Netherlands ends funding to Palestinian agricultural NGO outlawed by Israel

The Dutch government has ended its funding for Palestine’s Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), one of six non-profit groups recently outlawed by Israel. In October, Israel designated the Palestinian human rights groups “terrorist organisations,” saying that they acted as “part of a network of organisations operating under cover in the international arena” on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). On Wednesday, UAWC said it was “shocked and saddened” by the Netherlands’ decision to stop its funding. UAWC was outlawed by Israel along with Al-Haq, Bisan Center for Research and Development, Addameer, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC) and Defence for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P). The decision has prompted condemnation from prominent human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, and the Israeli organisation B’Tselem.

— source | 6 Jan 2022

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Israel Holds Up Vital Spare Parts for Gaza’s Water and Sewage Systems

Israel is holding up the entry of hundreds of vital replacement parts for the proper functioning of Gaza’s water and sewage systems. As a result, partially treated wastewater is being released into the sea, water leakage from pipes is even worse than usual, rainwater runoff is causing a danger of flooding. The quality and quantity of drinking water, purified in special facilities, is also being affected, and the same problems keep happening because repairs are being made with makeshift materials.

Palestinian officials in the Gaza Water Utility say that there have been unexplained prolonged delays and foot-dragging in getting approvals to bring in the various necessary items since the war ended in May. An Israeli security official rejects the claims of delays.

Maher an-Najar, deputy director general of the Coastal Municipalities (Gaza) Water Utility, says that prior to the war, suppliers and contractors waited from a week to a month to obtain an Israeli permit to bring in urgently needed items for regular maintenance or repairs, whereas the waiting time now is two to five months or more. About 500 water and

— source Jews For Justice For Palestinians | Amira Hass | Jan 9, 2022

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The long battle to save the largest Palestinian cemetery in Haifa

The Muslim cemetery in Balad a-Sheikh reminds us of the days before the 1948 Nakba, when Haifa was a major Palestinian city. Since 1948, the state of Israel and private companies have been trying to destroy the cemetery and convert it to commercial property. The Palestinian community succeeded, so far, to prevent its destruction. Now, facing new plans to build on the cemetery, the struggle is entering a new phase.
The Historic Significance of “Al-Qassam Cemetery”

In the beginning of the twentieth century Haifa was a rising city on the Mediterranean shore, with its port, new rail lines that stretched to Damascus and Amman, and developing industry and commerce. This development accelerated under the British occupation (since 1918) with a deep water port, an airport and the petrol refineries. People from all over the region were emigrating to Haifa to look for work and opportunities. Haifa developed as a center of Arab cultural and political activities. Many Palestinian trade unions, clubs, associations and parties were established or expanded in the city.

As the city was full of people, its old cemeteries became overcrowded. So, in the thirties, a new Muslim cemetery was established in Balad a-Sheikh, a few kilometers South-East of the city. It was a big cemetery, spanning over 44 dunam (dunam is a thousand square meters), and it served people from Haifa and the surrounding villages and shanty towns.

A central figure in Haifa’s public life at the time was Sheikh Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, the Imam of the Istiqlal mosque and head of the Young Men’s Muslim Association. In the

— source | Yoav Haifawi | Jan 7, 2022

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Jerusalem Churches protest

The heads of Christian denominations in Jerusalem have launched a campaign protesting violence by radical groups and attempts by Israeli settler organizations to acquire properties in the Old City, decrying a “systematic attempt to drive the Christian community out of Jerusalem and other parts of the Holy Land.”

The campaign launched last week, ahead of Christmas, joins other joint operations by Jerusalem churches against Israel’s policy in the Old City.

The campaign includes a new dedicated website, petitions and articles in international media. The church leaders highlight “incidents of physical and verbal assaults against priests and other clergy,” and the inability of the police to provide adequate protection.

They also decry attempts by “radical groups [to] continue to acquire strategic property in the Christian Quarter,” which is interpreted as being aimed at the Ateret Cohanim

— source Jews For Justice For Palestinians | Nir Hasson | Dec 23, 2021

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Three families, three stories, and Sheikh Jarrah

Once upon a time in Jerusalem there was a man named Tawfiq Canaan. He was a well-known physician and medical researcher, a senior doctor at Bikur Holim Hospital and the director of several hospitals, including Hansen, for people with leprosy (Hansen’s disease); Shaare Zedek and Augusta Victoria. He was also an ethnographer, a historian of Palestinian folklore, the owner of a large and impressive collection of local amulets and ritual objects, a resolute political spokesman for his people and a sharp-penned warrior against British and Zionist colonialism.

The Canaan family lived in an attractive home in the Musrara neighborhood, just one of several houses it owned. Their house stood opposite the Old City wall, on Godfrey de Bouillon Street, now called Ha’ayin Het Street.

In February 1948, Musrara was shelled for the first time. On May 5 the house suffered a direct hit. Dr. Canaan and his family left their home and found refuge in the Greek Orthodox monastery inside the Old City. They were sure that they would soon return home. Every day the doctor and his wife watched from the ramparts of the walls of the Old City

— source Jews For Justice For Palestinians | B Michael | Dec 30, 2021

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Gaza’s few Christians lift economy

Despite their small number, Christians are an integral part of the Palestinian social fabric in the Gaza Strip. Many active Christian institutions provide aid to marginalized segments of Palestinian society without distinguishing between Muslims and Christians. These include the Near East Council of Churches, the Young Men’s Christian Association, in addition to many Christian schools.

“The economic situation in the Gaza Strip is catastrophic and stagnant due to the PA salary cuts this month and the ongoing blockade and repeated Israeli military operations,” Maher al-Tabbah, economic analyst and director of the Gaza Commerce and Trade Chamber, told Al-Monitor. “International projects offered by donor countries to institutions in the Gaza Strip are reviving it. These projects are limiting catastrophic crises, providing job opportunities, curbing unemployment and poverty and giving citizens some hope.”

Many Christian institutions have played a strong role in Gaza’s economy, such as the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), which offers temporary employment projects and support. The Middle East Council of Churches Department of Service for Palestinian Refugees has been offering training sessions and professional training diplomas for years.

The Pontifical Mission for Palestine, as well, helps construct institutions, and there are private Christian schools and hospitals in the Gaza Strip. Caritas provides aid and

— source Jews For Justice For Palestinians | Hadeel Al Gherbawi | Dec 23, 2021

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Jews were massacred in 1948 too

On April 13, 1948, an aid convoy left the center of Jewish Jerusalem for the besieged and isolated enclave on Mount Scopus, site of Hadassah Hospital and the campus of the Hebrew University. The convoy consisted of ambulances, armored vehicles, supply trucks and buses carrying physicians, nurses, medical students and academic faculty. Near the village of Sheikh Jarrah, the convoy hit a land mine and was attacked by machine-gun fire, before being stormed by Palestinian militiamen who shot the passengers individually and torched the buses. Eighty of the 105 travelers were massacred.

Three weeks earlier, a similar fate had befallen an aid convoy that tried to reach Kibbutz Yehiam, in the north of the country, which was under siege and being shelled. That convoy was attacked by Arab gangs near Kibbutz Kabri, and 47 of its 86 passengers were killed. Some of the bodies could not be identified because they had been mutilated. In January 1948, all 35 fighters from the Palmach strike force of the Haganah militia, and from Hish, the Haganah’s field corps, were similarly killed on their way to bring aid and reinforcements to the besieged Etzion Bloc settlements south of Jerusalem.

A number of additional aid convoys dispatched to the Etzion Bloc also did not manage to escape a bitter fate. Kibbutz Kfar Etzion fell on May 13, 1948, the day before the termination of the British Mandate; 242 members of the kibbutz and Palmach and Hish fighters were killed in the battle. A few dozen more fighters and civilians, including women,

— source Jews For Justice For Palestinians | Uri Misgav | Dec 22, 2021

[also remember what gandhi told about israel]

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Why is Israel Allowed to Own Palestinian History?

Haaretz’s investigative report – ‘Classified Docs Reveal Massacres of Palestinians in ’48 – and What Israeli Leaders Knew’ – is a must-read. It should be particularly read by any person who considers himself a ‘Zionist’ and also by people who, for whatever reason, support Israel, anywhere in the world.

“In the village of Al-Dawayima (…), troops of the 8th Brigade massacred about 100 people,” Haaretz reported, though the number of the Palestinian victims later grew to 120. One of the soldiers who witnessed that horrific event testified before a government committee in November 1948: “There was no battle and no resistance. The first conquerors killed 80 to 100 Arab men, women and children. The children were killed by smashing their skulls with sticks. There wasn’t a house without people killed in it.”

The Haaretz report of nearly 5,000 words was filled with such painful details, stories of Palestinian elders who could not flee the Zionist invasion and ethnic cleansing of historic Palestine (1947-48), who were lined up against various walls and massacred; of an older woman being shot point-blank with four bullets; of other elders who were crammed

— source | Ramzy Baroud | Dec 22, 2021

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The denial of the Palestinian right of return is a crime as great as the Nakba

It is that time of year when yet another anniversary of disappointed hopes looms over Palestinians. Seventy-three years ago, on 11 December 1948, Resolution 194 was passed by the United Nations General Assembly. It was of enormous legal and moral significance, enshrining the right of return of Palestinians displaced from their homeland by Israel’s creation to return home or be compensated for the loss of their property.

Coming so soon after the mass expulsion of Palestine’s population during the Nakba in May 1948, it seemed a perfect antidote to that disaster, offering a lifeline to devastated Palestinians.

Resolution 194 has been reaffirmed by the UN every year since 1949, attesting to its continuing relevance. But it has never been implemented, thanks to Israel’s ferocious opposition and western inaction.

— source | Ghada Karmi | 12 Dec 2021

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