Occupied: Headlines From Palestine

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Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah Tenders Resignation

PNN/ Bethlehem/

A source in the central committee of Fatah said that President Mahmoud Abbas may offer Hamas a share in the next government which will be formed as a national and factional Palestinian government.

Palestinian media sources said that if that Hamas refuses this proposal, Abbas may reinstall Hamdalla as Prime Minister in which case the government will be formed from factions or as a technocratic government.

The Fatah source clarified that current Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdalla will present his resignation to President Abbas who will meet with him tomorrow to discuss the formation of a new government. The source did not rule out the possibility of Hamdalla’s reinstatement as Prime Minister for a second term in the next government, confirming that the current government will continue in its operations as per normal until a new government is formed.

Sources pointed out that Dr. Rami Hamdalla had requested that Abbas sack Minister of Culture, Ziyad Abu Amr, Minister of Finance, Shukri Bashara, and Minister of Education, Khola a-Shakhshir, but Abbas preferred to form a new government without sacking the three ministers.

President Abbas will announce the dissolution of the government to the Fatah revolutionary council in the coming hours.

Local sources told PNN this morning that president president Abbas wanted to dissolve the current cabinet lead by Hamdalla, and form a new one.

A communication between Hamdalla and Abbas occurred last night during which the two men agreed that Hamdalla would present his resignation on Wednesday and leave his position, according to a governmental source in the Central Committee.

Spokesman for the national consensus government, Ehab Bisesou, confirmed the resignation of Dr. Rami Hamdalla. He stressed that the meeting between Hamdalla and Abbas tomorrow will discuss the prospects of the government’s work and the possibilities of resignation or reinstatement.

Bisesou added that: ‘The prime minister had requested for months an amendment and an expansion of the government’s activities to allow them to fulfill their obligations, in particular after the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip’.

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Palestinian Cabinet To Be Dissolved, Re-Formed In Several Days

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — An attendee of the 15th Fatah Revolutionary Council conference led by President Mahmoud Abbas told Ma’an Tuesday that the council will form an entirely new unity cabinet rather than pursuing efforts to reform the existing government.Abbas announced that the government would resign within the next 24 hours, several senior Fatah officials attending the conference told AFP, with the new government formation expected to be carried out in a matter of several days.The announcement comes as Palestinian leadership in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have struggled to maintain a unity government pieced together in June 2014.

The move materialized after the Fatah-led PLO and Hamas announced a national unity deal a few months prior intended to end seven years of political division between the largest two Palestinian parties.The division between Fatah and Hamas began in 2006, when Hamas won Palestinian legislative elections.In the following year, clashes erupted between Fatah and Hamas, leaving Hamas in control of the Strip and Fatah in control of parts of the occupied West Bank.While last year’s reconciliation aimed to pave the way for a general election by the end of 2014, an Israeli arrest campaign in the West Bank during early summer as well as a war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip in July-August derailed the timeline.

Hamas has since blasted the Fatah-led PA in the West Bank for failing to follow through on promises to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.Deputy head of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh said earlier this month that there had been no humanitarian or economic progress in the coastal enclave since the national consensus government was formed a year ago, referring to swathes of the strip that remain devastated from last summer’s war, as well the nearly one year that has passed since Gaza’s civil servants have received salaries.

Prime Minister Hamdallah pledged during a March visit to Gaza that Palestinian factions would “work fast” to find solutions to crises in Gaza, however the visit largely deteriorated into factional fighting.The failure of the unity government to address the needs of Gazans was addressed by the Revolutionary Council’s secretary general who told AFP prior to Tuesday’s meeting that the government would step down within 24 hours over its inability to act in the Gaza Strip.”The government will resign in the next 24 hours because this one is weak and there is no chance that Hamas will allow it to work in Gaza,” said secretary-general Amin Maqbul.But Ihab Bseiso, spokesman for the consensus government, told AFP he was unaware of the matter. “We had a meeting today and we didn’t discuss this issue,” he saidAs elections haven’t been held in the Palestinian territories since 2006, Tuesday’s decision to dissolve and reform the government is the latest of Abbas’ attempts to create a functioning unity government, in light of a year of setbacks.

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Palestinian President Abbas Urges African Countries To Boycott Israeli War Crime Settlement Products

PNN/ Bethlehem/

During his visit to South Africa, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Sunday urged African countries to boycott goods produced by Israeli-owned companies in the occupied West Bank, The Times of Israel reported on Monday.

Speaking at the 25th African Union assembly in Johannesburg, Abbas called on state leaders to require the labeling of settlement products as a means of informing consumers that such items are produced in occupied land.

The Palestinian leader added that the sale of Israeli goods produced beyond the Green Line violated international legal standards.

“We must boycott the settlements which were established on Palestinian land, contrary to international law and resolutions,” Abbas said, according to the WAFA news agency.

The call on African leaders follows after the European Union is expected to soon begin rolling out rules that require the labeling of goods from the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, diplomats said recently.

During a previous visit to South Africa in 2013, Abbas stated that Palestine does not support a general boycott of Israel, but a boycott of the products made in occupied lands.

“We ask everyone to boycott the products of the settlements. Because the settlements are in our territories. It is illegal,” he said.

The PA president’s comments at the time conflicted “with the Palestinian national consensus that has strongly supported BDS against Israel since 2005,” one of the founders of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, Omar Barghouti, told Electronic Intifada at the time.

The BDS movement calls for boycotts of Israel, not just Israeli settlements, with the stated goal of ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and granting a right of return to all Palestinian refugees.

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President Abbas Inaugurates New Palestinian Embassy In Serbia


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday inaugurated a new Palestinian embassy in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, reported Ma’an.

The inauguration of a Palestinian embassy in Belgrade, Serbia, was yesterday attended by Serbian President, Tomislav Nikolic, and several Arab ambassadors including the PA ambassador to Serbia.

According to Ma’an, President Nikolic said after the inauguration that he looked forward to the resumption of negotiations between Palestine and Israel “as soon as possible”.

Several European and South American countries have opened Palestinian embassies during the last few years, as well as some EU countries – for example, Sweden and Britain – passing resolutions to recognize the state of Palestine.

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Palestine Football Association Denies Voting For Blatter

GAZA CITY – The Palestinian Football Association on Saturday denied reports that its head, Jibril Rajoub, had voted for Sepp Blatter in the election of the International Federation of Football Association (FIFA) on Friday.

It said in a statement that Rajoub had officially announced his backing of Blatter’s rival in the election, Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein, the head of the Jordanian Football Association.

“Rajoub proved this backing by voting for al-Hussein,” the association said.

It underlined the depth of relations between the Palestinian and Jordanian peoples, lashing out at what it described as campaigns aiming at sowing tension between Jordanians and Palestinians.

On Friday, Blatter was re-elected FIFA President amid corruption charges at the top of football’s world governing body.

The 79-year-old Swiss competed against al-Hussein, 39 and FIFA vice-president, in the presidential election at the 65th FIFA Congress held in Zurich, Switzerland.

Al-Hussein received 73 votes, while Blatter received 133 votes in the first round.

With neither candidate achieving a two-thirds majority, the election was to go into a second round. However, al-Hussein announced his withdrawal before the second round began, giving Blatter his fifth election victory as FIFA President.

Blatter, at the helm of FIFA for 17 years, will preside over the organization for four more years.

– See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/palestine-football-association-denies-voting-blatter-1463081327#sthash.TTwxWKGA.dpuf

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France Promises US To Delay Palestine-Israel UN Security Council Resolution

PNN/ Paris/

Diplomatic western sources today said that France vowed to the US administration, to delay presenting its project to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) which aims on relaunching the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and Palestinian statehood recognition.

The French draft was presented to both Israeli and Palestinian officials, in addition to the European Union, the Arab League and the US administration for observation and remarks.

The French projects suggests a UNSC issue resolution in September to relaunch the talks between Palestinians and Israelis, and puts an 18-month plan to recognize Palestinian statehood.

The project also suggests Jerusalem as a capital for two countries, Israel and Palestine. However, if the project fails to pass, France will recognize Palestinian state.

Barghouthi previously told PNN that the French initiate content will be studied for either approval or decline, voicing that there are issues that cannot be accepted in it, including considering Jerusalem a united capital for two states, which conceals an Israeli domination on Jerusalem, in addition to keeping the Israeli military in the Jordan valleys with no time frame, and letting go of the right of return for compensation.

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Venezuela To Boost Palestine To Full Embassy Status Following Agreements Made With Palestine’s Government

Announcement comes after raft of new agreements between the Caracas, Ramallah

By Ben Tavener 

Venezuela will boost its diplomatic representation in Palestine to full embassy status, according to the Venezuelan minister for foreign affairs.

“Following instructions from President Nicolás Maduro, we will raise our representation in the heroic Palestinian states to embassy level,” Delcy Rodríguez announced on social media Thursday evening.

Venezuela is currently represented by a first secretary in the city of Ramallah – headquarters of the Palestinian National Authority.

The news comes after a visit by Palestinian foreign affairs minister Riyad al-Maliki to Venezuela this week, during which 18 agreements of cooperation and a contract were signed covering a wide range of strategic areas.

According to broadcaster TeleSUR, the new deals include agreements in education, trade, energy, agriculture, health, defense and security.

Formal diplomatic ties between the two nations were established in 2009 under late President Hugo Chávez as a result of the Palestinian conflict with Israel that year. Venezuela went on to expel Israeli representatives as a sign of support for the Palestinian cause.

Maduro, who was Venezuela’s foreign minister at the time, was vocal in his desire for a lasting cease-fire between the two sides through peace negotiations, and repeatedly urged Israel to withdraw its troops from the Gaza Strip.

Venezuela has since provided extensive support to Palestine, including shipments of humanitarian aid, as well as lobbying for all countries to recognize the country’s independence and sovereignty.

Al-Maliki has made numerous trips to Venezuela during his time in office, and this week was officially awarded the Key to the City by the mayor of the Liberator municipality of the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, in a “sign of fraternity between Venezuela and Palestine”, the Noticias24 news website reported.

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Greece To Hold Parliamentary Vote On Recognition Of Palestine State


The Greek government plans to hold a parliamentary vote on recognizing Palestine as an independent and sovereign state.

“The recognition of the state of Palestine will be on agenda in the Greek parliament in the coming weeks,” the Sputnik news service quoted a source in Greece’s ruling Syriza party as saying on Thursday.

The source noted that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is also expected to participate in the voting session.

Earlier this month, the Vatican officially recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty. According to the treaty, which was finalized on May 13, the Holy See switched its diplomatic relations from the Palestine Liberation Organization to the state of Palestine.

“By the example of Vatican and other European nations, Athens will hold a parliament voting on the issue of the recognition of Palestine. At the initiative of the Syriza party, the Greek parliament plans to recognize the state of Palestine along the 1967 borders,” the source in the Greek party added.

On November 29, 2012, the United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status at the UN from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state” despite strong opposition from Israel and the United States.

On December 2 last year, French lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of a motion to recognize Palestine as an independent state. The motion was backed by a majority of 339 lawmakers while 151 members voted against.

On November 18, 2014, Spanish lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a non-binding resolution on recognizing the Palestinian state. Britain and Ireland also passed similar non-binding motions.

Sweden went a step further On October 30, 2014, and officially recognized the state of Palestine, drawing stringent criticism from Israel and the US.

Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East al-Quds (Jerusalem), and the Gaza Strip and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of al-Quds.

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PLO’s Erekat: Netanyahu Paves Way to More Racism, Extremism

RAMALLAH, May 21, 2015 (WAFA) – Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat Wednesday said it was clear that the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is heading towards more racism and extremism with regards to the Arab-Israeli conflict.


Erekat’s statement came following a meeting with the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, in Ramallah on Wednesday.


“It is clear through Netanyahu’s actions, comments, and remarks that Israel has paved a new wave of racist and extremist policies and is not a partner for peace,’ said Erekat.


Netanyahu informed Mogherinib of his support to a two state solution for two people, despite his last-minute rejection of the creation of a Palestinian state in an appeal to the right during the most recent election campaign as well as the ongoing approval of new illegal settlements and outposts.


“The new Israeli cabinet has shown its commitment to consolidate an Apartheid regime in occupied Palestine as well as to continue its incitement campaign against Palestinians, sending the message that Palestinian lives, history and culture don’t matter.”


Mogherini’s visit came on the heels of Israel’s announcement of further settlement construction in Beit Sahour through the construction of 90 units for the benefit of Har Homa illegal settlement as well as settlement activities in and around Occupied East Jerusalem, including the Ramat Shlomo settlement.


The move was in direct contravention of international law and Israel’s obligations under previous agreements, as well as an obstacle ahead of the international community’s commitment to facilitate peace.


A statement by the PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Department said Netanyahu brazenly expressed his disregard for the international community’s peace efforts by openly presenting Israel’s duplicity in the face of peace.


“While Netanyahu made his extremist, right-wing government’s position clear they have no desire for peace with the Palestinian people, the international community has become increasingly vague in regard to its position on the new Israel,” the statement said.


Erakat added, ‘The international community has allowed Israel to stall the prospects of a just and lasting peace for too long and has a responsibility to face Netanyahu’s hypocrisy head on, and not at the expense of the Palestinian people.


“We call on the international community to do nothing more than demand Israel fulfill its obligations under international law.’


Mogherini’s visit to Israel and Palestine was an attempt to prompt adherence to the two-State Solution and to ask both sides to fulfill their commitments to previous rounds of negotiations and agreements, including halting Israeli settlement expansion.




French UN Resolution Sets 18-Month Deadline For Palestine-Israel deal

French UN resolution sets 18-month deadline for Israeli-Palestinian deal

The resolution will only be submitted after the June 30 Iran deal deadline; if no agreement is reached, France will recognize the Palestinian state, the report says.

A draft of the proposed French United Nations Security Council resolution on the Israel-Palestinian conflict was published by the French newspaper Le Figaro on Wednesday.

According to the newspaper, the draft resolution, which is being promoted by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, calls for the immediate resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and their conclusion in a permanent agreement within 18 months.

If no agreement is reached in the allotted time, France will recognize the Palestinian state, according to Le Figaro.

The draft has been circulated by the French Foreign Ministry to the Arab League and UN Security Council members such as Britain and Spain.

Fabius set the relatively short deadline due to the ongoing deterioration of conditions in the West Bank. Another reason is the desire to complete the negotiations before the end of President Francois Hollande’s term in 2017.

The proposed French resolution will only be tabled after the June 30 deadline set for the nuclear negotiations with Iran. The intention is to bring it to a vote in the Security Council during the General Assembly session in New York in September.

It calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state “based on the June 4, 1967 lines, with mutually agreed and equal land swaps.”

It also calls for the positioning of Israel’s security requirements “at the center of the peace talks.”

According to the report, the French draft provides for the establishment a system that “guarantees the security of both Israel and the Palestinians, with effective oversight over borders, and prevents the reappearance of terror and the smuggling of munitions.”

The draft resolution also requires that security arrangements respect “the sovereignty of the demilitarized Palestinian state, including the complete, though phased, withdrawal of the Israeli army during a transitional stage, the length of which will be agreed between the parties.”

The French text includes a call for “a just solution, that is balanced and realistic regarding the Palestinian refugees,” emphasizing that it will have to be based on a mechanism to compensate the refugees.

It also establishes that Jerusalem will be the capital of both states, according to the report, In reference to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state, it says that the agreement will embody “the principle of two states for two nations.”