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Palestinian official urges EU to take measures against Israel’s annexation plan

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Secretary General of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Saeb Erekat called on the European Union (EU) on Friday to take tangible measures against Israel’s annexation plan.

Erekat, who met earlier on Friday with the heads of the EU diplomatic mission in Palestine, said in a press statement that the EU has clearly declared positions of sticking to the vision of the two-state solution.

He said that he discussed with the European officials the decisions of the Palestinian leadership, as President Mahmoud Abbas declared on Tuesday the end of all the reached agreements and understandings with Israel.

On Tuesday, Abbas announced the abolition of all the agreements and understandings reached with Israel and the United States.

(XINHUA)

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Palestine urges ICC to investigate Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem

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Palestine on Tuesday urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an official investigation into Israel’s demolition of homes of Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

Palestinian Foreign Ministry said that Israeli authorities are demolishing homes and private constructions in East Jerusalem as part of its plan to expand its own settlements in the city.

“Israel is fighting the existence of the Palestinians in Jerusalem in order to consolidate the presence of Jewish settlers and change the characters of the holy city by force,” said the ministry in a statement.

“Demolitions may be considered as war crimes under international law and the Geneva Convention, as well as being a flagrant violation of UN resolutions that state that East Jerusalem is an inseparable part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967,” added the statement.

According to Israeli and Palestinian sources, Israel demolished six commercial shops under construction and a house belonging to a family of seven members in East Jerusalem, citing a lack of licensing that is extremely difficult to obtain for Palestinians.

Israeli authorities ordered the demolition of 27 residential and non-residential structures in East Jerusalem during the first quarter of 2020, according to UN figures.

(XINHUA)

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News Analysis: Political ties between Palestine, Israel hard to be disengaged despite Palestinian abolition of bilateral agreements

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The political ties between Israel and Palestine are difficult to be disengaged although the Palestinians announced the abolition of all the agreements reached with Israel in response to Israeli annexation plan, said Palestinian political analysts.

Nabil Amro, a former Palestinian diplomat, said that “the absence of a political track to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has turned the relationship between the two sides to be so hard to get disengaged.”

“The transitional Oslo Accords had established a de facto status during the past 25 years, which included administrative and economic ties and daily life coordination that it is hard to skip nowadays,” said Amro.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced two weeks ago that the state of Palestine and the Palestine Liberation Organization are not bound to all the bilateral agreements that had been reached with the governments of Israel and the United States.

A few days later, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Ishtaye announced that the Palestinian side began to implement the leadership’s decision on the ground and has stopped coordination with Israel on all levels, including security cooperation.

The Palestinian decision was made in response to an Israeli government plan of annexing the Jordan Valley and imposing Israeli sovereignty on Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which is expected to come into effect on July.

However, some local Palestinian political analysts told Xinhua in separate remarks that the practical implementation of the Palestinian decision of ending all the agreements with Israel is very complicated in regards to the nature of entanglement in the ties between the two sides over the past two decades.

Hani al-Masri, director of Masarat Center for Researches and Studies in Ramallah, said that “the intertwining relationship between Israel and Palestine is very big and large, and both sides’ interests are linked. Therefore, it will be so hard to overcome the existing agreements.”

“Implementing the decision of ending all the agreements with Israel is a hard disengagement and needs a long process that must start with gradual steps until reaching the level of the abolition of all agreements and understandings,” said al-Masri.

He suggested that the Palestinian side can put a multi-stage plan to make a gradual disengagement from all agreements and understandings reached with Israel.

“Then, the Palestinians can reach a stage of changing facts on the ground and reach the goal of ending the Israeli occupation,” al-Masri added.

Peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians had stopped in 2014, nine months after it had been sponsored by the United States without achieving any breakthrough to resolve the conflict which has been going on for so many decades.

United States President Donald Trump‘s controversial peace plan, known as the Deal of the Century, made it more complicated for both sides to resume their peace talks after the Palestinians slammed the United States plan and rejected it.

While Israel insists on annexing around 30 percent of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley and several Israeli settlements, the Palestinians said that this plan means that Israel on purpose is undermining the vision of the two-state solution.

(XINHUA)

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Palestine accuses Israel of paralyzing industrial zone for Palestinians in East Jerusalem

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Palestine on Monday accused Israel of attempting to take over the only industrial zone for Palestinians in East Jerusalem, after Israeli authorities ordered the demolition and eviction of nearly 200 private establishments in the area.

The Israeli authorities’ demolition orders in Wadi al-Joz neighborhood of East Jerusalem will paralyze the only area where Palestinians own car repair workshops and commercial enterprises, said the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.

“At the same time, Israeli authorities upscale the construction of industrial zones for settlers, as part of its colonial scheme to Judaize the city,” said the statement.

Palestinians want the eastern part of Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel in 1967, as the capital of their future state, while Israel insists that the city is its undivided capital.

(XINHUA)

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Palestinian woman makes ice cream rolls at shop

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Palestinian woman Fatima Al-Zatma makes ice cream rolls at her ice cream shop in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, May 31, 2020. (Photo by Khaled Omar/Xinhua)

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Israeli defense minister apologizes over Palestinian’s death

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Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz apologized on Sunday for Israeli police’s shooting to death an unarmed, autistic Palestinian man in East Jerusalem on Saturday.

Gantz, who is also the leader of the centrist Blue and White party and Israel’s “alternate” prime minister under a unity government deal, made the remark during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

Video footage showed him seating alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who made no remarks related to the deadly shooting.

“We are really sorry about the incident in which Iyad Halak was shot dead and we share in the family’s grief,” Gantz said, adding that “this matter will be investigated quickly and conclusions will be reached.”

The incident took place near the Lions’ Gate in East Jerusalem‘s Old City.

The police issued a statement, saying that Halak carried “a suspicious object that looked like a pistol.” Police officers on patrol “called upon him to stop and begun to chase after him on foot, during which they also opened fire at him.”

The object was Halak’s mobile phone, according to the Hebrew-language Ha’aretz newspaper.

Halak, 32, lived in the neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz in East Jerusalem. His family said that Halak, diagnosed with autism, was on his way to an institution for people with special needs when the incident happened.

His funeral is scheduled to take place later on Sunday.

Following the shooting, police officers involved were questioned by the Department of Internal Police Investigation.

Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said in a statement that a gag order has been issued on the incident, banning the publishing of information on the identity of the policemen involved and further details of the case.

Palestinian and Israeli human rights groups condemned the shooting. On Saturday night, dozens of Israelis and Palestinians rallied in Jerusalem in a joint call against police violence.

(XINHUA)

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Palestinians condemn Israel for killing mentally disabled Palestinian

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The Palestinians condemned on Saturday the Israeli police for killing a mentally disabled Palestinian man in East Jerusalem.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party said in a press statement that it holds Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fully responsible for the killing of the disabled Palestinian man in East Jerusalem.

“It is a real crime in the first place and those who committed it must be brought to justice, and be convicted by the International Criminal Court,” said the statement.

In the Gaza Strip, Hamas‘ spokesman Hazem Qassem said in a press statement that the killing of the disabled Palestinian was committed in “cold blood.”

“These crimes against humanity will remain the fuel for the revolution of the Palestinian people, who will carry on with their struggle until the liberation of their occupied land,” said Qassem.

Earlier in the day, an Israeli police force shot dead a Palestinian man with “special needs” in the Old City of East Jerusalem after suspecting he was carrying an “object that looked like a pistol,” according to a police statement.

However, Israel Radio reported that the killed Palestinian man, identified as 32-year-old Iyad Hallak, was unarmed and mentally disabled.

(XINHUA)

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Palestinians condemn Israel for killing mentally disabled Palestinian man

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The Palestinians condemned on Saturday the Israeli police for killing a mentally disabled Palestinian man in East Jerusalem.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party said in a press statement that it holds Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fully responsible for the killing of the disabled Palestinian man in East Jerusalem.

“It is a real crime in the first place and those who committed it must be brought to justice, and be convicted by the International Criminal Court,” said the statement.

In the Gaza Strip, Hamas‘ spokesman Hazem Qassem said in a press statement that the killing of the disabled Palestinian was committed in “cold blood.”

“These crimes against humanity will remain the fuel for the revolution of the Palestinian people, who will carry on with their struggle until the liberation of their occupied land,” said Qassem.

Earlier in the day, an Israeli police force shot dead a Palestinian man with “special needs” in the Old City of East Jerusalem after suspecting he was carrying an “object that looked like a pistol,” according to a police statement.

However, Israel Radio reported that the killed Palestinian man, identified as 32-year-old Iyad Hallak, was unarmed and mentally disabled.

(XINHUA)

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Israeli police shoot dead suspicious Palestinian in Jerusalem

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A Palestinian man, spotted with a suspicious object in the Old City of Jerusalem, was shot dead during a police chase, the Israeli police said Saturday.

The incident occurred in the area of the Lions’ Gate in the eastern part of the Old City walls.

The object carried by the suspect looked like a pistol, according to a police statement.

“The police units identified the suspect, called upon him to stop and started to chase after him on foot,” the statement said.

The Hebrew-language news website Ynet reported that the man killed was identified as Iyad Hallak, 32, who lived in Wadi al-Joz neighborhood in East Jerusalem.

Hallak has special needs and was on his way to an institution for people with special needs when the incident happened, the website said.

After Hallak was shot dead, it turned out that he was unarmed, it added.

Following the incident, police officers involved were questioned by the Department of Internal Police Investigation.

(XINHUA)

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Israeli soldiers shoot at Palestinian for car-ramming attack: sources

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The Israeli soldiers on Friday shot at a Palestinian man after an alleged car-ramming attack northwest of the West Bank city of Ramallah, Israeli and Palestinian sources said.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed in a press statement the man’s death.

An Israeli army spokesman wrote on Twitter that a report was received regarding an attempted car-ramming attack adjacent to the community of Halamish. The spokesman did not say if the Palestinian was killed.

Local sources said that the Palestinian man who drove the car was identified as Fadi Adnan Samarah, 24 and from Ramallah.

Tension in the West Bank between Israel and the Palestinians were expected to escalate after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared ending all reached agreements with Israel, including security coordination.

Abbas’s announcement was made in response to an Israeli government’s plan to annex the Jordan Valley and impose Israeli sovereignty on settlements in the West Bank. The plan is expected to take effect on July.

(XINHUA)

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