Monday, 25 June 2018
IOP Report {No.3 for June 2017} Print
Sunday, 18 June 2017
While Occupation and blockade are business as usual for Israel, there should be no business with Israel

In Occupied Palestine

Zionism in practice

Israel’s Daily Toll on Palestinian Life, Limb, Liberty and Property

(Compiled by Leslie Bravery, Palestine Human Rights Campaign, Auckland, New Zealand [If you have difficulty with the display of this report, it may be better viewed on our website]

NB: We shall always do our utmost to verify the accuracy of all items in these IOP newsletters/reports wherever possible – but please forgive us for any errors or omissions (not of our own making) that may occur! L & M.

IOP Report {No.3 for June 2017}

Israel's contempt for

Corbyn's success

Palestinian Football

Association files appeal

with Court

of Arbitration for Sport

UN chief stands by UNRWA

UN Economic and Social

Council on plight of Palestinian

women and children

German MPs refuse

Israeli minister's demand to

meet in Occupied Jerusalem

France condemns new

housing units

in Israeli settlements

Open Letter from

Christian Palestinians to the

World Council of Churches

New UN-ESCAW Report

2 separate laws for

2 groups of people

is apartheid

Zionist regime striving

to enforce conformity

upon Israeli universities

Birzeit University ranked among

top 3% of world's universities

Recent news updates:

Israel's contempt for Corbyn success. The Times of Israel, on 9 June, expressed disappointment and alarm at Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party's success in decimating the Tory majority in the recent British General Election. The newspaper wrote: “Many in the UK Jewish community had hoped Thursday’s general election would be the last nail in the coffin for Jeremy Corbyn.” It implied that there existed a “perceived lingering anti-Semitism within the party” and, in an interview with the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jonathan Arkush, reported his view that the election result was a “loss” for “the Jewish community and Israel”. Referring to what the newspaper called 'Corbyn’s Jewish problem', Arkush suggested that Corbyn was sympathetic to “anti-Semitic rhetoric”, while having to concede that Labour “has policies that are supportive of Israel, supportive of the two-state solution.” The Times of Israel's perspective is much more about Israel than it is about British Jews. The article noted that “May’s Conservative Partyis perceived as taking a “much more pronounced pro-Israel stance”. For The Times of Israel, that is enough. The newspaper commented: “Many Jews who were lifelong Labour voters said they couldn’t bring themselves to put a cross next to the Labour candidate’s name.” While there are far more anti-Zionist voters among the Jewish community than Israel would have us believe, Arkush continued to smear Labour, saying “the smell of anti-Semitism still lingers around some sections of the [Labour] party.” In the election, two leaders of the Jewish Labour Movement actually ran against two pro-Israel Conservative MPs in the London constituencies of Finchley and Golders Green and managed to increase Labour’s share of the vote.

Palestinian Football Association files appeal with Court of Arbitration for Sport. The Palestinian Football Association (PFA) has filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over a decision by world soccer's governing body FIFA regarding the Association's rights to run football activities there. CAS said in a statement the appeal was against a decision taken during the FIFA Congress in May to not vote on a proposal by the PFA in which it sought the “recognition of its rights to run football activities in accordance with the FIFA statutes”. FIFA instead chose to vote on an alternative proposal in which the FIFA Council was granted a time limit until the end of March 2018 to study and evaluate reports from the FIFA Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine. The dispute centres on six teams from lower divisions of the Israeli league who are based in settlements in the West Bank and play their matches there. The PFA says this is contrary to FIFA statutes, which state that a member country's teams cannot play matches on the territory of another association without permission. The PFA has also complained that Israel hampers its activities, including limiting the movement of players between the West Bank and Gaza, and that it has barred some international travel. Israel has cited security concerns for its actions and the Israeli FA, which is a member of European soccer body UEFA, says it is not responsible for the actions of its government. The FIFA committee convened for the first time more than a year and a half ago after being set up following a heated exchange at the FIFA Congress in May 2015, when the PFA was persuaded to drop its proposal for a ban of Israel. In its appeal to the CAS, the PFA requests that the decision by FIFA not to vote on its proposal be declared null and void, that the decision that was passed in its place be revoked and that FIFA be ordered to immediately vote on the PFA’s proposal. CAS said a decision on the appeal would be issued at a later date, following the exchange of written submissions and the completion of a hearing.

UN chief stands by UNRWA. UN Secretary-General dismisses Netanyahu's call to shut down UN agency for Palestinian refugees. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday dismissed calls by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to shut down UNRWA. “He wishes to express his support for UNRWA and his admiration for the role it plays in delivering essential services and protecting the rights of millions of Palestine refugees across the Middle East.” Guterres also “calls on all member states to continue their support to the agency in order for UNRWA to be in a position to fulfil impartially and efficiently its essential role.” Palestinian political analysts have agreed that the demand by Netanyahu for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to be closed is an attack on refugee rights. The legitimate right of Palestinian refugees to return to their land is, they agree, the “basis of the Palestinian cause.” Netanyahu’s argument is that the Palestinian refugees have their own agency — UNRWA — whereas, in his opinion, the issue should come under the umbrella of the UN High Commission for Refugees. According to interviews conducted by Anadolu, however, most of the experts on the matter expect the UN to ignore the Israeli leader’s demand.

At the moment, UNRWA keeps the Palestinian refugee issue alive in international forums,” explained Dr Mekhemar Abu Saada. He pointed out that the agency provides essential services to over 80% of the Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, along with millions more across the occupied Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The professor of political science at Al-Azhar University in Gaza City believes that Netanyahu seeks to negate the refugee status of the Palestinians and thus end their right of return by default.

Israel continues to incite the world against UNRWA and its operations,” he said. The Israeli leader’s latest demand is part of regular efforts to discredit UNRWA and persuade donor countries to cut or end their support for the agency. Despite being an official UN body, UNRWA is entirely dependent on voluntary donations from UN member states for its income, and it faces a seemingly perpetual financial crisis, forcing it to reduce some vital services to the refugees. Guterres has defended UNRWA’s role in achieving peace and stability in the region. His Deputy Spokesman, Farhan Haq, told reporters at UN headquarters in New York on Monday that Guterres is “concerned” about recent public criticisms of UNRWA and the safety of its operations. The Secretary General called on all UN member states to continue their support for UNRWA so that it can continue with its essential role with integrity and efficiency, serving the Palestinian refugees until a “just and lasting” solution is reached.

Writer Mustafa Al-Sawaf thinks that the Israeli Prime Minister wants to “kill the only witness” to the refugees’ daily suffering because he wants the refugee issue to be forgotten. “Israel is always putting pressure on UN bodies to stop them supporting the Palestinians.” This, it is claimed, is part of the siege of the Palestinian people. “Israel wants to stop anyone and everyone from helping them.” UNRWA was established, on 8 December 1949, by UN General Assembly Resolution 302, with the aim of providing relief and employment for Palestinian refugees. It began operations on 1 May 1950. The agency currently provides essential services to 5.3 million registered refugees living in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, covering humanitarian relief, education and medical and social care. “As long as UNRWA is there, ending the refugee issue is difficult for Israel,” noted Hossam Al-Dajni, professor of media and politics at Al-Umma University in Gaza. “Netanyahu’s demand illustrates that Israel sees the agency’s existence as ongoing confirmation of the refugees’ right of return.” UNRWA and the services it provides to the Palestinian refugees gives legitimacy to the issue in terms of international law, he added.

UN Economic and Social Council on plight of Palestinian women and children.

German MPs refuse to meet with Israeli Minister in Occupied Jerusalem. A delegation of German MPs refused to meet with the Israeli Internal Security Minister, Gilad Erdan, in his office in east Occupied Jerusalem. According to the Hebrew-language Yisrael Hayom newspaper, Erdan cancelled a projected meeting with the German delegation after the latter said it firmly objected to having the meeting convened in an area located beyond the Green Line. Erdan reportedly refused to meet with the delegation in another place, claiming he will never co-operate with parties that consider east Jerusalem an Occupied territory. “Whoever wishes to draw lessons from our knowledge and experience in fighting terrorism has to step into the Internal Security Ministry, even if it was located in east Jerusalem,” said Erdan. “It is high time Germany recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and respected our sovereignty over the city,” he added.

France condemns new housing units in Israeli settlements. France condemned on Wednesday an Israeli decision to build 3,000 new housing units in illegal settlements in the Occupied West Bank. A French Foreign Ministry spokesman said Paris has a fixed and clear position on settlements. He said that at a time when the peace process requires efforts from all, these decisions considered illegal by international law send a negative message that harms prospects for a just and lasting peace. France also expressed concern over the humanitarian situation in Gaza. “France is following with interest the situation in Gaza, which continues to deteriorate in the absence of a permanent political solution and insists on improving the situation there, especially on the humanitarian level.”

UN Weekly Report.

Open Letter from Christian Palestinians to the World Council of Churches and the ecumenical movement. An Open Letter from the National Coalition of Christian Organisations in Palestine (NCCOP) to the World Council of Churches and the ecumenical movement: Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. (Isa. 1:17)


As we meet this month in Bethlehem in Occupied Palestine, we are still suffering from 100 years of injustice and oppression that were inflicted on the Palestinian people, beginning with the unjust and unlawful Balfour declaration, intensified through the Nakba and the influx of refugees, followed by the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Gaza, and the fragmentation of our people and our land through policies of isolation and confiscation of land, and the building of Jewish-only settlements and the Apartheid Wall. We are still suffering because of one political declaration from a Western Empire, based on a twisted theological premise. Even some churches and a few Christian leaders supported the establishment of the colonial state in our land, and totally ignored – even dehumanised – the nation, our people that had already existed here for centuries and paid the price for atrocities committed in Europe. One hundred years later, with thousands of lives lost, towns and villages razed from the face of the earth – though not our memory – millions of refugees, thousands of homes demolished and continued incarceration of prisoners, our Nakba goes on.

A hundred years later and there is still no justice in our land! Discrimination and inequality, military occupation and systematic oppression are the rule. Today, we stand in front of an impasse and we have reached a deadlock. Despite all the promises, endless summits, UN resolutions, religious and lay leaders' callings – Palestinians are still yearning for their freedom and independence, and seeking justice and equality. Humanly speaking – we have reached the “moment of impossible”, as Emeritus Latin Patriarch Sabbah said recently. Could it be that we have reached this “impossible moment” because things were built from the very beginning – a hundred years ago – on an unjust premise? Should we expect that such an unjust declaration will create anything but strife and destruction?

Today is also an opportunity to remember the Amman Call which was proclaimed ten years ago. We are thankful to those who stood with us back then in costly solidarity; those who stood for truth and justice. We are also concerned that ten years later the situation has been worsening on the ground and still deteriorating. Like other initiatives advocating end of Occupation, the Amman Call did not achieve its goals in building and achieving just peace and we must ask ourselves today – why? We are also concerned by Israel’s systemic assault on Palestinian creative resistance, and on our partners worldwide who use this method to pressure Israel to end the Occupation. Many new laws were issued in Israel and around the world to oppose this creative non-violent resistance unlawfully, and to stop all effort towards peace. Not only is this an attack on the freedom of conscience and speech but it is also an assault on our right and duty to resist evil with good. Israel is even now trying to prevent pilgrims from visiting Bethlehem – the city of Emmanuel!

While we are grateful for the ‘costly solidarity’ articulated in the Amman Call and exercised by many churches around the world, we are concerned that some churches have weakened their positions in the last ten years as a result of this manipulating pressure. Many still hide behind the cover of political neutrality, not wishing to offend their religious dialogue partners. Finally, we meet in an environment of religious wars and persecution in our region. Religious extremism is on the rise, and religious minorities have paid a heavy and painful price. We thank you for your efforts towards the refugees and towards ending the conflicts in our region. We also thank you for your support of persecuted Christians in places like Iraq and Syria. Read much more:

New UN-ESCAW Report. Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli Occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the Occupied Syrian Golan. The report focuses on the period from from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017, revealing that Israeli security forces killed 63 Palestinians, including 19 minors, and wounded an additional 2,276 Palestinians, including 562 children. It expresses concern over “the use of force and unlawful killings by Israeli security forces, including some cases which may have amounted to extrajudicial executions.” Citing the UN Committee Against Torture, the report further accuses Israel of “torture or ill-treatment of Palestinian children”, of “deprivation of basic legal safeguards for administrative detainees, isolation and solitary confinement of detainees, including minors, punishment and ill-treatment of hunger strikers.” It also reports that “no criminal investigation was opened into more than 1,000 complaints of torture or ill-treatment filed since 2001.” The agency reaffirms that Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank “has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of a lasting and comprehensive peace.”

2 separate laws for 2 groups of people is apartheid. While Israeli settlers, living illegally in the West Bank, are governed under civilian law, Palestinians are subject to Israeli military law, administered in a court system designed to afford a 99% conviction rate. It is in the context of this injustice that non-violent Palestinian human rights defender, Issa Amro, is facing 18 charges in military court. Issa needs our help. Many of the offences that Issa is accused of are not even considered crimes under international law or even Israeli civilian law. All of Issa’s charges are connected to his non-violent activism to bring about a just end to the Occupation. For this, he is facing years in prison! In 2010 the United Nations declared Issa Human Rights Defender of the Year for Palestine. In 2013 the European Union gave Issa official human rights defender recognition. Amnesty International has called for urgent action, stating that the charges against Issa are politically motivated. Now members of Congress are circulating a letter calling on the State Department to protect Issa. A letter by Representatives Mark Pocan, Keith Ellison, Betty McCullum, and Earl Blumenauer in support of Issa is quickly gaining traction on Capitol Hill.

Zionist regime striving to enforce conformity upon Israeli universities.

Birzeit University ranked in top 3% of world's universities. 12 June 2017 | For the first time in its history, Birzeit University in the central Occupied West Bank district of Ramallah has been included in the QS World University Rankings 2018. From a pool of 26,000 universities worldwide, Birzeit was in the top three per cent – about 950 universities – of the best universities in the world, according to a statement from the university. Birzeit was the only Palestinian university to enter the QS World University Ranking this year. Birzeit University President, Abd al-Latif Abu Hijleh, expressed his pride in the unprecedented achievement, saying “despite the political thwarts imposed by the Israeli Occupation, and the fact that we are facing many obstacles due to our financial crisis, the university will never stop its efforts to empower its academic excellence, develop new programmes, and enhance its educational and research infrastructure.” Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Executive Committee Member and Birzeit University Board of Trustees Member, Hanan Ashrawi, congratulated the university in a statement, saying the achievement “affirms Birzeit University’s distinction in the top echelons of the world’s universities. Such an achievement for the university attests to the efficiency and creativity of the Palestinian people and their national universities,” Ashrawi said.

Last week Israel announced it will be reducing electricity supply in Gaza by 40%! Already at only four hours a day, a further reduction will devastate the population.


The Palestine Yearbook 2015

The genocide the world ignores

by Diana Lodge

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