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26 mai 2017 5 26 /05 /mai /2017 08:30

Processus de paix au Proche-Orient

Les promesses de Donald Trump aux Palestiniens

 
 
 

le 24.05.17 | 12h00

 
 
 

 

Après une visite qualifiée de fructueuse en Arabie Saoudite, le président américain, Donald Trump, s’est rendu lundi en Israël où il a été accueilli en grande pompe.

Sur place, le président israélien, Reuven Rivlin, et le Premier ministre, Benyamin Netanyahu, ont réitéré leur volonté de faire de Jérusalem (El Qods) la capitale éternelle de l’Etat hébreu, un slogan que Donald Trump a personnellement utilisé au cours de sa campagne électorale, mais qu’il n’a à aucun moment évoqué de sa visite.

Au contraire, en refusant de se faire accompagner par le Premier ministre israélien ou par un tout autre officiel israélien, lorsqu’il a parcouru quelques centaines de mètres dans les rues de la vieille ville, et qu’il s’est rendu à l’église du Saint-Sépulcre et au pied du «mur des lamentations», considéré actuellement comme le haut lieu saint des juifs, le président américain a refroidi les responsables israéliens.
Le comportement du président américain signifie que, pour le moment du moins, son Administration ne reconnaît pas la souveraineté israélienne sur la ville d’El Qods, Jérusalem-Est occupée et annexée par Israël en 1967, et reste attachée aux positions de la communauté internationale qui considère cette ville comme territoire palestinien occupé. Une position saluée par le ministère palestinien des Affaires étrangères, qui a dénoncé les tentatives des responsables israéliens d’influencer le président américain. Des responsables israéliens qui n’ont pas arrêté de lui répéter que la ville d’El Qods fait partie de la capitale unifiée d’Israël.

Le président Donald Trump a tenu, par ailleurs, à se rendre en Cisjordanie occupée pour y rencontrer le président palestinien, Mahmoud Abbas. C’est ce qu’il a fait hier dans la matinée. Il a été officiellement accueilli par le président Abbas au palais présidentiel à Bethléem. Lors d’une conférence de presse commune animée après leur entretien, le président Abbas a réaffirmé l’attachement de la direction palestinienne à la solution à deux Etats dans les termes des résolutions de l’ONU. M. Abbas a dit également que «la clef de la paix dans la région est l’obtention par le peuple palestinien de sa liberté et de son indépendance». Et d’ajouter : «Nous souhaitons que l’histoire témoignera que le président Trump a réalisé la paix.»

Après avoir souligné que les Palestiniens respectent la religion juive et les juifs, M. Abbas a déclaré que le problème des Palestiniens demeure l’occupation. Il a par ailleurs renouvelé son engagement à coopérer avec le président Trump pour conclure un accord de paix historique avec Israël et de travailler avec lui comme partenaire dans la lutte contre le terrorisme. Mahmoud Abbas a évoqué, devant le président Donald Trump, la ville sainte d’El Qods, affirmant que c’est un territoire palestinien occupé et qu’elle sera la future capitale de la Palestine indépendante sur les frontières de 1967.

Le président palestinien n’a pas oublié la question des détenus palestiniens dans les prisons israéliennes en grève de la faim pour le 37e jour consécutif, insistant que leurs revendications sont justes et humanitaires et qu’Israël doit les satisfaire.

De son côté, le président Donald Trump s’est engagé à œuvrer avec des «intentions véridiques» pour réaliser la paix. Il a réaffirmé sa volonté de «tout faire» pour aider les Palestiniens et les Israéliens à conclure un accord de paix. «La paix est un choix que nous devons faire chaque jour et les Etats-Unis sont là pour aider à rendre ce rêve possible»,a soutenu le président américain, qui a souligné vouloir travailler avec le président palestinien pour le soutien de l’économie palestinienne. Même si le président Donald Trump n’a pas cité la solution à deux Etats, ni proposé un plan politique concret pour faciliter la reprise des négociations de paix, il a souligné que la paix entre Palestiniens et Israéliens est la base de la paix dans la région.

 

http://www.elwatan.com/international/les-promesses-de-donald-trump-aux-palestiniens-24-05-2017-345818_112.php

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26 mai 2017 5 26 /05 /mai /2017 08:26

Civil Administration uproots 135 olive trees on privately owned Palestinian land in Wadi Qana – part of Israel’s efforts toward its de facto annexation

Published:
21 May 2017

‘Abd al-‘Aziz ‘Aqel, one of the landowners, holding an uprooted seedling. Photo by Abdulkarim Sadi, B’Tselem, 3 April 2017On 3 April 2017, Civil Administration officials came with bulldozers to Wadi Qana, in the Qalqiliyah area. They uprooted 135 olive tree saplings on land belonging to the ‘Awad family from the village of Deir Istiya.

Wadi Qana is one of the tributaries of the Yarkon River. The central section of the wadi, to the east of Qalqiliyah has several fresh water springs. The land in the wadi in this area is owned by Palestinians, mainly residents of the nearby village of Deir Istiya, who use it for farming and pasture. Farmers used to rely on the springs for irrigation, but in the 1970s and 1980s, several settlements were established on the hills overlooking the wadi. As the settlements discharged their wastewater into the wadi, contaminating the springs, farmers were forced to switch to crops that require little irrigation, such as olives.

In 1983, the Nature Reserves and National Parks Unit of the Civil Administration established the Nahal Qana Reserve, declaring a nature reserve on an area of roughly 1,400 hectares along the valley floor of Wadi Qana and its surrounding slopes. Under the Oslo Accords, signed about a decade later, the reserve was designated Area C, land which Israel treats as its own territory. The declaration of land belonging to local residents as a nature reserve means an absolute ban on planting trees and farming, and the loss of an important source of income.

In addition, Israel plans to use the Separation Barrier to cut off Wadi Qana from landowners in Deir Istiya, with Israel taking over a great deal of additional land that would also be made inaccessible to Palestinians. While the Separation Barrier in Wadi Qana has yet to be constructed, Israel already treats the wadi as its own for all intents and purposes, and imposes restrictions on Palestinian use of the area. In contrast, Israeli authorities turn a blind eye to illegal activities by settlers in the nature reserve, such as massive construction, building roads, and discharging wastewater into the wadi. Some 100 homes in the settlements of Yaqir, Nofim, and Karnei Shomron were constructed within the area of the reserve and, in 2014, master plans were submitted for them which include rezoning areas from a nature reserve to residential.

The 1.2-hecatre olive grove uprooted was owned by the ‘Awad family of Deir Istiya. The family’s patriarch, Muhammad ‘Awad, passed away in 2004 and his children, who inherited the land, began planting olive trees there in 2006. Several years later, in 2012, the Civil Administration uprooted the trees. In 2013, the heirs replanted their various plots, planting 135 olive trees in all. On 6 February 2017, Civil Administration officials served the landowners with an order “to evacuate the Nahal Qana Nature Reserve/National Park, wherein you are unlawfully present… Description of obstruction: Olive plot”. The village council contacted Palestinian Authority officials and the local DCO on behalf of the family, but to no avail.

One of the plots where the olive trees were uprooted. Photo by Abdulkarim Sadi, B’Tselem, 3 April 2017

 

One of the plots where the olive trees were uprooted. Photo by Abdulkarim Sadi, B’Tselem, 3 April 2017

 

Israeli actions aimed at displacing Palestinians from Wadi Qana and de facto annexation of the land are composed of a variety of methods, similar to those employed elsewhere in the West Bank. What these practices have in common is the way in which they harm Palestinian residents and promote Israeli interests, including the settlement enterprise. In the case of Wadi Qana, these practices include declaring a nature reserve, designating land as Area C, the planned route of the Separation Barrier and settlement expansion.

Like other Palestinian villages, Deir Istiya is plagued by high rates of unemployment, partly the result of the many restrictions imposed by occupation authorities. Most of the village’s land is situated in Area C, and Israel forbids use of the land for development, industry or commercial purposes. Farming, both in and outside of Wadi Qana, constitutes one of the few sources of livelihood available to the residents.

Israel’s declaration of a Palestinian area as a “nature reserve” is hard to credit as being motivated by purely environmental concerns, as can be clearly seen when one examines the enforcement of rules protecting the reserve: when it leads to Palestinian dispossession protection is promoted, and relaxed when it accommodates the agenda of settlement expansion. In any event, nature conservation in the West Bank ought to serve the Palestinian public, yet Israel mostly declares natural reserves in order to exclude Palestinians from their land, while allowing settlers to make use of the land. Israel has declared tens of thousands of hectares - 14% of Area C - nature reserves or national parks. Israeli authorities then restrict Palestinians’ use of the and do not allow them to build or develop there, just as Israel does elsewhere by declaring firing zones and state land.

Map of the area, with Wadi Qana marked in green

Muqbal Muhammad Shehadeh ‘Awad, a 44-year-old married father of three, lives in Deir Istiya. He spoke with B’Tselem field researcher Abdulkarim Sadi on 3 April 2017 and recounted the following:

Muqbal ‘Awad. Photo by Abdulkarim Sadi, B’Tselem, 3 April 2017 My father passed away in 2004 and left me a 0.6-hectare plot in Wadi Qana. Each of my three sisters inherited 0.2 dunams in the same area.

I started cultivating the land in 2006. I planted olive trees, but in 2012, the Civil Administration uprooted them. I planted olive trees again in 2013 and we’ve been tending to them ever since.

On 6 February 2017, the Civil Administration raided the wadi and handed out orders for uprooting the trees. We informed the Deir Istiya Council and the Palestinian DCO so they’d handle the matter and to have them follow up with the Israeli authorities.

On 3 April 2017, I got a phone call from one of the villagers who told me that military forces had blocked the entrance to Wadi Qana and that they had a bulldozer with them. I started calling the village council and other farmers, to see if this was really what was going on. I went to the wadi with the head of the Deir Istiya Village Council, Mr. Sa’id Zidan, but the military had blocked the entrance with rocks, and soldiers who were standing there wouldn’t let us through - until the Civil Administration finished uprooting our trees.

At around 8:00 A.M., after the military and Civil Administration left the area, I went to my plot and my sister’s plots with the head of the council. We were shocked to see that not only had the Civil Administration uprooted all the trees I had planted in 2013, it also confiscated them. On my plot, about forty olive trees were uprooted and confiscated.

The olive trees don’t harm the reserve in any way, they add to its beauty. The Civil Administration didn’t just uproot the trees, it stole them too. That can’t be legal.

The stone wall in the ‘Aqel family’s grove - before and after demolition

 

The stone wall in the ‘Aqel family’s grove - before and after demolition

 

‘Abd al-‘Aziz ‘Abd al-Qader Mahmoud ‘Aqel, a 57-year-old married father of five, lives in Deir Istiya. He related the following when he to B’Tselem field researcher Abdulkarim Sadi on 3 April 2017:

My wife, Basemah ‘Ahed Shehadeh ‘Awad, inherited a plot of about 0.2 hectares in Wadi Qana from her father, who passed away in 2004. After ownership was transferred to us, my wife, my kids and I started cultivating the land. We planted 40 olive seedlings, tended them, and cultivated them until the Civil Administration and the Israeli Nature Reserve Authority cut down and uprooted all the trees in 2012.

My wife, the kids and I decided to plant olive saplings again, and we did in the winter of 2013. We planted 40 saplings in place of those uprooted in 2012. In January 2017, I built a stone wall, a meter high and 25 meters long to protect the grove from sheep and goats and from wild animals. On 6 February 2017, Civil Administration personnel suddenly showed up and left orders telling us to uproot the trees and take down the stone wall. I immediately informed the Deir Istiya Council to have them follow up with the relevant agencies, including the al-Quds Legal Aid Center.

This morning, Monday 3 April 2017, military and Civil Administration forces suddenly showed up with a bulldozer. The bulldozer uprooted all the trees in our plot and the plots of the rest of the family, and tore down the stone wall. They uprooted a total of 135 trees, and confiscated all of them.

When I got to my plot it looked like an empty desert. Not a single olive branch was left. I think whoever uprooted the trees confiscated them to hide the crime they had committed.

 

http://www.btselem.org/area_c/20170521_olive_trees_uprooted_in_wadi_qana

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25 mai 2017 4 25 /05 /mai /2017 05:31

On 38th day, hunger strikers threaten individual action to pressure Israel

 
 
May 24, 2017 6:42 P.M. (Updated: May 24, 2017 9:25 P.M.)
 
 
 
 
 
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- As hundreds of Palestinian prisoners entered the 38th day of a mass hunger strike in Israeli custody on Wednesday, the hunger strikers have reportedly discussed escalating tactics to pressure Israeli authorities into acceding to their demands.

The news came as dozens of prisoners, including hunger strike leader Marwan Barghouthi, were taken to hospitals on Wednesday for medical examinations

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies (PPCS) quoted anonymous sources located inside Israeli prisons as saying that the hunger-striking prisoners were considering breaking the unity of the hunger strike should one of the hunger strikers die amid continued Israeli refusal to negotiate with the prisoners.

While the estimated 1,300 prisoners currently participating in the strike have so far stood united behind Barghouthi, a prominent Fatah leader, a “breakup” of the strike would mean that the Israel Prison Service (IPS) would have to negotiate with each prisoner individually, which PPCS head Rafaat Hamdouna said could lead to “a chaos that IPS can’t control or afford.”

While PPCS did not indicate that this was an option officially being considered by the hunger strikers, Hamdouna hypothesized that some prisoners might decide to use violence and carry out stabbing attacks against IPS guards and officials should the strike go on without official leadership.

Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs head Issa Qaraqe told Voice of Palestine, the official radio station of the Palestinian Authority, on Wednesday that there were still no signs of Israeli authorities responding to the hunger strikers’ demands, although he expressed hope that Israel’s position might change following a meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and US President Donald Trump on Tuesday.

Hunger-striking prisoners are calling for an end to the denial of family visits, the right to pursue higher education, appropriate medical care and treatment, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention -- imprisonment without charge or trial -- among other demands for basic rights.

Qaraqe said that Israel had no choice but to negotiate with the leaders of the hunger strike given the dangerous point reached by a number of hunger strikers after forgoing food for more than a month, as he emphasized that the prisoners remained determined to continue with their strike until their demands were achieved, even if it meant risking their lives.

Meanwhile, Israeli news outlet Ynet reported on Wednesday that Barghouthi had been temporarily taken to a hospital on Wednesday due to his health condition, before being returned to Kishon prison.

 

Ynet said that 154 Palestinian prisoners were taken to hospitals to undergo medical examinations on Wednesday in total, with only 16 being hospitalized since the beginning of the week.

The media committee of the hunger strike also reported that IPS had transferred 40 hunger-striking Palestinians held in Ohalei Kedar prison to civilian hospitals on Wednesday morning.

A Palestinian Prisoner’ Society (PPS) lawyer who visited hunger striker Muhammad al-Ghoul in Ohalei Kedar reported that the conditions in which the hunger strikers were being held were increasingly unhygienic in an effort to break their will to go on with the movement.

Al-Ghoul told PPS that the prisoners had been given worn out and dirty covers, that their cells were infected with bugs, and that hunger strikers who had been transferred to Ohalei Kedar after May 16 had not been allowed to change clothes or underwear.

The media committee added in a statement that some 20 hunger-striking prisoners held in Hadarim prison in central Israel had also been transferred to a civilian hospital nearby to conduct medical checkups on Tuesday after their healths had deteriorated.

Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs lawyer Hanan al-Khatib, who recently visited hunger-striking prisoner Yousif Kamel al-Zaaqiq, said that IPS had imposed an information blackout on the health conditions of the hunger strikers and the daily transfers of prisoners from one detention facility to another -- a tactic used to exhaust, demoralize, and isolate the hunger strikers.

Al-Khatib said that Hadarim prisoners were regularly fainting, and suffered from kidney and joint pains, serious weight loss, and difficulties moving, adding that ambulances were constantly stationed at the entrance of the prison to transfer hunger strikers to hospitals.

Nonetheless, the media committee said that IPS officials in Hadarim were still conducting searches of prisoners and their belongings and confiscating salt -- the only nutrient that the hunger strikers have been consuming besides water. Prisoners in Hadarim have meanwhile threatened to escalate their strike by ceasing to consume water and refusing medical checkups.

The media committee added that it had received reports of dozens of hunger strikers being taken to civilian Israeli hospitals since Tuesday.

Qaraqe has meanwhile demanded that Knesset members representing Palestinian citizens of Israel question the Israeli Ministry of Health regarding the medical readiness of field hospitals that have been set up outside of Israeli detention centers as an alternative to sending hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners to civilian hospitals.

Many fear that the field hospitals will be used to force feed the hunger strikers en masse. According to the committee in support of the hunger strike, Israeli doctors at the field clinics have reportedly offered medical care to the prisoners only in exchange for them ending their hunger strikes.

According to Qaraqe, the field hospitals lack necessary medical appliances and equipment to deal with the urgent needs of the hunger strikers, many of whom suffer from internal bleeding and heart, liver, and kidney issues.

Qaraqe said the lack of preparedness of the field hospitals showed Israel’s indifference to the fate of the hunger strikers, who risk death at any moment, and violated all medical laws and ethics.

 
 
https://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=777270
 
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25 mai 2017 4 25 /05 /mai /2017 05:20
Publish Date: 2017/05/24
Muslim Waqf guards arrested for preventing Jewish fanatics from praying at Aqsa Mosque
 
 
 

JERUSALEM, May 24, 2017 (WAFA) – Israeli police Wednesday arrested two Muslim Waqf (Trust) employees at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City after they intervened to prevent Jewish fanatics from singing and performing religious rituals in the Muslim holy place, according to police.

A group of Jewish fanatics started to sing the Israel national anthem while touring the mosque compound provoking the guards who intervened to stop them.

Police also intervened and took the Jewish fanatics out and later arrested three mosque guards on allegation they attempted to attack the police and the fanatics.

Waqf officials said police attacked the beat the guards who attempted to prevent the fanatics from singing the national anthem or praying causing one of them to be admitted to hospital for treatment from beating.

According to police, another group of Jewish fanatics attempted to kneel and pray during a tour of Al-Aqsa Mosque and were quickly stopped by the police and led out of the compound.

Waqf officials said more than 700 Jewish fanatics have entered Al-Aqsa compound on Wednesday as Israelis mark 50 years for the occupation of East Jerusalem, where the Old City and Al-Aqsa Mosque are located.

Thousands of Israelis are expected to parade through the Old City streets later Wednesday as part of events marking the occupation of the holy city.

M.K.

http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=GG07Fja90931433373aGG07Fj

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25 mai 2017 4 25 /05 /mai /2017 05:13
Lettre des familles des prisonniers palestiniens au Président Trump

Familles des prisonniers, mercredi 24 mai 2017

Lettre des familles des prisonniers palestiniens au Président Trump

Salutations,

Sur cette terre sainte, il y a 37 jours, 1500 prisonniers palestiniens dans les prisons israéliennes ont lancé une grève de la faim. Ils ont choisi de se laisser mourir de faim pour la défense de leur dignité et pour protester contre la privation de leurs droits fondamentaux.

Nous, les familles, souffrons à chaque seconde qui passe, étant donné que les menaces sur leur vie s’accroissent. Nos prisonniers doivent-ils vraiment connaître le martyre pour faire respecter les plus fondamentaux de leurs droits et devons-nous vraiment être réunis avec eux une fois qu’ils seront à l’état de cadavres au lieu de les accueillir en vie à la maison ?!

Cette grève de la faim qui entre maintenant dans sa sixième semaine intervient dans le contexte de l’emprisonnement arbitraire ininterrompu de milliers de prisonniers palestiniens qui ont été transférés de force hors des territoires occupés et qui subissent quotidiennement, en même temps que leur famille, des restrictions inhumaines et des violations de leurs droits. Les prisonniers revendiquent le droit de voir leurs enfants, et d’entrer en contact avec leur famille, des soins médicaux appropriés et la fin des tortures, des mauvais traitements, des mises en isolement et des autres mesures arbitraires et collectives prises contre eux.

Le droit international permet de profiter de ces droits et de davantage. Nous, les familles des prisonniers, exigeons qu’on ne laisse pas nos enfants mourir dans les prisons des occupants. Des centaines de nos fils, de nos pères et de nos maris sont maintenant en lutte contre une mort imminente, dans ce que les Israéliens appellent des hôpitaux de campagne (et qui sont en fait les mêmes prisons où ils sont détenus), en faisant preuve de mépris pour leur santé, leur dignité d’homme et leur vie. Ces prisonniers ont été arrêtés par Israël, étant donné qu’il essaie d’imposer son contrôle sur le pays et sur les gens, et ils font partie des 800.000 Palestiniens qui ont été arrêtés depuis 1967. Ces arrestations en masse ont fait de nous une nation maintenue en captivité, une nation de prisonniers, et ont fait de chaque foyer palestinien un foyer de prisonnier.

Nous exhortons le monde à soutenir les prisonniers palestiniens dans leur lutte pour assurer le respect de leurs droits, garantis par le droit international, en tant que démarche indispensable pour assurer la liberté et la dignité des Palestiniens. Nous, Palestiniens, avons beaucoup à proposer au monde. Nous avons proposé des modèles dans tous les domaines, de l’intérieur des prisons et hors de celles-ci, nous poursuivons la vie et notre peuple, qui a supporté le sacrifice pour atteindre la liberté, rêve d’un jour où nos enfants grandiront dans un pays libre, en sécurité et en paix. Nous pensons que vous avez la capacité et l’influence nécessaire sur le gouvernement de la Puissance occupante pour mettre fin aux souffrances de nos enfants dans les prisons israéliennes.

Vous avez déclaré que vous vouliez parvenir à la paix et la paix commence en mettant fin à la guerre des Israéliens contre nos enfants, nos maisons, notre pays, notre existence et nos droits. Le refus des Israéliens de respecter les droits les plus fondamentaux de nos prisonniers, leurs mesures inhumaines contre eux et contre nous, et leurs menaces sur la vie de ceux-ci, sont les meilleurs indicateurs de leurs intentions. Nous vous demandons d’intervenir de façon urgente pour sauver les vies de nos prisonniers du danger de mort imminente et pour contribuer à ce que leurs justes revendications soient satisfaites. Comme le dirigeant Marwan Barghouthi, qui est à la tête de cette grève de la faim, l’a déclaré : le dernier jour de l’occupation sera le premier jour de la paix.

Les familles des prisonniers dans les prisons des occupants israéliens

(nbn : National Broadcasting Network)

Traduit de l’anglais par Yves Jardin, membre du GT de l’AFPS sur les prisonniers

 

 

 
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25 mai 2017 4 25 /05 /mai /2017 05:08

No signs of negotiations with Israel as prisoners plan to refuse salt and water

 
 
May 23, 2017 11:04 P.M. (Updated: May 24, 2017 8:56 A.M.)
 
 
Freedom and Dignity strike: Some of Palestine's most high profile prisoners. From right to left: Marwan Barghouthi, Ahmad Saadat, Karim Yunis, Nael Barghouthi, Fouad Shubaki
 
 
 
 
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- As some 1,300 Palestinian prisoners entered their 37th day of mass hunger strike, with dozens of prisoners transferred to civilian hospitals due to their critical health conditions, the Israeli government has continued to refuse to negotiate with leaders of the hunger strike.

Head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe released a statement Tuesday accusing the Israeli government of "disdaining the lives and health of hunger strikers in favor of causing deaths among them."

He warned that "if something happens to any prisoner, nobody will be able to control the anger of the Palestinian people."

Qaraqe added that a special team, formed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, has been tasked with “continuing to talk with the Israelis in attempt to bring to an end to the ongoing tragedy.”

It remained unclear who was apart of the alleged negotiations team, though prisoners have consistently refused to accept any negotiations that did not include leaders of the strike, most notably imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi who has remained in solitary confinement since the start of the strike in April.

Hunger-striking prisoners have previously stated that attempts by Israeli officials to enter negotiations with Palestinian officials without the strike’s leadership represented “false and futile negotiations aimed at breaking the hunger strike in exchange for empty promises.”

The media committee formed to support the hunger strikers has also stressed caution regarding the publication of information regarding purported negotiations, after reports had emerged last week in Israeli media that Palestinian security officials and officials of Israel’s internal security agency, the Shin Bet, were attempting to reach an agreement that would end the hunger strike.

Meanwhile, according to Palestinian prisoner solidarity network Samidoun, hunger strike leader Karim Yunis -- the longest serving Palestinian prisoner -- released a letter via his lawyer and brother Tamim Yunis, saying that prisoners will be “escalating their strike” in the coming days.

“Our bodies may be weakened and barely able to move, but our spirits reach the sky, and despite the stretch of the battle and its ferocity, we are determined to continue until we achieve victory, not only for us but for all of our people,” the letter said.

While a number of prisoners have already begun refusing water, Yunis said that several more prisoners will begin refusing salt and water -- a mixture that prisoners have been consuming as their only form of sustenance -- in the coming days.

“This (step) requires a parallel escalation of our people and our supporters to expand and take the battle everywhere,” Yunis said, seemingly calling on Palestinians across Israel, the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip to increase solidarity actions and clashes with Israeli forces, which have erupted across the West Bank and Gaza in recent days, leaving dozens of Palestinians injured.

“We are determined to complete the mission to the fullest. This battle is not only a battle of prisoners and their demands, but it is the battle of the people and their dignity,” Yunis said.

Hunger-striking prisoners are calling for an end to the denial of family visits, the right to pursue higher education, appropriate medical care and treatment, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention -- imprisonment without charge or trial -- among other demands for basic rights.

 
 
 
 
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25 mai 2017 4 25 /05 /mai /2017 05:01

Civil Administration uproots 135 olive trees on privately owned Palestinian land in Wadi Qana – part of Israel’s efforts toward its de facto annexation

Published:
21 May 2017

‘Abd al-‘Aziz ‘Aqel, one of the landowners, holding an uprooted seedling. Photo by Abdulkarim Sadi, B’Tselem, 3 April 2017On 3 April 2017, Civil Administration officials came with bulldozers to Wadi Qana, in the Qalqiliyah area. They uprooted 135 olive tree saplings on land belonging to the ‘Awad family from the village of Deir Istiya.

Wadi Qana is one of the tributaries of the Yarkon River. The central section of the wadi, to the east of Qalqiliyah has several fresh water springs. The land in the wadi in this area is owned by Palestinians, mainly residents of the nearby village of Deir Istiya, who use it for farming and pasture. Farmers used to rely on the springs for irrigation, but in the 1970s and 1980s, several settlements were established on the hills overlooking the wadi. As the settlements discharged their wastewater into the wadi, contaminating the springs, farmers were forced to switch to crops that require little irrigation, such as olives.

In 1983, the Nature Reserves and National Parks Unit of the Civil Administration established the Nahal Qana Reserve, declaring a nature reserve on an area of roughly 1,400 hectares along the valley floor of Wadi Qana and its surrounding slopes. Under the Oslo Accords, signed about a decade later, the reserve was designated Area C, land which Israel treats as its own territory. The declaration of land belonging to local residents as a nature reserve means an absolute ban on planting trees and farming, and the loss of an important source of income.

In addition, Israel plans to use the Separation Barrier to cut off Wadi Qana from landowners in Deir Istiya, with Israel taking over a great deal of additional land that would also be made inaccessible to Palestinians. While the Separation Barrier in Wadi Qana has yet to be constructed, Israel already treats the wadi as its own for all intents and purposes, and imposes restrictions on Palestinian use of the area. In contrast, Israeli authorities turn a blind eye to illegal activities by settlers in the nature reserve, such as massive construction, building roads, and discharging wastewater into the wadi. Some 100 homes in the settlements of Yaqir, Nofim, and Karnei Shomron were constructed within the area of the reserve and, in 2014, master plans were submitted for them which include rezoning areas from a nature reserve to residential.

The 1.2-hecatre olive grove uprooted was owned by the ‘Awad family of Deir Istiya. The family’s patriarch, Muhammad ‘Awad, passed away in 2004 and his children, who inherited the land, began planting olive trees there in 2006. Several years later, in 2012, the Civil Administration uprooted the trees. In 2013, the heirs replanted their various plots, planting 135 olive trees in all. On 6 February 2017, Civil Administration officials served the landowners with an order “to evacuate the Nahal Qana Nature Reserve/National Park, wherein you are unlawfully present… Description of obstruction: Olive plot”. The village council contacted Palestinian Authority officials and the local DCO on behalf of the family, but to no avail.

One of the plots where the olive trees were uprooted. Photo by Abdulkarim Sadi, B’Tselem, 3 April 2017
One of the plots where the olive trees were uprooted. Photo by Abdulkarim Sadi, B’Tselem, 3 April 2017

Israeli actions aimed at displacing Palestinians from Wadi Qana and de facto annexation of the land are composed of a variety of methods, similar to those employed elsewhere in the West Bank. What these practices have in common is the way in which they harm Palestinian residents and promote Israeli interests, including the settlement enterprise. In the case of Wadi Qana, these practices include declaring a nature reserve, designating land as Area C, the planned route of the Separation Barrier and settlement expansion.

Like other Palestinian villages, Deir Istiya is plagued by high rates of unemployment, partly the result of the many restrictions imposed by occupation authorities. Most of the village’s land is situated in Area C, and Israel forbids use of the land for development, industry or commercial purposes. Farming, both in and outside of Wadi Qana, constitutes one of the few sources of livelihood available to the residents.

Israel’s declaration of a Palestinian area as a “nature reserve” is hard to credit as being motivated by purely environmental concerns, as can be clearly seen when one examines the enforcement of rules protecting the reserve: when it leads to Palestinian dispossession protection is promoted, and relaxed when it accommodates the agenda of settlement expansion. In any event, nature conservation in the West Bank ought to serve the Palestinian public, yet Israel mostly declares natural reserves in order to exclude Palestinians from their land, while allowing settlers to make use of the land. Israel has declared tens of thousands of hectares - 14% of Area C - nature reserves or national parks. Israeli authorities then restrict Palestinians’ use of the and do not allow them to build or develop there, just as Israel does elsewhere by declaring firing zones and state land.

Map of the area, with Wadi Qana marked in green

Muqbal Muhammad Shehadeh ‘Awad, a 44-year-old married father of three, lives in Deir Istiya. He spoke with B’Tselem field researcher Abdulkarim Sadi on 3 April 2017 and recounted the following:

Muqbal ‘Awad. Photo by Abdulkarim Sadi, B’Tselem, 3 April 2017 My father passed away in 2004 and left me a 0.6-hectare plot in Wadi Qana. Each of my three sisters inherited 0.2 dunams in the same area.

I started cultivating the land in 2006. I planted olive trees, but in 2012, the Civil Administration uprooted them. I planted olive trees again in 2013 and we’ve been tending to them ever since.

On 6 February 2017, the Civil Administration raided the wadi and handed out orders for uprooting the trees. We informed the Deir Istiya Council and the Palestinian DCO so they’d handle the matter and to have them follow up with the Israeli authorities.

On 3 April 2017, I got a phone call from one of the villagers who told me that military forces had blocked the entrance to Wadi Qana and that they had a bulldozer with them. I started calling the village council and other farmers, to see if this was really what was going on. I went to the wadi with the head of the Deir Istiya Village Council, Mr. Sa’id Zidan, but the military had blocked the entrance with rocks, and soldiers who were standing there wouldn’t let us through - until the Civil Administration finished uprooting our trees.

At around 8:00 A.M., after the military and Civil Administration left the area, I went to my plot and my sister’s plots with the head of the council. We were shocked to see that not only had the Civil Administration uprooted all the trees I had planted in 2013, it also confiscated them. On my plot, about forty olive trees were uprooted and confiscated.

The olive trees don’t harm the reserve in any way, they add to its beauty. The Civil Administration didn’t just uproot the trees, it stole them too. That can’t be legal.

The stone wall in the ‘Aqel family’s grove - before and after demolition
The stone wall in the ‘Aqel family’s grove - before and after demolition

‘Abd al-‘Aziz ‘Abd al-Qader Mahmoud ‘Aqel, a 57-year-old married father of five, lives in Deir Istiya. He related the following when he to B’Tselem field researcher Abdulkarim Sadi on 3 April 2017:

My wife, Basemah ‘Ahed Shehadeh ‘Awad, inherited a plot of about 0.2 hectares in Wadi Qana from her father, who passed away in 2004. After ownership was transferred to us, my wife, my kids and I started cultivating the land. We planted 40 olive seedlings, tended them, and cultivated them until the Civil Administration and the Israeli Nature Reserve Authority cut down and uprooted all the trees in 2012.

My wife, the kids and I decided to plant olive saplings again, and we did in the winter of 2013. We planted 40 saplings in place of those uprooted in 2012. In January 2017, I built a stone wall, a meter high and 25 meters long to protect the grove from sheep and goats and from wild animals. On 6 February 2017, Civil Administration personnel suddenly showed up and left orders telling us to uproot the trees and take down the stone wall. I immediately informed the Deir Istiya Council to have them follow up with the relevant agencies, including the al-Quds Legal Aid Center.

This morning, Monday 3 April 2017, military and Civil Administration forces suddenly showed up with a bulldozer. The bulldozer uprooted all the trees in our plot and the plots of the rest of the family, and tore down the stone wall. They uprooted a total of 135 trees, and confiscated all of them.

When I got to my plot it looked like an empty desert. Not a single olive branch was left. I think whoever uprooted the trees confiscated them to hide the crime they had committed.

 

http://www.btselem.org/area_c/20170521_olive_trees_uprooted_in_wadi_qana

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25 mai 2017 4 25 /05 /mai /2017 04:47

Israeli police assault, detain Al-Aqsa guards as hundreds of Israelis take to holy site

 
 
 
 
 
May 24, 2017 2:56 P.M. (Updated: May 24, 2017 2:56 P.M.)
 
 
 
 
 
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Three Palestinian security guards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem were assaulted and detained by Israeli police on Wednesday, as hundreds of Right-wing Israelis and settlers took to the holy site in celebration of “Jerusalem Day.”

Jerusalem Day is celebrated by the ultra-right religious Zionist community to commemorate the 1967 Israeli annexation of occupied East Jerusalem, the same day Palestinians remember the “Naksa,” meaning “setback,” referring to the mass displacement that accompanied the Israeli takeover of the Palestinian territory.

As a result of the war, Israel took control from Jordan and Egypt over the majority Palestinian-populated West Bank and Gaza Strip, which remain illegally occupied and blockaded to this day, respectively.

Al-Aqsa compound director Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani told Ma’an that Israeli police forces assaulted a group of four of the mosque’s guards at Lion’s Gate, after the guards “objected to the provocative behaviors of Israeli settlers during their raid of Al-Aqsa.”

Al-Kiswani identified the four injured as Arafat Najib, Khalil al-Tarhoni, Nour Abu Hadwan and Nidal al-Waari.

He said that Najib was initially treated at the compound’s clinic, but was later transferred to a hospital for proper medical care, while the other three injured guards were detained by Israeli forces “despite their need for medical treatment.”

Al-Kiswani claimed that 708 Israeli settlers raided the compound, representing an “unprecedented number of settler raiding the compound.”

“What happened today is a planned and systematic procedure by Israeli authorities to impose control by force and to terrorize the guards to stop them from doing their job,” al-Kiswani said, adding that the incident was a “clear and provocative move pre Ramadan,” referring to the Muslim holy month that is expected to begin on Friday.

Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri released a statement following the incident, saying that as “Jewish visitors” were leaving the compound, “some of them stopped and started singing the Israeli national anthem. Israeli police forces who escorted them started taking them out of the compound as al-Aqsa guards also started responding with chanting against visitors and attempted to assault them.”As police forces “stopped” the guards, al-Samri claimed that the guards assaulted the police officers, but made no mention of police officers assaulting and injuring the guards, despite videos showing Israeli forces violently detaining at least on guard, as well as video of one of the guards being taken to the hospital with a head injury.

Al-Samri also said that two guards, not three, were detained for interrogation, while adding that a group of Israelis were detained after “bowing down to pray” at the compound.

The incident occurred as dozens of right-wing Israelis and ultra-religious settlers marched through and toured Al-Aqsa under the protection of police forces in celebration of Jerusalem Day.

Settlers toured the Old City and performed religious rituals at the gates of Al-Aqsa mosque, while dozens entered the compound in separate groups through the Moroccan Gate.

Contrary to al-Kiswani’s claim that over 700 Israelis entered the compound, the general director of the Islamic Endowment, or Waqf, that runs the compound Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib told Ma’an that more than 470 settles toured the compound since Wednesday morning, noting that the numbers of settlers raiding the compound is expected to increase throughout the day.

Al-Khatib told Ma’an that Israeli government “is trying by all means to change the status quo” at the compound, highlighting that the Israeli Minister of Culture Miri Regev had called upon all Israelis a few days ago to increase their presence at the compound and bring their children to perform religious rituals there.

Eyewitnesses told Ma’an that Israeli settlers raided the compound in groups and performed prayers, in violation of an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government after Israel’s illegal occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, stating that while Jewish visitation is permitted to the compound, non-Muslim worship is prohibited.

The third holiest site in Islam, Al-Aqsa is also venerated as Judaism’s most holy place, as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood.

Israeli authorities regularly allow Jewish visitors to enter the site -- often under armed guard. Such visits are typically made by right-wingers attempting to unsettle the status quo at the site, and coincide with restrictions on Palestinian access, including bans on entrance and detentions.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces have detained and even assaulted Al-Aqsa security guards on a number of occasions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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25 mai 2017 4 25 /05 /mai /2017 04:34

Point de vue: Offensive américaine en Syrie, le grand retour à la politique d’endiguement de l’Iran

 
 
 
 

le 23.05.17 | 12h00

Le ministère russe des Affaires étrangères a condamné vendredi la frappe de la coalition menée par Washington contre un convoi de forces pro-gouvernementales syriennes. «La frappe contre les forces pro-gouvernementales syriennes est absolument inacceptable et viole la souveraineté de la Syrie.

En outre, il est évident que cela ne contribue pas au processus politique», a déclaré le 19 mai le vice-ministre russe des Affaires étrangères Guennadi Gatilov. Ce raid, qui ciblait une milice chiite irakienne alliée de Téhéran dans le sud de la Syrie, à proximité de la localité d’At Tanf, est intervenu dans un contexte où la dynamique en faveur de l’armée et ses alliés s’est confirmée sur plusieurs fronts au cours des dernières semaines.

Autour de Damas, des actions militaires et des négociations ont conduit à l’évacuation des zones de Madaya, Serghaya, Zabadani, Wadi Barada, Barseh, Qhaboun, ne laissant subsister autour de la capitale que quelques zones encerclées. Dans la région de Hama, après une vaste offensive des groupuscules armés, les forces loyalistes ont repris l’initiative et progressé à quelques kilomètres de Khan Chaikhoun dans la Province d’Idleb. Les avancées contre le groupe Etat islamique (EI) ont également été visibles dans la région de Palmyre et à l’est de la province d’Alep.

Tandis que sur le front nord, un premier raid de la coalition menée par les Etats-Unis sur une base aérienne à l’est de Homs (en représailles au bombardement chimique à Khan Chaikhoun selon la version officielle) et le soutien croissant aux milices kurdes ont pour finalité d’entraver la progression de l’armée syrienne et ses alliés, l’attitude offensive américaine se confirme également au sud de la Syrie avec la frappe du 18 mai.

Elle traduit l’ambition de l’administration Trump et de son allié israélien d’empêcher le rétablissement de la continuité territoriale entre les frontières syriennes et irakiennes (qui offrirait une profondeur stratégique à l’Iran) poussant ainsi à une concentration de troupes en Jordanie.
Face à la volonté hégémonique de Washington, l’action du régime syrien et de son allié iranien sur le terrain vise donc un double objectif : le contrôle de la frontière avec l’Irak et la levée du blocus de l’EI à Deir Ezzor.

De leur côté, si les Russes ne voient pas d’un mauvais œil la priorité stratégique iranienne de réouverture des corridors reliant l’Iran à la Méditerranée, leur position apparaît toutefois plus réservée. Les efforts déployés au travers des conférences d’Astana pour installer 4 zones «de stabilité» «hors tension» s’inscrivent dans une recherche de solution négociée qui semble aux yeux de nombreux observateurs encore prématurée.

En effet, dans la mesure où une poche d’Idleb demeure entièrement aux mains de groupuscules armées contrôlés par la Turquie, les évolutions sont encore incertaines. Ankara se trouve aujourd’hui en porte-à-faux entre sa volonté de nuire au pouvoir de Damas et ses contradictions internes, redoutant également le rôle prépondérant des Kurdes appuyés par Washington.

L’ampleur du soutien des Etats-Unis aux Forces démocratiques syrienne (FDS) complique de plus en plus les relations turco-américaines qui semblaient avoir retrouvé un nouveau souffle depuis l’arrivée de Donald Trump au pouvoir. Pour sa part, Washington regarde avec méfiance l’accord sur le gazoduc Turkstream qui offre un point de passage à la Russie vers l’Europe et remet en cause le rôle traditionnel d’Ankara comme poste avancé de l’Europe.

La question de l’évolution de la relation entre la Turquie et les Etats-Unis reste donc largement imprévisible et tributaire des évolutions de terrain, d’autant que les Américains désirent maintenir leur soutien aux FDS jugés plus efficaces qu’une armée turque immobilisée pendant quatre mois à l’entrée d’Al Bab.

Une force militaire kurde disciplinée et combative semble plus que jamais indispensable aux Etats-Unis désireux de conserver une présence efficace sur le terrain. Si la question de l’organisation politique des territoires libérés par les Kurdes reste en suspens, Washington chercherait naturellement à contrôler ces zones pour conforter son influence.

L’attitude offensive des Etats-Unis en Syrie répond avant tout à la priorité stratégique de Washington sous l’administration Trump de revenir à la politique d’endiguement de l’Iran. Dans son article Iran’s «Ambitions in the Levant, Why It’s Building Two Land Corridors to the Mediterranean» publié le 1er mai dans la revue Foreign Affairs, le journaliste israélien Ehud Yaari rappelle que l’implication américaine en Syrie, Irak et au Liban affaiblirait l’Iran qui devrait faire face à Washington et ses alliés régionaux.

 

Il est donc impératif pour Washington d’empêcher la réouverture des deux corridors pour fragiliser Téhéran et renforcer le poids de ses alliés sur l’échiquier régional. En contrepartie de leur politique active de «containment» de l’Iran, les Etats-Unis ont déjà obtenu 380 milliards de dollars d’investissements saoudiens.

Lina Khennouche

 

http://www.elwatan.com/international/point-de-vue-offensive-americaine-en-syrie-le-grand-retour-a-la-politique-d-endiguement-de-l-iran-23-05-2017-345753_112.php

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24 mai 2017 3 24 /05 /mai /2017 08:59

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No signs of negotiations with Israel as prisoners plan to refuse salt and water

 
 
May 23, 2017 11:04 P.M. (Updated: May 24, 2017 8:56 A.M.)
 
Freedom and Dignity strike: Some of Palestine's most high profile prisoners. From right to left: Marwan Barghouthi, Ahmad Saadat, Karim Yunis, Nael Barghouthi, Fouad Shubaki
 
 
 
 
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- As some 1,300 Palestinian prisoners entered their 37th day of mass hunger strike, with dozens of prisoners transferred to civilian hospitals due to their critical health conditions, the Israeli government has continued to refuse to negotiate with leaders of the hunger strike.

Head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe released a statement Tuesday accusing the Israeli government of "disdaining the lives and health of hunger strikers in favor of causing deaths among them."

He warned that "if something happens to any prisoner, nobody will be able to control the anger of the Palestinian people."

Qaraqe added that a special team, formed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, has been tasked with “continuing to talk with the Israelis in attempt to bring to an end to the ongoing tragedy.”

It remained unclear who was apart of the alleged negotiations team, though prisoners have consistently refused to accept any negotiations that did not include leaders of the strike, most notably imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi who has remained in solitary confinement since the start of the strike in April.

Hunger-striking prisoners have previously stated that attempts by Israeli officials to enter negotiations with Palestinian officials without the strike’s leadership represented “false and futile negotiations aimed at breaking the hunger strike in exchange for empty promises.”

The media committee formed to support the hunger strikers has also stressed caution regarding the publication of information regarding purported negotiations, after reports had emerged last week in Israeli media that Palestinian security officials and officials of Israel’s internal security agency, the Shin Bet, were attempting to reach an agreement that would end the hunger strike.

Meanwhile, according to Palestinian prisoner solidarity network Samidoun, hunger strike leader Karim Yunis -- the longest serving Palestinian prisoner -- released a letter via his lawyer and brother Tamim Yunis, saying that prisoners will be “escalating their strike” in the coming days.

“Our bodies may be weakened and barely able to move, but our spirits reach the sky, and despite the stretch of the battle and its ferocity, we are determined to continue until we achieve victory, not only for us but for all of our people,” the letter said.

While a number of prisoners have already begun refusing water, Yunis said that several more prisoners will begin refusing salt and water -- a mixture that prisoners have been consuming as their only form of sustenance -- in the coming days.

“This (step) requires a parallel escalation of our people and our supporters to expand and take the battle everywhere,” Yunis said, seemingly calling on Palestinians across Israel, the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip to increase solidarity actions and clashes with Israeli forces, which have erupted across the West Bank and Gaza in recent days, leaving dozens of Palestinians injured.

“We are determined to complete the mission to the fullest. This battle is not only a battle of prisoners and their demands, but it is the battle of the people and their dignity,” Yunis said.

Hunger-striking prisoners are calling for an end to the denial of family visits, the right to pursue higher education, appropriate medical care and treatment, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention -- imprisonment without charge or trial -- among other demands for basic rights.

 
 
 
https://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=777248
 
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