Palestine News

Palestine News (2097) – Abu Dhabi. Have you read 50 books in the past year? Palestinian teenager Afaf Raed Sharif did - and it helped her to win a competition with a huge $150,000 prize to help her education and family.

The 17-year-old was just one of an incredible 7.4 million students from 41,000 schools in 25 countries who took part in the Arab Reading Challenge.

Afaf's summaries of the books she read helped her to beat the other finalists. The high school student from Ramallah said: "This is a victory over all the challenges that we face. We refuse to be any less than any other people in the world.

"It's a message to all students - don't you ever give up. Don't you ever break."

Afaf, who goes to Al-Bireh Secondary School for Girls and plans to study medicine, added: "When you set a goal, you can reach it. It won't be easy but you have to make persistence and patience your allies."

The number of students who entered is more than double the 3.5 million who took part in last year's inaugural Arab Reading Challenge.

The competition was launched to encourage children to read and the promote a thirst for knowledge.


Source: – Palestine. In the early hours of Wednesday 18 October 2017, occupation forces launched a series of raids deep into Palestinian Authority (PA) administered areas. In a move that has become more common over the past few years, they specifically targeted media outlets, news agencies, and journalists. A total of eight branch offices of three different media companies where raided, and sealed, with two journalists being arrested.

Offices owned by PalMedia, Ram Sat, and Trans Media, which are rented by the news agencies al-Quds, al-Aqsa, and Palestine Today, had broadcasting equipment, computers and distribution equipment confiscated. In addition, their offices were welded shut with notices placed on the metal plaques declaring that their closure had been decreed by the military commander for the occupied territories due to their having been engaged in incitement. They are to be closed for six months, or will face further punishment.

In addition to the closures, the occupation forces arrested journalist and owner of Trans Media, Amer Mohammed al-Ja'abiri, and his brother Ibrahim, who is the administrative director of the same company.

These raids come after the closing of Hebron's Manbar al-Hurriya radio station, which was also closed for six months on the grounds of incitement.

What should be evident from these arrests is that no matter what your definition of incitement might be, there is very little possibility that the these three widely read and viewed news agencies were all engaged in such an act. These raids, and this campaign against Palestinian journalists, represents nothing more than an attempt to use force against the dissemination of truth. It represents an instance of the powerful seeking to blind the oppressed to their own plight.

Addameer strongly condemns these actions as a violation of the Palestinian people's right to freedom of expression, self-determination, and an affront to their basic dignity. Despite their best efforts, the occupation does not seem to understand that silencing the messenger does not mute the message.


Source: - Al-Quds. Dozens of Israeli settlers on Tuesday morning stormed the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of the Israeli police.

Quds Press reported that 62 settlers broke into al-Aqsa Mosque from Bab al-Maghareba and roamed the courtyards of the holy site in the presence of a large number of Israeli policemen and armed special forces.

The news agency pointed out that presentations on the history of the alleged Temple Mount were delivered by Jewish guides during the four-hour incursion before the settlers left the site via Bab al-Silsila where they performed prayers and Talmudic rituals.

It noted that 17 Jewish students had broken into al-Aqsa Mosque during the morning shift of incursions, adding that some student groups are allowed to tour all of the Mosque’s courtyards, except for roofed oratories, without following a certain path like other settlers.

Settlers’ incursions into al-Aqsa Mosque are carried out almost on a daily basis and they are done in two rounds: The first begins from 7 to 11 a.m. and the second starts after the Muslim noon prayer and lasts for an hour.


Source: – London. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is being urged to ban the sale in the UK of all products from Israeli settlements, in a new campaign push by Amnesty International.

The call, issued as part of an Amnesty campaign marking the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, also “asks the Foreign Secretary to stop companies in the UK from operating in the settlements or trading in settlement goods”.

According to the global rights NGO, “hundreds of millions of pounds’ worth of goods produced in Israeli settlements” are exported globally every year, “despite the fact that most countries around the world have officially condemned the settlements as illegal under international law”.

"Israeli and international businesses have also enabled and facilitated settlement construction and expansion", Amnesty adds.

Over the last 50 years, “more than 50,000 Palestinians have had their homes demolished, while some 600,000 Israeli settlers have moved into illegally-constructed settlements, many serviced by settler-only roads and guarded by a network of Israeli military checkpoints.”Overall, Amnesty estimates, “approximately 1,000 square kilometres of Palestinian land has been expropriated by settlers in the past half-century.”

Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International’s United Kingdom Section, said: “As Boris Johnson will know from his visits to the region, the settlements have robbed thousands of Palestinians of their land and livelihoods.”

“All settlement goods are tainted by illegality and the UK Government should put a stop to the trade in these goods. With a UN ‘name and shame’ list looming, it’s time the UK showed some moral leadership on this issue.”

Allen’s reference to a UN list comes after UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Bin Ra’ad Al-Hussein sent letters to 150 international and Israeli businesses warning them that they may be included in a UN database of companies involved with illegal settlements due to be published in December.

Meanwhile, last week, as reported by MEMO, the major Danish pension fund Sampension excluded four companies from its portfolio for their ties to Israeli settlements.

As part of its campaign, Amnesty has launched a new website – – with an audio-visual overview of the 50-year occupation.


Source: – Palestine. For the first time in 15 years, Israel's civil administration has approved the construction of settlement housing units in the Palestinian city of Hebron.

Israel is planning to build 31 housing units in the settlement of Beit Romano in Hebron's Old City, on a site that used to be a bus station on Shuhada Street. Next to it, an Israeli military base operates from what used to be a Palestinian school.

Shuhada Street, the Old City's main commercial artery, has been shut down by the Israeli army since 1994, forcing many shops to close. Palestinians have been banned from accessing the street, costing many their livelihoods and their homes.

"The decision [to build new settler housing] challenges the international community and violates international laws and agreements," Issa Amro, a spokesperson for the Youth Against Settlements activist group in Hebron, told Al Jazeera.

"This will make life even more unbearable for Palestinians living in the Old City, who are already suffering from checkpoints, closures and repeated attacks from Jewish settlers and the Israeli army."

The international community considers the settlements illegal and in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states that is it unlawful for an occupying power to transfer parts of its population into the territory it occupies.



Jumat, 13 Oktober 2017 17:37

US and Israel withdraw from UNESCO

Written by – Palestine. The US has announced it will withdraw from the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), accusing the body of "anti-Israel bias".

Heather Nauert, US state department spokesperson, said on Thursday the US would establish an "observer mission" to replace its representation at the Paris-based agency.

In a statement announcing its withdrawal, Israel called the US administration's decision "courageous and moral", and accused UNESCO of becoming a "theatre of the absurd".

"The prime minister instructed the foreign ministry to prepare Israel's withdrawal from the organisation alongside the United States," Benjamin Netayanu's office said in a statement.

Irina Bokova, the outgoing UNESCO head, called the US withdrawal a "loss to multilateralism", saying she is convinced that "UNESCO has never been so important for the US, or the US for UNESCO".

At a time when "conflicts continue to tear apart societies across the world, it is deeply regrettable for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations agency promoting education for peace and protecting culture under attack," she said.

Thursday's development demonstrates the US administration's "complete and total bias" towards Israel, says Mustafa Barghouti, secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative, a political party comprising mostly secular intellectuals.

"This behaviour is counterproductive and shameful," he told Al Jazeera by phone.

"Sooner or later they will see Palestine in every UN agency. Will the US respond to that by withdrawing from the WHO or the World Intellectual Property Organization? They will be hurting only themselves."

The US was angered in 2011 when UNESCO members granted Palestine full membership of the body, despite opposition from its ally Israel.

That year the US stopped paying its dues to the 195-member organisation but did not officially withdraw.

The US opposes any move by UN bodies to recognise the Palestinians as a state, insisting that this must await a negotiated Middle East peace deal.