Palestinian News via Jerusalem Media & Communication Center (JMCC)
NEW DIPLOMATIC SETBACK FOR ISRAEL: INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS ON COMPANIES WORKING IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
The Israeli foreign ministry received what it called a ‘blacklist” from the UN Human Rights Council listing the names of American and Israeli companies working in the occupied Palestinian territories, which is being considered a new diplomatic setback for Israel in the international arena. According to a report published by Israel’s Channel 2, international sanctions will be imposed on a number of companies that operate in the occupied West Bank and Syrian Golan Heights after Israel and the United sanctions will also be imposed on American companies working in these areas, such as TripAdvisor, AirBNB and Caterpillar. Channel 2 quoted Israeli government officials saying that “the publication of this list means the UN has joined the BDS campaign and is just like them.” Previously, US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley warned that if the blacklist was released, the US would cut American funding to the Human Rights Council. Nonetheless, head of the council in his session, Jordanian Prince Zeid Bin Raad Hussein says he will publish the list in December. (Al Ayyam)
ISRAEL ENACTS PENAL LAW AGAINST INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
According to the newspaper “Israel Today”, Amnesty International’s Israel branch, which launched an international campaign to boycott settlement products will have ‘the honor’ of being the first organization on which the boycott law is implemented against. Israeli finance minister, Moshe Kahlon decided to enact this law for the first time since it was passed in the Knesset in July, 2011 against Amnesty after Israel Today ran the story of the boycott campaign. This means that anyone who donates to Amnesty in Israel will not get a tax cut for donations, which will inevitably have an effect on the amount of donations it receives.
In the next few days, Amnesty representatives in Israel will be brought in for questioning by the finance minister and after that, he will make his final decision. AI can also file law suits demanding compensation. In response to the report, Amnesty in Israel said “they do not comment on rumors or leaks”, adding that for ‘such an important legal issue as this, we expect the ministry to send us an official letter according to followed procedures and then we can send back our response.” (Al Quds)
EGYPT PRESENTS COMPREHENSIVE PLAN INCLUDING ACHIEVING RECONCILIATION, A PRISONER SWAP, LONG-TERM CALM AND LIFTING THE SIEGE OFF GAZA
Senior Palestinian sources revealed yesterday that the Egyptian leadership was moving towards formulating a plan on the Palestinian situation that would include putting pressure on Fatah and Hamas to achieve reconciliation and consensus over forming a national unity government and holding general elections and also closing the division file. This would be done in tandem with other files pertaining to the relationship with the occupation, whether regarding the situation in Gaza or the possibility of reaching a political solution in the region. According to the sources, Egypt is looking to take on a bigger role through putting more pressure on all Palestinian rival parties to end the division.
According to the sources, Hamas politburo met in Cairo to take decisive decisions on the reconciliation file, followed by another meeting between Egyptian intelligence head Khaled Fawzi and Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh with others, including Mousa Abu Marzouq. During the meeting, the Hamas members informed the Egyptians that they were willing to dissolve the administrative committee and start a serious dialogue with Fatah under Egyptian sponsorship.
The sources continued that the meeting also discussed several other issues such as a prisoner swap, the Rafah Crossing, lifting the siege off Gaza and reaching a long-term truce with Israel. They also talked about Hamas supporting any future political settlement that guarantees the rights of the Palestinian people. The sources said Egypt put a lot of pressure on Hamas to take decisions without putting conditions and in order to allow for the opportunity to invite Fatah to Cairo to discuss reconciliation and reaching an agreement with Hamas. After this initial meeting, all Palestinian factions will be invited to a broader meeting.
The sources said Egypt was interested in activating an agreement for a ceasefire between Palestinian factions and Israel, which was supposed to be reached after the ceasefire of 2014. This paper includes a lifting of the siege off Gaza through opening crossings and facilitating movement of people. (Al Quds)
AL AHMAD HEADS TO CAIRO SOON TO FOLLOW UP ON RECONCILIATION EFFORTS
Fatah central committee member Azzam al Ahmad welcomed yesterday the continued efforts of Egypt towards ending the division and implementing the reconciliation agreement. In a statement yesterday, the announced that he would be heading to Cairo in the next few days to meet with the Egyptian leadership to follow up ‘efforts to end the division.” Still, he maintained that Hamas’ announcement that it was willing to dissolve the administrative committee and allow the consensus government to work in Gaza and hold general elections was ‘a repetition of several other statements” saying the key was to actually dissolve the committee right away. (Al Ayyam)
FATAH CENTRAL COMMITTEE DISCUSSES PALESTINIAN MOVE AT UN
Fatah’s Central Committee under President Mahmoud Abbas met yesterday to discuss several issues, including the Palestinian move at the UN and Abbas’ speech to the General Assembly. It also discussed aspects of the relationship with the US and the upcoming meeting between Presidents Abbas and Trump in New York. The committee also addressed the efforts being made to end the crisis resultant from Hamas’ positions and policies in Gaza, commending Egypt for its efforts to end the division and regain national unity. (https://www.maannews.net/Content.aspx?id=922193)
JORDAN CONDEMNS AND DEMANDS ISRAEL’S IMMEDIATE REPUDIATION OF DECISION TO CLSOE AL RAHMAH BUILDING IN AL AQSA
Jordan yesterday called on Israel to immediate renege on its decision to close the Rahmah Building in Al Aqsa Mosque compound. Jordanian state minister for media affairs and government spokesperson Mohammed Momani said the government ‘condemns in the strongest possible terms” the Israeli decision to close the Bab Al Rahma building and calls for its immediate retreat from this decision. Momani confirmed that the Israeli judiciary has no jurisdiction in East Jerusalem or over its holy sites since it is under occupation. (Al Quds)
THE GOVERNMENT CONDEMNS ISRAEL’S CAMPAIGN TO CHANGE UNRWA MANDATE
The Palestinian cabinet yesterday condemned the vicious campaign of the Israeli government to change the mandate granted to UNRWA, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for dismantling and merging some of its parts with the UN High Commission for Refugee Affairs. The cabinet stressed during its weekly meeting that the leadership and PLO’s role is fixed and principled towards the refugee cause and adheres to the implementation of UN Resolution 194, thus rejecting any form of settlement for them. The cabinet confirmed the need for UNRWA to continue providing services to the Palestinian refugees according to its UN mandate. (Al Quds)
ISRAELI APPELLATE COURT CANCELS RESIDENCY PERMIT FOR PALESITNIAN CITIZEN
The Israeli appellate court for the law of entry into Israel approved the verdict of Israeli interior minister Arieh Dari to cancel the residency permit (family reunification) of Palestinian citizen Bassam Allan, whose wife is a Jerusalem resident. The interior minister canceled Allan’s residency following the attack by Fadi Qunbar in January, 2017 after which he cancelled the permanent residency of his wife Manwa and his mother in addition to the family reunification permits of 10 other family members, including minors. (Al Quds)
THE PA INFORMS ISRAEL OF ITS REJECTION OF SEPARATING FOUR VILLAGES INRAMALLAH AND PUTTING THEM ADMINSTRATIVELY WITHIN JERUSALEM
Palestinian spokesperson for civil affairs Walid Wahdan said yesterday that the PA had officially informed Israel of its rejection of plans to separate four villages from the Ramallah district and put them administratively within Jerusalem. The four villages in question are: Beit Liqya, Beit Sira, Tira and Kharbathat Misbah, whereby its residents would now have to do all their paperwork in Al Ram, north of Jerusalem. Israel has not officially commented on this move. (Al Quds)
ARAB FOREIGN MINISTERS MANDATAE ABUL GHEITH TO FORM MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE TO CONFRONT ISRAEL’S NOMINATION FOR A SECURITY COUNCIL SEAT
Arab foreign ministers yesterday mandated the Arab League Secretary General Ahmad Abul Gheith to carry out the necessary discussions with member states to form a ministerial committee aimed at blocking Israel’s nomination for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council in 2019-2020. The foreign ministers, in their closing resolutions called on the Security Council to implement all resolutions pertaining to the Palestinian cause, among other demands. (Al Quds)
CHILD ARRESTED ON CLAIMS OF FINDING A KNIFE IN HIS POSSESSION; LAND LEVELED WEST OF SALFEET; COWS CONFISCATED IN JORDAN VALLEY
Israeli border guards yesterday arrested a 15-year old boy on claims of finding a knife in his possession in Hebron. According to an Israeli military spokesperson, the boy arrived at the military checkpoint near the Ibrahimi Mosque and raised suspicions among the soldiers there. After searching him, they said they found a knife.
Meanwhile, in Zawiyeh west of Salfeet, Israeli occupation forces leveled land located behind the separation wall without informing its owners. In the Jordan Valley, Israeli forces confiscated a number of cows and water tanks. (Al Quds)
RUJUB DENIES RUMORS ABOUT DISSOLVING THE PALESITNIAN PRISONERS’ CLUB
Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rujub denied last night rumors about the dissolution of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club. Rujub confirmed that the club, which was established by Fatah, would continue to offer its services to all prisoners in Israeli jails and freed prisoners after they are released. He also reiterated that Fatah, under President Abbas, has and will continue to assume the prisoner file and give it utmost importance. (Al Ayyam)
JERUSALEM: OCCUPATION FORCES DELIVER NEW DEMOLITION ORDERS FOR HOMES IN ESSAWIYEH AND POSPTONE DEMOLITION OF BUILDING IN SILWAN
Israeli Jerusalem municipality teams delivered demolition orders for homes in Essawiyeh while the Abu Farha family in Silwan was able to postpone the demolition order for their building for five days. According to Mohammed Abul Hummus, member of the follow up committee in Essawiyeh, municipality teams along with Israeli police raided the village and began hanging up order to halt work under the pretext that they did not have a building permit. Abul Hummus also said the teams photographed several other buildings and homes.
Meanwhile, the Abu Farha family’s lawyer was able to obtain a stay on the demolition order for their building for five days. During this time a hearing will be held in which he will request a postponement of the demolition (Al Ayyam)
NETANYAHU CLAIMS: THE WEST BANK IS PART OF ISRAEL AND THE TWO-STATE SOLUTION FOR TWO PEOPLES IS A DEAD END
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday confirmed that the West Bank was ‘like any other area within the state of Israel” and that its residents had a right to live in it. Netanyahu made his statements during a televised addressed to the Israeli National Union party which yesterday discussed a plan to expel Palestinians from inside the Green Line and outside of it in exchange for financial compensation. In the same context, Netanyahu claimed that the two-state solution for two peoples was a ‘dead end” and that the alternative was reaching a final solution that says the area west of the Jordan River was a pure Jewish right. (Al Ayyam)
PALESTINIAN SECURITY FORCES KILL WANTED MAN AND INJURE TWO OTHERS DURING CLASHES IN YATTA
A wanted man was killed and two others wounded including a security member, during an armed confrontation in Yatta, south of Hebron early this morning. A security source in Hebron said that at 3:00 a.m., a car carrying a suspicious person started firing in the air in the city. Security forces took action and when they caught up with the car (a cab) the suspect opened fire at the security forces, injuring one. The forces responded by firing at the car, killing the wanted man and wounding another. The deceased man was identified as 34-year old Abdel Jalil Obeid. One other man in the car was arrested. The security forces said the car was searched and ammunition, drugs and alcohol were found inside. They also said that Obeid had a warrant for arrest and six-month imprisonment for several charges including opening fire, vigilantism and arms and drugs sales. (https://www.maannews.net/Content.aspx?id=922205)
UNCTAD: THE OCCUPATION IS WEAKENING THE ABILITY OF THE PALESTINIAN ECONOMY
An UNCTAD report on the Palestinian economy said the Israeli occupation has weakened the agricultural and industrial sectors and therefore has weakened the ability of the economy in the Palestinian territories to compete inside and abroad. The report sheds light on the spike in unemployment rates among youth between the age of 15 and 29, the impact of settlement growth and the continued crisis in Gaza. The report also said the Palestinian economy received another blow, which was the drop in assistance from donor parties by 38% between 2014 and 2016. (https://www.maannews.net/Content.aspx?id=922198)
AMERICAN-ISRAELI CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT PALESTINE FROM GAINING FULL MEMBERSHIP IN THE WORLD TOURISM ORGANIZATION
Israeli media sources said this morning that Israel and its allies at the UN, first and foremost the United States, had launched an international campaign to prevent Palestine from obtaining full membership in the World Tourism Organization. According to Israel’s Channel 7, the Palestinians were continuing moves to gain entry into international organizations and develop their status and membership at the international level as a full member state, which Israel and the US are opposed to. Hence, they have begun deliberations with various countries to block Palestine from gaining full membership in the WTO. According to the sources, the PA put in a request to raise the status of its representation in the organization a few days ago, adding that officials in the Israeli foreign ministry expect that the American-Israeli efforts would fail and that Palestine will become a full member in this organization. (http://pnn.ps/news/257654)
States failed to derail the resolution. According to the Israeli foreign ministry, the Israeli companies that will be affected are: Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Teva, Bezeq, Bezeq Ben Leumi, Elbeit Marchot, Coca Cola, Africa-Israel, IDP, Eged, Mekeorot, Naftim and others. These are considered the biggest Israeli companies and the most profitable.
Israel News via Israel News Today
Lieberman and Kahlon’s Dilemma
Yedioth Ahronoth (p. 4) by Yuval Karni -- Despite the dramatic ruling by the High Court of Justice, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman refrained from commenting.
Lieberman fought in recent years for Haredi enlistment and was not afraid to clash with rabbis, party leaders and the Haredi public and even promised, in the last election campaign, to pass an “enlistment or national service for everyone” law. Now, as defense minister, he must decide whether to stick to this or be forthcoming toward the Haredim in order to keep the government intact.
Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid yesterday called on Lieberman to stand by the court’s ruling and dismantle the government if it did not implement it.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon also faces a dilemma: will he be the Supreme Court’s gatekeeper in a government that is trying to weaken the High Court of Justice? The voices of those in the Likud who are calling to help the Haredim pass an override clause to prevent the law from being canceled have been increasing. In the past, Kahlon said: “I will not let the court be harmed” and now he will have to choose whether he is with Lapid and will veto an attempt to cancel the ruling of the High Court of Justice. One of Kahlon’s close associates said yesterday: “Kahlon grew up in Begin’s Likud, which guarded the Supreme Court and the values of democracy; this is not Netanyahu’s Likud.”
Jerusalem Municipality Halts Panel on Women Since Speaker had Worked for B’Tselem
Yedioth Ahronoth (p. 20) by Yael Freidson -- Why did the Jerusalem municipality cancel a panel discussion entitled “Influential Women in Decision-Making Positions”? Because one of the participants served in the past as the spokesperson for B’Tselem.
The festive event was supposed to be held last night, marking Deputy Mayor Hagit Moshe’s assumption of the post of chairwoman of the municipality’s Committee for the Advancement of Women’s Status. Among the invited participants were Justice Ministry Director General Emi Palmor, Director of Assaf Harofeh Hospital Dr. Osnat Levtzion-Korach, and attorney Nisreen Alyan of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).
At the last moment, the municipality announced that the event was canceled due to “health reasons.” However, the real reason was an objection raised by the committee chairwoman, Hagit Moshe, to Alyan’s participation in the event, since she had served in the past as the B’Tselem spokesperson.
Moshe, who is a member of Mayor Nir Barkat’s “Jerusalem Will Succeed” faction, said last night to Yedioth Ahronoth: “We didn’t properly vet the speakers at the event. When it became apparent that there was a representative who had worked for B’Tselem I decided to cancel her participation. B’Tselem is an unacceptable organization in my opinion. To the extent that it depends on me, I will not permit its representatives to have a platform. It is unthinkable that someone who doesn’t care about IDF soldiers and defames them will be given a platform at a municipal committee.”
The fact that Alyan currently works for ACRI did not change her position: “What does that matter? She harmed Israeli soldiers in the past, and as far as I am concerned she is disqualified. We will hold another [session of the] committee at another date with other speakers.” In other words: The current event has been canceled.
Alyan said that she viewed with severity the cancellation of the event due to her participation: “I worked in a human rights organization in Israel to promote civil society rights in a completely democratic framework, and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s regrettable that a political opinion dictates the agenda of the Committee for the Advancement of Women’s Status. This is another example of the persecution of civil society organizations. Regrettably, this has become a prevalent phenomenon.” The Jerusalem municipality stated: “The municipality will reschedule the committee [session]. As for the agenda, this is under the purview of the committee chairwoman.”