71st anniversary of the Nakba focus of dailies

RAMALLAH, Palestinian events marking the 71st anniversary of the 1948 Nakba, a term used to describe the tragedy Israel’s establishment has caused for Palestine’s indigenous people, dominated the front page headlines in Wednesday’s issue of the three Palestinian Arabic dailies.

Al-Quds said that Palestinians kick-started the events marking the 71st anniversary of the Nakba with the central event to be held in the West Bank city of Ramallah today.

Al-Ayyam said that on the 71st anniversary of the Nakba, the Palestinian people affirms its adherence to its rights and absolute rejection of the so-called deal of the century.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida said in this regard that the Palestinian refugees express their unwavering determination to return to their homes from which their families were expelled during the founding of Israel in 1948.

On the other hand, al-Ayyam opted to highlight the acts of sabotage against Saudi oil facilities in its main front page item.

Al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida said that President Mahmoud Abbas condemns the terrorist attack against the Saudi oil pipeline booster stations.

According to al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida, the European Union (EU) and Ireland made a contribution of over Euros 20 million to the Palestinian Authority payment of social allowances to vulnerable families in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Al-Ayyam said that the EU has reiterated its rejection to the so-called deal of the century, which is much touted by US President Donald Trump as a solution to the Palestinian question, and awaits an Israeli response on the Palestinian tax revenues.

Additionally, Chairman of the Qatari Committee for Gaza Reconstruction Muhammad al-Emadi was reported in al-Quds and al-Ayyam unveiling new steps on the improvement of the humanitarian situation in the besieged Gaza Strip and the fate of the ceasefire.

Focusing on Jerusalem, the dailies said that Israeli settler groups, known as ‘Temple Mount’ groups, have threatened to carry out an en mass intrusion into Al-Aqsa Mosque on the 28th of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Al-Quds said that Israeli police forced Palestinian Muslim worshippers barricading themselves inside the mosque compound to evacuate the holy site for the fourth consecutive day.

Al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida said that police set up barricades at Damascus Gate, also known as Bab al-Amud, restricting Palestinians’ free movement to the Old City of Jerusalem.

It added that scores of dunums of Palestinain land planted with crops in the Jordan Valley were burned as a result of Israeli military drills in the area.

Al-Quds highlighted an Associated Press report indicating that the rate of Israeli settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories has doubled since US President Donald Trump assumed office.

Al-Quds and al-Ayyam spotlighted Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now report showing that almost 20,000 new settler units were built in the West Bank settlements during the decade of Benjamin Netanyahu as Israel’s Prime Minister (2009-2018).

Al-Ayyam said that said that Palestinian musicians in Gaza staged a concert in the rubble of a residential building destroyed in the recent Israeli airstrikes, voicing opposition to the Eurovision taking place in Israel.

Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh was reported in al-Hayat al-Jadida stating the that government would employ its energies to hold elections should a national consensus be reached.

Secretary-General of the PLO’s Executive Committee Saeb Erekat slamming Israeli actions and the US administration’s decisions are the antithesis of the peace requirements.

Globally, al-Quds and al-Ayyam said that WhatsApp called on users to update the application following a global hack caused by a code developed by NSO Group, an Israeli spyware whose software was linked to Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency

Dozens of Palestinians were injured by live bullets fired by Israeli soldiers in Gaza

GAZA, Over 60 Palestinians were shot and injured by live ammunition fired by Israeli soldiers at protesters on the Gaza side of their common borders.

Thousands of Palestinians marched to the border to mark the 71st anniversary of the Nakba (catastrophe) and to demand their right of return to the homes their families were forced to leave in 1948 when Israel was created.

Israeli soldiers, whose presence at the border was beefed up in anticipation of the anniversary protests, opened fire at the Palestinians injuring 62 people, two were declared by hospitals as in serious condition. Two medics were among the injured.

Source: Palestinian News and Info Agency

Foreign Minister submits indictment charges against US to ICC

THE HAGUE, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad Malki submitted today to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague an indictment list for legal action against the United States for moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in clear violation of international law and United Nations resolutions.

Malki said in a statement, One year after the (US President Donald) Trump administration carried out its provocative and illegal action, the State of Palestine continues to seek justice and accountability through the tools and mechanisms available to law-abiding and respecting States within the international system. The State of Palestine will continue to employ all available legal and diplomatic tools to defend the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people against all illegal acts of aggression and shall not surrender to political bullying and extortion.

Maliki stressed that the submission of this indictment list to the Prosecutor of the ICC comes as a continuation of the proceedings initiated by the State of Palestine since 29 September 2018 when it filed an application to initiate action against the United States of America. The court, as a result, set 15 May 2019 as the date to submit these pleadings by the State of Palestine and 15 November 2019 by the US.

The Foreign Minister stressed that the State of Palestine had based its case before the main judicial body of the United Nations on the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations on the Settlement of Disputes, which it acceded to on 22 March 2018, and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which it acceded to on 4 April 2014.

This move is an exercise by the State of Palestine of its sovereign right as a member state of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and other relevant conventions, which is another legal right that Palestine exercises to defend its rights and interests against illegal actions by the United States, to protect the city of Jerusalem, and to reject all illegal and unilateral measures practiced by the current US administration, said Malki.

The Foreign Minister also added: Today also marks the seventy-first anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe). On this solemn day, the Palestinian leadership reaffirms its commitment to achieving justice and securing redress for decades of injustice and brutality exercised against the Palestinian people. Seventy one years ago, the majority of the Palestinian people were uprooted and dispossessed, condemned to a status of misery and alienation. And while the manifestations of Nakba continue the malign intent of the Nakba of erasing the Palestinian identity and denying the Palestinian people’s natural and political rights has been defeated. The Palestinian people stand tall and proud, supported by the overwhelming majority of the world in their just and noble cause for freedom and return. Today, the Question of Palestine daunts the international rights-based order, serving as a litmus test to the very principles of equality and universality on which it was founded. On the solemn anniversary of the Nakba, the State of Palestine reaffirms its commitment to achieving justice, freedom, and return and expresses its sincere gratitude to all peoples of conscience and advocates of peace who continue to challenge the system and policies of brutality, injustice, and oppression against the Palestinian people.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency

Foreign Minister submits indictment charges against US to ICC

THE HAGUE, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad Malki submitted today to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague an indictment list for legal action against the United States for moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in clear violation of international law and United Nations resolutions.

Malki said in a statement, One year after the (US President Donald) Trump administration carried out its provocative and illegal action, the State of Palestine continues to seek justice and accountability through the tools and mechanisms available to law-abiding and respecting States within the international system. The State of Palestine will continue to employ all available legal and diplomatic tools to defend the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people against all illegal acts of aggression and shall not surrender to political bullying and extortion.

Maliki stressed that the submission of this indictment list to the Prosecutor of the ICC comes as a continuation of the proceedings initiated by the State of Palestine since 29 September 2018 when it filed an application to initiate action against the United States of America. The court, as a result, set 15 May 2019 as the date to submit these pleadings by the State of Palestine and 15 November 2019 by the US.

The Foreign Minister stressed that the State of Palestine had based its case before the main judicial body of the United Nations on the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations on the Settlement of Disputes, which it acceded to on 22 March 2018, and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which it acceded to on 4 April 2014.

This move is an exercise by the State of Palestine of its sovereign right as a member state of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and other relevant conventions, which is another legal right that Palestine exercises to defend its rights and interests against illegal actions by the United States, to protect the city of Jerusalem, and to reject all illegal and unilateral measures practiced by the current US administration, said Malki.

The Foreign Minister also added: Today also marks the seventy-first anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe). On this solemn day, the Palestinian leadership reaffirms its commitment to achieving justice and securing redress for decades of injustice and brutality exercised against the Palestinian people. Seventy one years ago, the majority of the Palestinian people were uprooted and dispossessed, condemned to a status of misery and alienation. And while the manifestations of Nakba continue the malign intent of the Nakba of erasing the Palestinian identity and denying the Palestinian people’s natural and political rights has been defeated. The Palestinian people stand tall and proud, supported by the overwhelming majority of the world in their just and noble cause for freedom and return. Today, the Question of Palestine daunts the international rights-based order, serving as a litmus test to the very principles of equality and universality on which it was founded. On the solemn anniversary of the Nakba, the State of Palestine reaffirms its commitment to achieving justice, freedom, and return and expresses its sincere gratitude to all peoples of conscience and advocates of peace who continue to challenge the system and policies of brutality, injustice, and oppression against the Palestinian people.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency

Prime Minister says coming three months may be the most difficult

RAMALLAH, Faced with the possibility of the United States announcing its so-called deal of the century in June which Palestinians fear aims at undercutting their decades-long fight for freedom and independence while an internal division is harming Palestinian capability to confront it, and a crippling money shortage due to Israel’s persistence to deduct millions of dollars from the Palestinian tax revenues, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said last night that the next three months are going to be among the most difficult ones for the Palestinians.

Speaking at an Iftar, the fast breaking meal in Ramadan, Shtayyeh called for unity among the Palestinians to face the challenges ahead.

He accused Israel of waging a war of geography by seizing Palestinian land to build Jewish settlements, a war of demography by displacing Palestinians and a financial war with the United States playing a big role in it in order to coerce the Palestinians to accept what he described as the deal of shame, in reference to the American so-called deal of the century, which he insisted will never happen.

In the Palestinian cabinet meeting yesterday, Shtayyeh urged countries that believe in the two-state solution to respond to the Israeli threats of annexing parts of the West Bank by recognizing the State of Palestine on the borders of June 4, 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital and the right of return for refugees.

He also called on the European countries and the World Bank to send investigation teams to examine the Israeli deductions of the Palestinian tax funds, stressing that most of the deductions are unfair, unaudited and carried out without any transparency.

Source: Palestinian News and Info Agency

EU provides over Euros 20 million for vulnerable families in Palestine

JERUSALEM, The European Union (EU) and Ireland made a contribution of over Euros 20 million to the Palestinian Authority payment of social allowances to vulnerable families in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to an EU press release.

The contribution will go through the Ministry of Social Development’s Cash Transfer Program responsible for the provision of basic social protection to the most vulnerable families in the West Bank and Gaza. The social allowances are paid on a quarterly basis to some 108,000 vulnerable families.

The EU’s contribution of Euros 20 million and Ireland’s Euros 275,000 will cover the social allowances of around 76,700 families of which 77% live in the Gaza Strip, according to the press release.

Jonathan Conlon, Representative of Ireland, said at this occasion that “Support for the Palestinian Authority (PA) Ministry of Social Development Cash Transfer Program is a part of Ireland’s ongoing efforts to improve life for the most vulnerable in Gaza. As has long been recognized, the closure of the Gaza Strip has created an untenable situation and the people of Gaza deserve better. Through our programming and our political dialogues, Ireland seeks to offer hope to people living there and to bring about a sustainable improvement in living conditions.”

Tomas Niklasson, Deputy European Union Representative, said that the “EU and Member States remain committed to supporting Palestinians in accessing basic needs to guarantee a fair and dignified life for every Palestinian family. Following the financial crisis faced by the PA, this is the very much awaited first contribution in 2019. A protected and empowered Palestinian society is a key element in building the future Palestinian State.”

Source: Palestinian News and Info Agency