Palestinian News via Jerusalem Media & Communication Center (JMCC)


Al Quds has learned that a meeting between Hamas and Fatah will be held in Cairo tomorrow behind closed door at the Egyptian general intelligence headquarters, and that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi had directed intelligence officials o continue efforts to help the parties begin the path towards uniting Palestinian ranks. He said that Egypt’s efforts to close the Palestinian rift could be the start of paving the way for a just peace between Palestine and Israel.

A Hamas delegation is expected to travel from Gaza to Cairo this morning via Rafah crossing in tandem with the arrival of a delegation from abroad, headed by Saleh Arouri, deputy politburo chief. According to Hamas leader Mousa Aby Marzouq, the success of the reconciliation and dialogues to be conducted in Cairo depend on President Mahmoud Abbas.

Meanwhile, Hamas leader in Gaza, Yehya Sinwar stressed on the central role played by the other Palestinian factions in carrying out the reconciliation, saying the movement would not go back to the division under any condition. He said this during a consultation meeting with the factions on Hamas’ efforts to address and close all outstanding files while in Cairo.

In Gaza, Hamas’ parliamentary bloc reaffirmed that internal reconciliation was a national duty and a humanitarian necessity, calling for the need to activate all institutions and ministries in both Gaza and the West Bank and to reactivate the PLC in both places as well. The bloc also called for the need to cancel all procedures and decisions that harm the Palestinian people. (Al Quds)


Head of the national relations file in the Hamas’ politburo, Hussam Badran said to Al Ayyam yesterday that the Cairo agreement of 2011 ‘was not open for discussion or modification”, explaining that the parties would discuss ways of implementing the agreement and not reopening it to discussion. Badran said it was ‘too early” to discuss details and the names of the national unity government, but said this government, if formed, would be the right of all factions. (Al Ayyam)


Fatah’s Revolutionary Council reaffirmed the importance of regaining national unity and ensuring the success of the upcoming talks in Cairo so that the national consensus government would be able to practice its duties in Gaza like the West Bank. President Abbas, who opened the session, said that Fatah would go to the Cairo meetings with the utmost level of positivity and cooperation so that there could be one authority, one law, one administration and one weapon in addition to one political program based on the PLO’s platform. The President also confirmed that the ‘course of unity requires some time to be completed”, but said “we know exactly how it started and how it will end.” He said they would not accept any external interventions other than the Egyptians’ mediation and the positive Jordanian role in dealing with our cause. (Al Quds)


According to Israel’s Channel 2, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will approve next week, the construction of 3,829 settlement units in West Bank settlements. The television station said Netanyahu would give the green light to the planning and construction committee to approve a new plan for building these units, which would all be approved in their various stages of construction.  The report said that 30 units would be built in Hebron, the first construction in the city in the past 40 years, 300 in Bet El settlement, 435 in Givat Zeev and other settlements outside of the major settlement blocks. The television station also said Netanyahu had not given any promises to the US administration about freezing settlement construction (Al Quds)


In the Gaza Strip, Israeli tanks fired two artillery shells last night at a monitoring post belonging to the Izzedin Qassam Brigades east of the Breij camp in central Gaza. According to Al Quds correspondent in Gaza, the post was damaged but no injuries were reported. An Israeli military spokesperson said a rocket had been fired from Gaza and fell in an open area without any damages or injuries reported.

In Jerusalem, over 300 settlers broke into the Aqsa Mosque Compound yesterday under tight Israeli army protection. (Al Quds)


The Israeli intelligence agency, the Shabak announced yesterday that it had arrested two Palestinians after they had killed a settler last week. The Palestinians were arrested on October 5 but there was a gag order on the case until now, with the motive behind the settler’s killing remaining unclear. The settler, 70-year old Reuven Shmeirling was killed on Wednesday in a building he owns in the Arab town of Kufr Qassam inside Israel. Media reports said he had been either beaten or stabbed. Shmrerling lived in the Elkana settlement in the West Bank. According to a statement released by the Shabak yesterday, “all the evidence until now indicates that this was a terrorist attack.” The two Palestinians are from Qabatiya. (Al Ayyam)


Israeli occupation authorities decided to close the Ibrahimi Mosque to Muslims and visitors today and tomorrow under the pretext of allowing Jewish settlers to celebrate Sukkot. According to director of the mosque, Hafthi Abu Sneineh, the mosque closed from 10:00 pm last night until Tuesday night and will only be opened to settlers. The Muslim call to prayer will also be banned during this period. All entrances to the mosque will also be closed and strict restrictions will be imposed on Palestinian neighborhoods around the mosque in the old city of Hebron. Meanwhile, 16 Palestinians were arrested yesterday in several parts of the West Bank. (Al Ayyam)


Moroccan MPs protested yesterday inside the parliament over the presence of an Israeli delegation in a conference organized by the Mediterranean Parliamentary Association and the World Trade Organization in the country. The MPs demonstrated inside the conference room after the Israeli delegation showed up, which delayed the conference for some time. The MPs refused to allow the presence of the Israeli parliament, calling it a ‘provocation to the Moroccan people.” MP Abdel Haq Hisan told former Israeli defense minister Amir Peretz inside the conference hall: “You are a war criminal and you must leave Morocco.” He added that he was a “criminal against humanity for killing children and innocents” saying they did not accept his presence there. The Moroccan MPs raised the Palestinian flag, calling for the expulsion of the Israeli delegation. (Al Ayyam)

Later reports said the Israeli delegation had been expelled from the conference and the conference adjourned as a result. (PNN)


The Arab follow-up committee inside the ’48 territories denounced yesterday the incitement campaign being waged on the Arab Dentists’ Association by Israeli media outlets recently. Head of the committee, Mohammed Baraka said the Israeli media machine had used hysteria to spread lies and falsifications during a report broadcast by Channel 20 against dozens of Arab dentists who sang the Palestinian national anthem “Fida’ee” at the end of a course in Colombia instead of Israeli anthem “Hatikva’. According to the committee, Channel 20 showed a clip on its Facebook page of dozens of Arab dentists from inside Israel who were invited to an international conference and were sent by eh state of Israel, refused to sing Hatikva and sang “Fida’ee instead.” During the clip, the channel’s anchor read a translation of Feda’ee in Hebrew in an attempt to insinuate that the words were aggressive and resistance-oriented and that the dentists held aggressive viewpoints. Baraka said that after the showing of the clip, the dentists were open to a smear campaign from several people, including from right wing MKs, even reaching the point of demanding that the Israeli health ministry revoke the dentists’ licensees and fire them from their jobs. Baraka fired back by saying that the dentists were ‘part of their people and could not be expected to sing Hatikva” (Al Hayat Al Jadida)


President of the UNESCO’s executive council Michael Worbs submitted to the council a decision stipulating that the “occupied Palestine” resolution, which includes the “Jerusalem” article would remain on the Council’s agenda and would be discussed again during the 204 session, which will take place at the end of next spring. According to an official Jordanian source, the request incudes requesting a follow up report on the implementation of 12 resolutions by the executive council and eight heritage committee decisions which Israel has refused to implement. The source said that Worbs had also added an addendum to the original resolution on Palestine prepared by Jordan and Palestine. This includes pervious UNESCO resolutions on Jerusalem and occupied Palestine. Worbs is expected to present this resolution to be adopted by a consensus of 58 member states in the executive council by the end of the week. This Arab move at the UNESCO comes in tandem with allegations made in the Israeli daily Haaretz yesterday about the ‘retreat o Arab countries in addition to the PA in presenting a draft resolution to UNESCO’s administrative committee condemning Israel.” the newspaper said this alleged retreat was due to American and western intervention. (Maannews)


Israeli army radio said this morning that Israeli police had recommended from public security minister Gilad Erdan to take the “appropriate” punitive measures against Arab MK Ahmad Tibi for his participation in the Aqsa Mosque events during the ‘electronic gates” crisis last July. The radio station said the police believed that deterrent measures should be taken against Tibi, therefore recommending that Erdan work on this issue given his authorities. The radio station the police could not take any measures against Tibi while he was inside the Aqsa, saying they did not want to do anything that might escalate the security situation which was already tense. The report maintained that at the time that the order preventing members of Knesset from being inside the Aqsa was still in effect. (Alquds)


Prisoner Affairs official in the Gaza Strip, Naser Farawneh called on all relevant ministries and on eh media to take a stand on elderly prisoner Yousef Abul Khayr, 72 and to employ all possible energies for his legal defense and release. The call comes after Israeli occupation forces sentenced Abul Khayr to life in prison 34 years after his release during the 1983 prisoner swap. Farawneh condemned Israeli authorities for re-arresting Abul Khayr who had originally been sentenced to life before the swap. He was re-arrested while going back to Akka last May to visit his family after a forced separation of over 30 years. He explained that Abul Khayr, born in 1945, was arrested at the end of 1969 as part of a freedom fighter cell. He was released in the Fatah-Israel prisoner swap of 1983 after spending 16 years behind Israeli bars. He was then exiled to Libya in 1985 after his Israeli citizenship was revoked from him and he signed a pledge never to return. He went from Libya to Greece, where he settled. A few months ago, he was forced to return to see his family, getting reassurance from his lawyer that he would have no problem returning. He got a visa from the Israeli embassy but when he arrived at Ben Gurion Airport he was arrested while still on the plane and returned to prison. (Maannews)


“Women Wage Peace” organization along with the PLO committee for communication with Israeli society organized a march in Jericho yesterday along the Dead Sea in which around 30,000 Palestinians and Israelis participated under EU sponsorship. The march was organized by a small women’s group that grew into an organization in which thousands of Israeli women are part of and who are demanding a consensual agreement between the Palestinians and Israel in order to end the conflict.

The call for the march was met with strong criticism from Palestinian factions, which called for its boycott. However, the contact committee said the march aimed to infiltrate Israeli society and convey the national Palestinian message to the Israeli public. One women spoke on behalf of President Mahmoud Abbas, asking “until when?” the president said ‘we are still here, with our hands outstretched for a just peace” adding that “we all say, enough occupation, let real peace prevail.”(Maannews)

 Interviews via JMCC

** Walid Assaf, Head of the Commission to resist settlement and the Wall, on revealing a forgery of lands in the Aqraba area worth $ 5 million.

Q: What are the details of this forgery and how was it revealed?

We were following this case for years now, the forgery was made to leak 4700 dunams in Aqraba area, and it was revealed by the Commission after following up the issue at the highest levels, the forgery included establishing companies for purpose of transferring these lands, and finally the whole operation was foiled, but afterwards the issue reached the court and the Israeli side issued fake documents, and w managed to deal with issue in court, and yesterday night 5 million dollars which were detained by the court were finally released, and we are now pursuing those who were involved in the attempt forgery.

Q: So we understood that the operation was foiled and those lands will not be transferred to the occupation.

Yes, this was prevented; the leakage to Israeli companies was foiled.

Q: Do you know the people involved in this attempt, and how will you deal with them?

I talked to the Prime Minister about the issue yesterday and with the Ministry of Finance, and they will be pursued in court.

Q: There are also plans to construct 3829 new settlement units in the different West Bank settlement, how are following up this issue?

Following up this issue is a national duty for all, and the leadership is dealing with this issue is very serious, the President is raising up the issue at every opportunity to face it, we cannot face it alone and follow it alone, but it is a collective responsibility of the whole Palestinian leadership.

** Omar Qawasmeh, Director of Al-Aqsa.

Q: How do you follow up settlers’ raids to Al-Aqsa and performing Talmudic rituals?

We are following these raids with a huge concern and consider them as very serious and dangerous, these are part of the procedures Israel uses to impose a reality on ground in the mosque, trying to turn the conflict from apolitical conflict to a religious one, and we hold the Israeli government fully responsible for these provocations and their results.

Q: How can you face these raids and support presence of citizens in the mosque?

We call everyday for those who can reach the mosque to come and stay there especially during t eh morning where the raids take place in order to thwart all plans of the occupation, and we call again for all citizens who can reach the mosque to join us and face this fierce attack against the mosque.

** Eyad Al-Misk, Director of the legal department at the Commission for Prisoners’ Affairs, on a court session to discuss the release of sick prisoner Sami Abu Diak.

Q: What is the health situation of prisoner Abu Diak?

His situation is very serious this is according to a report by a specialized doctor, the prison administration is even preventing him from meeting his lawyer and performing any further medical checkups, so due to this situation we demanded a court session to discuss his situation and a session was set for 25.10,

Q: But his situation might get worse by this date

Yes, but the occupation is always acting in this way with sick prisoners and this is closest date we could reach, and we hope we will get a final decision by this session.

Q: So are optimistic about the session’s results?

We hope so, but if the results are not according to our demands we will continue approaching the court and will not give up his situation.

Q: What is the situation of other sick prisoners?

We are witnessing serious negligence of the occupation authorities, and Abu Diak is not the only case where the health situation is deteriorating because of this occupation policy, and we are dealing with a number of similar cases, we hope we can achieve positive results with all prisoners facing this policy.

Israel News via Israel News Today

Construction Plans

Yedioth Ahronoth (p. 4) by Yuval Karni and Elisha Ben Kimon -- Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has decided to allow the Civil Administration to approve the construction of more than 3,800 new housing units in the settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria, in isolated settlements and in the Jewish settlement in Hebron.

That decision was made after an agreement in principle was reached with the Americans that Israel would approve large-scale construction in the territories once every three or four months on average, instead of every few weeks. The importance of the agreement is that the American administration no longer draws any distinction between the settlement blocs and the isolated settlements, and that Washington will not condemn Israel for decisions to build in the territories.

Next Tuesday the Civil Administration’s Supreme Planning Committee is scheduled to convene to approve the construction of the thousands of housing units. The council is expected to approve the construction of 300 housing units in Beit El, 206 housing units in Tekoa, 158 units in Kfar Etzion, 129 units in Avnei Hefetz, 102 units in Negohot in the southern Hebron hills, 97 units in Rehelim and 48 units in Maale Michmas. The committee is also expected to approve the construction of 30 housing units in the Jewish settlement in Hebron, where only four buildings have been built in the past 20 years.

During the Obama administration [construction] dried up majorly and we caught condemnations for any construction in the settlements,” said last night Israeli political officials. “After the Trump administration entered office, Israel and the new administration established clear criteria for construction that the Americans wouldn’t object to, such as ending the distinction between the settlement blocs and the isolated settlements. Moreover, it was made clear that the Americans no longer say that the settlements are an obstacle to peace.”

Settler leaders responded cautiously to Netanyahu’s announced decision. “I congratulate the prime minister for his intention to approve construction in the Hebron hills, and we will be glad to congratulate him soon on the implementation of the plan as well,” said Hebron Hills Regional Council Chairman Yohai Damri.

Sources in the Jewish settlement in Hebron said that “approving construction in Hebron is a natural step and an elementary Zionist step when dealing with the murderous and provocative behavior of the Palestinian Authority in Hebron.”

Samaria Regional Council Chairman Yossi Dagan criticized the plan since it failed to include the establishment of a new industrial zone in Samaria and paving extensive bypass roads. “The reports about construction permits prove that there truly is no good news as far as the settlements are concerned, only spins and recycled [material]. Every [housing] unit that is publicized by the Prime Minister’s Bureau gets counted at least five times on the ground,” said Dagan.

A political official said in response: “Dagan is a provocateur who loves protests without taking the bigger picture into account. Our interest is to approve an enormous number of housing units in one shot. Dagan is liable to jeopardize the prime minister’s achievements.”

Zionist Union Faction Chairman Yoel Hasson said: “The government’s decision to build primarily in the isolated settlements endangers our future hold on the settlement blocs. When you link Negohot to the Etzion Bloc, you lose the Etzion Bloc. This is political construction that is unlikely ever to be implemented.”

Israel Hayom (p. 5) adds -- […] Prime Minister Netanyahu met just before the Rosh Hashanah holiday with council leaders in Judea and Samaria and told them that construction plans would be advanced everywhere—within and adjacent to the boundaries of existing settlements, in keeping with an agreement that was reached with the Americans after President Donald Trump was sworn into office. As such, no [American] condemnation of the new construction is anticipated, as has been the case thus far during the Trump era.

However, no plans for new roads and new industrial zones will be advanced.

Israeli Exports to China Surge by 31%

Calcalist (p. 8) by Amir Milman -- The volume of Israeli exports to China in the first eight months of 2017 was USD 2.13 billion, as opposed to USD 1.63 billion in the parallel period of 2016, constituting a 30.6% rise in the volume of exports.

Israeli exports to Israel are comprised primarily (61% in 2016) of machines and electronic components. Economy Ministry officials say that an increase in those exports is the primary reason for the increase in the volume of exports as a whole in 2017. Economy Ministry officials are now trying to drum up exports in the second largest sector of exports—medical equipment and computers, which accounted for 15% of Israeli exports to China.

The Asian market is still the third-largest market for Israeli exports, after the European Union and the United States. The medical equipment market in China is valued at USD 48 billion annually and it has a 20% annual growth rate, while the annual national expenditure on healthcare services in China has grown on average by 12% every year.

Smugglers Fail: Thousands of Military Boots Seized at Entrance to Gaza

Israel Hayom (p. 5) by Lilach Shoval -- The inspectors at the Kerem Shalom crossing stopped for inspection an Israeli truck that was supposed to be carrying a large shipment of “slippers” for use in the Gaza Strip. A Defense Ministry statement said that the inspection revealed an attempt to smuggle thousands of professional-grade military boots, suspected of being intended for the Nukhba, the commando force of the Hamas organization’s military wing, as well as for other forces in the Gaza Strip.

The military boots were hidden in down and fur shoes, which were sewn on top of them. When the security inspectors tore open the ostensibly innocent slippers that bore emoji icons, they found professional-grade military boots inside in a range of colors—black, brown, and desert and jungle camouflage.

The truck and all its contents were confiscated and handed over to the special team dedicated to the fight against smuggling.