Palestinian Toddlers Burn to Death After Israeli Troops Block Fire Brigade

Two Palestinian children were killed in a fire accident after Israeli forces blocked the fire brigade from reaching the scene on time.

Two Palestinian children, four-year-old Wael Rajabi and his 18-month-old sister Malik, died in a fire after Israeli authorities blocked the fire brigade from reaching their home in time.

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They were from the Al-Salaymeh neighborhood of Hebron’s Old City in the occupied West Bank. One of them was reported dead in the fire, another child succumbed to the burns after receiving emergency treatment at the nearby Hebron government hospital.

Colonel Loai Arziqat, the local police spokesman confirmed the death of two children but did not elaborate on the whole situation.

According to local media reports, the emergency fire services were stopped by Israeli occupying forces. A video filmed at the scene shows that a fire engine trying to drive down a narrow street when it was stopped by a roadblock. The local residents pleaded to the Israeli soldiers to “open the gate quickly, for the children.”

A CHILD BURNED ALIVE➤ No Entry To Fire Fighting Crews A boy was burnt to death & his little sister suffered severe burns as the occupation forces BLOCKED a firefighting truck from reaching their burning house in Al-Salaymeh in

But they were unmoved. And eventually delayed the emergency service costing the lives of two children.

Israeli forces are known to restrict emergency services’ access to Palestinians.

According to Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), citing the Palestine Red Crescent Society, since 2015, Israeli forces have obstructed ambulances 123 times. In addition, 105 ambulances were damaged and the Red Crescent teams in various locations were attacked 386 times.

According to the Fourth Geneva Convention, “The occupying power must ensure sufficient hygiene and public health standards, as well as the provision of food and medical care to the population under occupation… Personnel of the International Red Crescent Movement must be allowed to carry out their humanitarian activities.”

However, Israel has violated international law numerous times by not allowing Palestinians access to emergency services.

  • Published in World

‘They threatened us’: Award-winning ‘Gaza’ filmmakers faced censorship from Jewish groups

The director of a Goya Award-winning documentary ‘Gaza: A look into the eyes of barbarism’ says members of the Jewish community repeatedly used threats to get screenings scrapped in a bid to suppress the film.

“Israel uses its Jewish organizations which tried to censor our film… they tried to do it at various festivals and sometimes they succeeded, even when the film was already on the shortlist. We received many threats,” director Julio Perez told RT.

“We started planning to make this film after the last Israeli army invasion when lots of people in Gaza were killed.”

The film faced adversity from the beginning and the production crew had to beguile Israeli authorities just to gain access, under the pretense that they were conducting research into Gaza’s agricultural industry.

“That’s how we got there, but that wasn’t easy at all,” Perez explained. “The thing is, there’s a total legitimization of Israel’s actions and Israeli apartheid.”

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The initial proposal to screen the documentary film came from a local BDS group (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) which promotes non-violent resistance towards the state of Israel on behalf of Palestinians.

The film discusses, “The violation of human rights that they [the people of Gaza] suffer daily and the reality of the postwar blockade through which the population of the Gaza Strip attempts to survive” according to the blurb on Spain’s Goya Awards nominations page.

A recent episode saw a screening scheduled to take place in Madrid this Friday shelved following pressure from Jewish groups.

“They gave us serious motivation not to [screen it],” local priest Javier Baeza, of the San Carlos Borromeo community, told La Sexta. “They warned me very seriously: If I didn’t do it, they told me I would face the relevant canonical punishment.”

 

View image on Twitter View image on Twitter

San Carlos Borromeo @EntreBorromeos
Con tristeza os comunicamos la suspension por orden de @archimadrid de la proyección del documental "Gaza: una
mirada a los ojos de la barbarie"
"El fruto de la Justicia será la Paz" Isaias 32,17.

He added that “people from the Academy of Cinema” had told him that the film is “quite objective, not remotely vengeful.”

“It seems unlikely to us that the Academy would nominate something histrionic in nature.”

The local BDS chapter managed to find a secular alternative which couldn’t be pressured out of screening the film on Wednesday evening.

 

  • Published in Culture

Palestinian government submits resignation to president Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has submitted his resignation to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, complicating efforts at reconciliation with Gaza's Hamas rulers.

"The prime minister and his ministers welcome the Fatah Central Committee's decision to form a new government," said Palestinian Authority government spokesperson Yusuf al-Mahmoud in a statement. "Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has placed his government at the disposal of the President of the Authority," he added, hinting at impending resignations within the cabinet.

We put our government at the disposal of President Mahmoud Abbas and we welcome the recommendations of the Fatah Central Committee to form a new government.

Hamdallah’s resignation came just days after Abbas asked him to step down, according to reports. The move will likely hamper an already delicate relationship with Gaza’s Hamas rules, but Abbas does not want Hamas to be excluded from the new government to be formed.

"We hope that all Palestinian factions will participate in this (new) government and I appeal to the Hamas movement to participate," he said.

Hamas officials, however, have described the move as an attempt to exclude the group from Palestinian politics.

"The announcement of the formation of a new government is a recognition of the tragedies and disasters caused by the government of al Hamdallah, and there is no legitimacy for any future government without national consensus," Sami Abu Zuhri, official spokesman for Hamas, wrote on Twitter.

Also on rt.com Palestine takes US to International Court of Justice over Jerusalem embassy move...

Hamdallah headed the national unity government formed in 2015 and led Fatah’s reconciliation efforts with Hamas, which has governed Gaza since 2007. The two groups signed an agreement two years ago which called for Abbas’ Palestinian Authority to gradually resume governance over Gaza.

Assuming Abbas accepts their resignations, Hamdallah and the other PA ministers will continue to serve until a new government is formed.

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Palestine to Apply For Full Membership at UN, Says Minister

Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister will apply for Palestine's status as a full member of the United Nations. 

Palestinian Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister Riyad Malki announced Wednesday that the occupied country would initiate an application to gain full membership at the United Nations.

RELATED: UN: Palestinians Must Have Control Over Natural Resources

Malki said that he would initiate an application seeking to upgrade Palestine’s status from an observer state to a full member state.

He will submit the application to the U.N. Security Council during an upcoming visit to New York in January.

Malki is scheduled to make his visit to take on the role of Palestine’s position as chair of the Group of 77 developing countries and China for 2019.

To obtain a full member position, Palestine needs the votes of 15 member countries of the U.N. Security Council. But if one of the permanent members of the Security Council, namely, the United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and China use their veto power, then the application will be rejected. The veto power can be used by the strongly pro-Israel U.S. administration which moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem earlier this year.

Malki will also highlight the increase in illegal expansion of Israel in the occupied West Bank where violent episodes have led to the deaths of four Palestinians and three Israeli soldiers.

Malki will demand that the U.N. Security Council implement Resolution 2334 and ask the International Criminal Court to start an investigation into Israel’s illegal settlement expansion.

The resolution says that the U.N. Secretary-General has to present a progress report on Israeli settlement activities every three months to the Security Council.

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Israeli Defence Minister Lieberman Resigns, Hamas Responds

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced his resignation early Wednesday after a disagreement over the Gaza ceasefire deal, reports AP. 

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced early Wednesday that he was resigning from the conservative coalition government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after a disagreement over the Gaza ceasefire deal, reports AP.

RELATED: Israel and Hamas Agree to Ceasefire in the Besieged Gaza Strip

Announcing his decision, which takes effect 48 hours after he puts it in writing, Lieberman deemed Tuesday’s Egyptian-mediated deal with the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas “a capitulation to terror.”

In a statement, Lieberman said, "I didn't look for reasons to quit. I tried to remain a loyal government member, in the cabinet, keep differences internal even at an electoral cost."

The two turning points, he said, were the millions of dollars in cash delivered from Qatar to Gaza, and the cease-fire Israel reached with Hamas on Tuesday, reports Israeil news agency Haaretz.

In a press release sent out immediately after Lieberman's decision, Hamas celebrated, saying they rejoice at Lieberman's resignation, "This is a political victory for Gaza, which has succeeded in causing a political earthquake for the occupation."

Elhanan Miller @ElhananMiller

Hamas rejoices at Lieberman resignation: "This is a political victory for , which has succeeded in causing a political earthquake for the occupation."

  • Published in World

Israeli fighter jets striking Gaza after massive mortar fire from the strip - IDF

Israeli fighter jets have pounded the Gaza strip, after mortar fire from inside the Palestinian-controlled strip hit a bus in the Israeli side of the border, the Israel Defense Forces have said.

The airstrikes are the latest escalation in several days of reciprocal attacks between Israel and the Palestinian territories. Earlier on Monday, a barrage of mortar fire from Gaza hit an Israeli bus, wounding at least one person, Reuters reported.

Video from the scene showed Israel’s Iron Dome rocket defense system intercepting some of the incoming projectiles.

@AmichaiStein1 : IDF: 80 launches in 40 minutes; Hamae claims over a 100 https://twitter.com/AmichaiStein1/status/1062000239207428102 

@AmichaiStein1 : More then 20 morters launched from Gaza towards Israel; Direct hit at an Israeli bus (Credit: Rotternik network)

That attack was itself a response to an Israeli special forces raid in the Gaza strip on Sunday night that saw at least two Hamas commanders and four other Palestinians killed. One Israeli soldier was also killed, and another wounded. Israeli warplanes reportedly lobbed missiles at the area after the raid, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut his visit to Paris short to return, in light of the “security incidents.”

The IDF claims 80 mortars were fired into Israel in less than 40 minutes on Monday, while Hamas claims to have launched 100. Sirens wailed across southern Israel as the Iron Dome struggled to intercept the incoming firestorm.

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Top Palestinian body suspends Israel recognition until it recognizes Palestine

The Palestine Liberation Organization’s decision-making body has ruled to suspend its recognition of the state of Israel until Tel Aviv formally recognizes a Palestinian state along 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Noting Israel’s continued disregard of signed international agreements, the Palestinian Central Council (PCC) on Monday has decided to “suspend recognition of the State of Israel until its recognition of the State of Palestine on the June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Following a two day meeting in Ramallah, the PCC also agreed to “end security coordination in all its forms” with Israel, and “disengage economically” from its neighbor, WAFA news agency reports, citing the final communiqué.

 
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during the meeting of the Palestinian Central Council in the West Bank city of Ramallah January 14, 2018 © Mohamad Torokman

Furthermore, the decision-making body established the PLO to be the sole “legitimate representative” of all the Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, slamming Hamas for failing to implement the agreements it signed with Fatah over the last decade, ever since the Sunni organization assumed control of Gaza in 2007.

Urging Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to implement the Council's non-binding decisions, the PCC stressed that it continues to remain opposed to Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” aimed at solving the decades-old animosity between the neighboring nations. In wake of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, the Council called on the Arab states to “sever all diplomatic relations” with the US and any state that follows its example.

The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a controversial issue, as Palestinians continue to claim East Jerusalem as their capital. Abbas repeatedly vowed to oppose any purported peace initiatives by Trump, whose relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem and recognition of the city as Israel’s capital marked the first time the president of the US has departed from established policy, which saw the issue of Jerusalem kept off the table.

Speaking to PCC delegates on Sunday, the 82-year-old leader reiterated that Palestine and Jerusalem are “not for sale or bargaining.”

READ MORE: Paraguay cancels embassy move to Jerusalem, Israel responds by closing its embassy in Paraguay

“East Jerusalem is the capital of our state. We will not accept a capital in Jerusalem or the capital of two states because they are fooling us,” Abbas said on Sunday. “Jerusalem, which was occupied in 1967, is our capital, every meter and centimeter of it.”

 

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Palestinian groups vow response to Israeli airstrikes

Resistance groups in Palestine won't remain silent to Israel's killing of civilians, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement said early Saturday.

The movement said resistance groups had warned Israel not to kill innocents, but occupation forces continue to do so under the Gaza Strip’s blockade.

It added that the groups' hands “won't be tied” over the killings.

Israel launched airstrikes early Saturday against several targets in the Gaza Strip in response to over a dozen rockets it said were fired toward the country.

Fighter jets and helicopters pounded targets in Gaza for more than two hours, including Hamas sites, the Israeli army said in a press release.

The army said on its Twitter account that 14 rockets had been fired from Gaza towards Israel since late Friday, but eight were intercepted by its Iron Dome missile defense system.

There have been no deaths from the airstrikes, according to Palestinian medical sources in Gaza.

The latest developments come after five Palestinians were killed and 85 others injured by Israeli army gunfire during demonstrations Friday along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

Hundreds of Palestinians had converged along the zone as part of ongoing demonstrations against Israel’s decades-long occupation.

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more injured by Israeli troops deployed near the buffer zone since such rallies began on March 30.

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