s decision to deduct additional amounts from the Palestinian tax revenues amounting to 150 million shekels ($43 million), under the pretext of making payments to the families of the prisoners and those killed by Israel, “brings us back to square one of the crisis” and “demands an appropriate response from all of us.”
The Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA) reported that PM Shtayyeh stated at the weekly cabinet meeting in Ramallah, that the withheld money will reach 650 million shekels ($188 million), which “brings us back to square one of the crisis that we tried to overcome by wisely managing public funds.”
He added, “It is clear that Israel does not want us to stand on our feet. However, the government will remain active and efficient in managing public funds.”
The Palestinian Authority was forced to pay its employees half salary for six months this year after Israel deducted millions of dollars from its tax revenues, leading it to the brink of financial collapse. The crisis was eased only after Israel agreed to return most of the tax revenues to the Palestinians.
Photo: WAFA Edited for IMEMC: Ali Salam
Palestinian Foreign Ministry: “Systematic Economic War Waged by the Israeli Occupation”
December 31, 2019 12:27 AM IMEMC & Agencies
The Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ministry, on Monday, slammed Israel’s decision to deduct millions of dollars from the Palestinian tax revenues, the Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA) reported.
The ministry denounced Israel’s decision to deduct 150 million Israeli shekels ($43 million) from the taxes it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority on goods destined to the Palestinian areas as “an attempt to stigmatize the Palestinian people with terrorism” and as an “act of piracy” and “organized state terrorism”.
“Stealing more funds from the Palestinian people falls under the systematic economic war waged by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people,” said the ministry in a statement, adding that it was tantamount to “a desperate attempt to disrupt the domestic stability and the social fabric.”
It added, “Attempts to weaken the Palestinian Authority and its institutions are central to these Israeli schemes.”
Israel said it will freeze $43 million from the tax revenues, which it says is equivalent to the amount the monthly Palestinian allowance given to the families of prisoners and those killed by Israel for resisting its occupation of Palestine.
Photo: Palestine News Network Edited for IMEMC: Ali Salam
Israeli Occupation Forces Arrest Palestinian Youth Beaten by Settlers
December 31, 2019 10:49 PM IMEMC & Agencies
Wadi Hilweh Information Center (Silwanic) reported that, the Israeli occupation forces arrested a Palestinian youth, on Monday evening, from Batn Al Hawa neighborhood in Silwan, after settlers beat him.
Witnesses said that settlers’ guards attacked the young Palestinian men who were in the neighborhood. Verbal quarrels and physical fights took place, meanwhile, the settlers’ guards randomly fired live bullets in the area.
The witnesses also said that Israeli forces stormed the neighborhood within minutes of the shots, and supported the settlers in the attack, by beating the Palestinian residents and throwing sound bombs without stopping the aggression of the settlers’ guards.
Witnesses added that the settlers’ guards detained the youth, Adam Abu Ramouz, severely beat him, and then handed him over to the occupation forces.
Witnesses explained that the young boy Abu Ramouz was arrested while bleeding from his face and head, and taken to an undisclosed destination.
Israeli occupation forces stormed Batn Al Hawa neighborhood and spread over its neighborhoods extensively.
Many of the residents were injured by shrapnel from sound bombs, among various bruises, as a result of being physically attacked by the settlers’ guards and the occupation forces.
Video: Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan (Facebook) Edited for IMEMC: Ali Salam
Illegal Israeli Settlers Attack and Injure West Bank Commuters
December 31, 2019 11:51 PM IMEMC News & Agencies
Illegal Israeli Jewish settlers, today, attacked Palestinian vehicles traveling on roads in the north of the West Bank, with stones, causing injury to people and damage to several cars, according to a Palestinian official.
Ghassan Daghlas, in charge of the Israeli settlements file in the north of the West Bank, told WAFA that settlers from the former settlement of Homesh, which was built illegally on Burqa and Silat al-Daher lands, hurled stones at a number of Palestinian vehicles travelling between Nablus and Jenin.
Daghlas said that 25 vehicles sustained broken windows and several people were injured from shattered glass. They were treated on the location.
Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by the Israeli authorities.
Gaza Still Under Israeli Blockade since 2007, Entering 2020
December 31, 2019 11:59 PM IMEMC News & Agencies
It was a very happy moment when the Palestinians knew that they would cast their votes in order to choose their representatives, after waiting a long time. They voted and unexpectedly, the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, won the overwhelming majority of the parliament seats.
Fat'h, Israel, and the (Zionist-ontrolled) international community did not recognise the results of the elections. Rejecting the results by Fateh, led to internal clashes with Hamas, resulting in the latter sweeping the former from Gaza, in order to end the security chaos which erupted to undermine Hamas’ victory. Israel used this a pretext to impose a strict air, sea and ground siege on Gaza, and gave the international community a pretext to ignore Gaza, and stop its support for its people.
Since then, Gaza has been moving from one crisis to another. Gazan residents felt the first major crisis when the Palestinian Authority (PA) ordered its public servants, including the security personnel, teachers, doctors and employees in different ministries, to stay home or lose their salaries. Therefore, Gazan students went to their schools where were no teachers and patients went to hospitals and clinics, to find no doctors.
Adding to this, Israel reduced fuel and electricity supplies, at certain point to zero, paralysing almost all forms of life. Over 300 patients passed away in hospitals because of the lack of electricity and medicine. The suffering of hundreds of dialysis, heart and cancer patients, in addition to newly born babies, increased due to the lack of proper medical equipment or spare parts for the already operating equipment.
Over 70 per cent of factories, according to the office of the Chamber of Commerce in Gaza, were stopped due to the lack or severe shortages of raw materials banned by Israel, under the pretext of dual use. Exports and imports were largely stopped, and at certain points were completely blocked. All these things, in addition to others, led to high rates of unemployment, 46.7 per cent, and consequently, high rates of poverty, 53 per cent.
The situation deteriorated due to the continuous tensions between Israel and Hamas, which is dedicated to fighting the Israeli occupation, leading to several deadly Israeli occupation regime three main wars on Gaza: in 2008/9, 2012 and 2014. These three terrorist Israeli offensives alone resulted in the deaths of around 3,900 Gazan residents, wounded over 15,000, completely destroyed over 11,000 homes, partially damaged over 12,000 homes and hundreds of other facilities, including clinics, schools, mosques, water and sewage plants.
Then, on 30 March 2018, the weekly demonstrations, dubbed the ‘Great March of Return’ and Breaking the Siege’ along the eastern side of the Gaza Strip, started and this added to the suffering of the Gazan residents due to the Israeli use of “lethal force” against “peaceful” protesters.
In 2012, the UN Country Team produced a report predicting, based on trends, that Gaza would become “unliveable” by 2020. This report was issued after two of the aforementioned Israeli offensives on Gaza and before the third one, which was the most destructive. Five years later, the same UN team announced: “Sadly, as we check-in on those same trends again in this 2017 report, the deterioration has accelerated.”
One of the most serious problems facing Gazan residents is the fast growth of population, compared to the insufficient area of land, along with the severe shortage of health and education services and the lack of basics for economic growth. Originally, the area of the Gaza Strip, which was defined with the Armistice Line, is about 560 square kilometres. However, in a secret deal reached in the early 1950s, between Israel and Egypt, which controlled Gaza between the 1948 and 1967 wars, Israel seized an extra 200 square kilometres. The two million inhabitants of Gaza make it one of the most densely populated areas on earth.
In order to meet the needs of the population growth, the report stated that Gaza, which had about 2,000 hospital beds in 2012, needed 800 more beds in 2020, in order to meet the population growth (two million) expected by the UN Country Team in 2012. Three years before 2020, the population became two million, while the hospital beds and other health facilities became more obsolete, impacting negatively on the health services.
Regarding the education system, however, few more schools have been built since the report was issued, but unfortunately, the number of teachers has declined because of the budget deficit which the Hamas government in Gaza has been suffering, due to the lack of funds compared to the need of teachers, in order to compensate those who were instructed by the PA to stay at home.
The difficult and uncertain political situation in the Gaza Strip, along with the almost permanent closure of the crossings, as well as the lack of prospective internal reconciliation, make economic growth impossible. In fact, the Israeli crossings had been reopened and there has been commercial movement between Gaza and West Bank, Israel and the world, but the average monthly number of truckloads of goods exiting or entering Gaza is still less than a third of what was prior to 2007.
If we want to see Gaza liveable in 2020, its residents “must be enabled to live dignified, healthy and productive lives in peace and security, both now and in the future.” This could be achieved if the internal reconciliation and general elections were done, the 13-year-old Israel siege was lifted and the international support and donation were resumed. However, these goals seem unachievable because of Israel’s unwillingness to do so.
The UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Michael Lynk, announced last year that Israel had prevented him from entering the territories, in order to stand closely on its obligation to preserve human rights for the Palestinians. Now, Israel claims that the ICC does not have jurisdictions over the occupied territories, enabling it to probe possible Israeli crimes. These factors prove that Israel is unwilling to stop its aggression against the Palestinians, including those in Gaza, at very least, lifting the siege and facilitating their livelihoods.
The strange thing is that Gazan residents, “who pose a threat to no-one,” according to the former UN coordinator for humanitarian aid and development activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Robert Piper, have been enduring all of these sufferings and “paying a high price for acts and failures of others.”
Motasem Ahmed Dalloul is a staff writer at the Middle East Monitor. He is a specialist in the Middle East affairs.
~ MEMO/Days of Palestine
Over 13 Million Palestinians Worldwide by the end of 2019
December 31, 2019 9:51 PM IMEMC News & Agencies
Dr. 'Ola Awad, Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) President presents a brief on the status of Palestinian people at The end of 2019 as follows:
More than 13 Million Palestinians in the world by the End of 2019
An increase in population of Palestinians in the world
The projected number of Palestinians in the world is 13.3 million, of whom 5.039 million are in the State of Palestine, 1.5 million in the 1948 occupied Territory (Israel), 5.9 million in the Arab countries, and around 727 thousand in foreign countries.
More than one-third of population reside in Gaza Strip The projected number of Palestinians living in State of Palestine at the end of 2019 is 5.039 million: Around 3.020 million reside in the West Bank and 2.019 million in Gaza Strip. Palestinian refugees make up 42% of the Palestinian population in State of Palestine: 26% of them in the West Bank and 66% in Gaza Strip.
Decline in fertility rate
Total Fertility Rate in the State of Palestine, Selected Years:
Decrease in average household size
The average household size in the State of Palestine was 5.1 persons in 2017 (compared to 6.1 in 2000): 4.8 persons in the West Bank and 5.6 persons in Gaza Strip.
Decrease in crude birth and death rates
The crude birth rate is 30.2 births for every 1000 of population in the State of Palestine 2019: 27.7 in the West Bank compared to 34.0 in Gaza Strip. The crude death rate is 3.7 deaths for every 1000 of population in State of Palestine 2019: 3.9 in the West Bank compared to 3.5 in Gaza Strip. . High fertility rate among Palestinian women in Jordan compared Palestinian women in Syria and Lebanon The total fertility rate for the Palestinian women living in Jordan was 3.3 births in 2010 compared to 2.5 in Syria in 2010 and 2.7 for the Palestinian women in Lebanon in 2017.
Selected Demographic Indicators by Country of Residence, Selected Years
Country of Residence Average Household Size Total Fertility Rate Jordan 5.1** 3.3* Syria * 4.1* 2.5** Lebanon 4*** 2.7***
* Data represent for 2010
** Data represent for 2011 *** Data represent for 2017
The Palestinian population in 1948 Territory is a young population The number of Palestinians living in 1948 Territory is 1.597 million at the end of 2019, of whom the percentage of individuals under 15 years was about 32.8% for males and 31.8% for females, while the percentage of individuals 65 years and above was 4.4% for males and 5.3% for females at the end of 2018.
Israeli Occupation Forces Detained 5,500 Palestinians in 2019, Including 889 Children
December 31, 2019 2:23 AM IMEMC & Agencies
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) arrested more than 5,500 Palestinians from the occupied Palestinian territory during 2019; among them were 889 children and at least 128 women, the Palestine News Network reported.
The Palestinian Prisoners and Human Rights Institutions issued a fact sheet, on Monday, stating that the number of Palestinian prisoners and detainees in the prisons of the occupation up unitl the date of preparing the paper, reached approximately 5000, including 40 females, while the number of child detainees reached approximately 200 children, and the number of administrative detainees reached about 450.
The Israeli occupation authorities escalated their arbitrary arrests of Palestinian minors and women, and practiced various forms of torture against them during and after their arrest, during the year 2019.
According to the follow-up of partner institutions, on the reality of the prisoners inside the Israeli prisons and detention centers, the issue of torture topped the scene compared to the past few years, specifically after the month of August 2019, where the detention operations escalated, and all groups of Palestinian society were targeted.
During 2019, the occupation killed five prisoners through its systematic policies, the most prominent of which is medical negligence, not to mention psychological and physical torture.
The Palestinian men that died in Israeli jails, or martyrs were: Fares Baroud, Omar Awni Younis, Nassar Taqatqa, Bassam Al-Sayeh, and Sami Abu Diak, and the detention of two bodies continues.
Four prisoners, including the prisoner Aziz Owaisat, was killed as a result of torture in 2018, Fares Baroud, Nassar Taqatqa and Bassam Al-Sayeh. This brings the number of martyrs of the captive national movement to 222 martyrs since 1967.
The Israeli occupation regime continued to issue administrative detention orders against Palestinians, as the number of administrative detention orders issued during the year 2019 reached (1035). Among the orders that were issued against 4 minors and 4 women.
The Israeli occupation forces carried out repression and incursions inside prisons, which caused dozens of prisoners to be injured, including severe injuries, the most severe of which were in “Ofer, the Negev, and Ramon” prisons, where, according to testimonies, documented through their lawyers, was the most violent and deadliest since the storming of the Negev Prison in 2007, when the prisoner, Muhammad al-Ashqar, was shot and killed.
The number of ill prisoners in the occupation prisons reached more than 700, among them at least 10 suffering from cancer. More than 200 detainees suffering from various chronic diseases are deprived of treatment, testing, and diagnosis for long periods of time.
The Israeli occupation regime continued, during 2019, the policy of medical neglect, and assault. The sick prisoners were handcuffed, and transported through “intermediate” vehicles without regard to their health conditions.
The institutions pursued a set of policies, including; collective punishment that affected dozens of family members, whether by arresting them, summoning them, threatening them, or breaking into their homes repeatedly. House demolitions are another form of collective punishment, that affected a number of the detainees’ families.
The policy of unilateral isolation, imposed on dozens of prisoners, as punishment, or as an order issued by the Shin Bet security services.
The Israeli occupation regime courts, at their various levels, constituted an essential tool in consolidating the violations carried out against the prisoners, the most prominent of which was the decision that authorized investigators to use exceptional methods of torture in the case of the prisoner Samer Al-Arbeed.
In the face of the policies of the occupation, more than 50 prisoners carried out hunger strikes, most of them rejecting the policy of administrative detention. Among them, the prisoner Ahmed Zahran, 44, has maintained hunger strike for more than 100 days.
Support strikes that the prisoners carried out included mass strikes, in which dozens participated, rejecting the repression, which was described as the worst in years, as well as a rejection of the jamming system imposed by the occupation detention camps on the prisoners.
The institutions affirm that the occupation authorities are fighting the Palestinian presence through a number of policies, the most prominent of which are the daily arrests of all groups of Palestinian civil society, bypassing all humanitarian rules and laws, and entrenching their violations through a judicial system, which is the primary tool in legalizing and perpetuating crime.
The institutions call on all local, regional and international jurisdictions to take effective procedural steps to ensure the protection of the Palestinian presence and the preservation of humanity.
Photo: Alray Edited for IMEMC: Ali Salam
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