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Kerry Seeks Ways to Block Palestinian UN Bid, Netanyahu Tries to Persuade Ki-moon to Halt International Investigation on Gaza

October 15, 2014



Kerry seeks ways to block Palestinian UN bid

[ 15/10/2014 - 01:40 PM ]


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is seeking to advance a new Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative that would forestall the Palestinians’ application to the UN Security Council to demand an end to the occupation, Haaretz said Wednesday.

To this end, senior Israeli officials said, Kerry has asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu whether he would be willing to resume negotiations on the basis of the 1967 borderlines.

Haaretz quoted Israeli officials as stating: “The U.S. fears that once the Palestinian initiative gets rolling, it will snowball and end any hope of resuming peace talks in the coming years.”

Though it has already told the Palestinians it will veto the resolution, it would rather not have to do so, especially at a time when it is recruiting Arabs to join its military coalition against Islamic State jihadists in Iraq and Syria, the same source added.

Two weeks ago, Kerry met with Netanyahu in New York and said he thought it was still possible to forestall the Palestinian bid. But he said his impression from his talks with Abbas a few days earlier was that the only way to do so was to offer a substantive alternative

“I don't think Palestinians and Israelis are ready for a final divorce,” Kerry said as he urged the Israeli PM to hold talks on '67 lines to block Palestinian UN bid.

A senior Israeli official said Netanyahu didn't reject Kerry's ideas out of hand, but answered only in general terms, leaving the impression that he wasn't enthusiastic about them.

Ya'alon: Palestinians will have autonomy not a state

[ 15/10/2014 - 01:17 PM ]


Israeli war minister Moshe Ya'alon renewed in an interview with Israel Hayom paper on Wednesday his total rejection to the establishment of a Palestinian state, calling instead for Palestinian self-rule on a demilitarized territory.

“We need to free ourselves of the notion that everything boils down to only one option called a Palestinian State. As far as I am concerned let them call it the Palestinian Empire. I don't care. It is an autonomy on a demilitarized territory”, according to his statements.

“The other side [Palestinians] doesn't think that 1967 borders will be the end of the story, and they never said that it would be the end of the story. To them it is merely a stage; it is not about establishing a state, but rather destroying the Jewish state and negating its existence”, he claimed, saying that PA President Mahmoud Abbas is not a partner for peace; he is a partner in managing the conflict.

“Abbas has never said that he recognizes us as the nation state of the Jewish people”, he added.

On the other hand, Ya’alon said that “The issuance of construction permits in the West Bank has been cut down due to sensitivity concerns,” in reference to US and European pressures.

Ya’alon’s statements came in light of European growing solidarity with the Palestinian cause most recently was the British parliament’s symbolic recognition of Palestine.

Netanyahu Tries to Persuade Ki-moon to Halt International Investigation on Gaza --

Abbas Refusing to Submit to Pressure from Kerry

Israeli media reported, today, that PM Benjamin Netanyahu tried to convince UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to eliminate the international investigation regarding the latest Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.

According to the Palestinian News Network, an Israeli paper stated that Netanyahu alongside many Israeli officials during their meetings with Ban, and tried to convince him of not proceeding with an international investigation around the case of Gaza, claiming that Israel is pursuing "private investigations" that 'will be shown to the UN'.

Additionally, the UN chief is said to have stressed that the decision of the international investigation cannot be withdrawn, saying that he will await the UNHRC investigation results, and that he wishes Israel to assist the council members in the procedure.

Reliable sources reiterated to the PNN today's news from Haaretz, which focused on US Secretary of State John Kerry's pressure on Palestinian President Abbas to resume negotiations with Israel and adopt different claims, that Abbas might refrain from going to the UN Security Council.

President Abbas has reportedly refused.

Palestinian sources say that Kerry has assured that he had new ideas for restored negotiations, but wanted to take approval from president Abbas before revealing any details.

PLO secretary, Yasser Abed-Rabbo, said that the Palestinian Authority has refused to go back to negotiations as before, since they fruited nothing but growing Israeli persecution and aggression, topped off by the latest Israeli assault on Gaza which killed nearly 2,150 people. 

Ki-moon Denounces Israel Settlements; Krähenbühl: Gaza Siege Must Be Lifted

Thursday October 16, 2014 01:34 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on Monday, expressed strong dissent to Israeli settlement building and warned against "provocations" at Jerusalem's holy sites, calling for renewed peace talks in order to avoid further conflict with the Palestinians. UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl has pledged to not allow Gaza to return to its state prior to "Operation Protective Edge".

Ban was in the West Bank city of Ramallah, recently, where he met Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah, just a day following the official reconstruction conference in Cairo, at which international donors pledged some $5.4 billion to rebuild the war-torn Gaza Strip.

"The amount that has been committed, pledged by the international community is quite encouraging," Ban said at a joint news conference with Hamdallah, AFP reports:

The funds would go towards the "urgently needed" reconstruction of infrastructure and homes, he said, referring to an "unprecedented" level of destruction in Gaza where nearly 2,200 Palestinians were killed during Israel's summer-long assault on the region.

But "while rebuilding is important, we must tackle the root causes of instability," Ban further stated.

"We must give renewed attention to the West Bank.

"I once again strongly condemn the continued settlement activity by Israel," the UN chief said, echoing international condemnation of plans for new settler homes on occupied Palestinian territory.

The White House and European Union have slammed Israel's approval in September for 2,600 new settlement units in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem.

The continuing issue of illegal Israeli settlements has caused the breakdown of numerous rounds of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

"I am also deeply concerned by repeated provocations at the holy sites in Jerusalem. These only inflame tensions and must stop," Ban said.

His comments came just hours after Israeli police and Palestinian protesters recently clashed at al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.

The site is holy to both Jews and Muslims, and is an underlying cause of Israeli-Palestinian tension, which has heightened in Jerusalem since the Gaza conflict.

Ban called for the two sides to revive a stagnant peace process that collapsed in April despite intense US efforts.

"I urge Palestinians to show courage and continue engaging in the ... peace process ... (and) Israelis to do the same," Ban said.

"I welcome renewed international political leadership and action. Time is not on the side of peace...

"We need to act immediately to prevent a deepening of an already unsustainable status quo ... this is the only way to avoid yet another tragic conflict in the future."

Just prior to Sunday's reconstruction conference in Cairo, UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl pledged not to allow Gaza to return to its state prior to the Israeli aggressions beginning in early June of 2014.

According to Al Ray, Mr. Krähenbühl stated that lifting the siege on the Gaza Strip is a crucial task, and should be worked on because of its illegal nature and the obstacle which it represents for Gaza's hopes and ambitions.

With regard to the support of Arab countries, Krähenbühl said that they supported UNRWA, yet still, however, the reconstruction process must begin now, as winter approaches for the region and the suffering dramatically increases.

The UN official stressed that demolished homes in Gaza should be rebuilt as soon as possible.


Injuries reported during IOF attack on olive harvesters

[ 15/10/2014 - 09:55 AM ]


Dozens of injuries were reported Tuesday evening among Palestinian farmers in  Arqah village, west of Jenin, after being brutally attacked by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) while picking their olives.

Local sources told a PIC reporter that IOF soldiers surrounded the olive groves near the village and started firing tear gas bombs towards the farmers, a lot of whom suffered breathing difficulties.

The soldiers brutally attacked the farmers in attempt to force them to leave their lands, however; the farmers refused, which forced the soldiers to retreat to the separation wall and monitor them from afar.

For its part, the Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din published updated figures highlighting that 96.6 percent of investigations into settlers' attacks on Palestinian olive trees were closed due to Israeli police failings.

Between 2005 and September 2014, Yesh Din documented 246 incidents in which complaints regarding deliberate damage to fruit trees in the West Bank led to the opening of a police investigation. “This does not account for all such incidents, but only those brought to the organization’s attention and processed by it”, according to the organization's report.

“Of 246 investigation files opened by the SJ Police District between 2005 and 2014 and monitored by Yesh Din, just four have ended in indictment; 223 files were closed in circumstances pointing to investigative failures. This represents 96.6 percent of the files in which processing has been completed and where the outcome is known to Yesh Din”.

The Palestinian village that has suffered the greatest number of attacks on trees is Burin, Yesh Din pointed out.

“In Burin alone, over the years Yesh Din has documented 35 incidents of damage to trees that were reported to police. Only one of these complaints led to an indictment”.

Report: IOF rounded up 21 Palestinian children in two weeks

[ 15/10/2014 - 01:29 PM ]


Palestinian Information Ministry said in a report issued on Wednesday that 21 Palestinian children were arrested by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) in the first half of October.

The report charged that the IOF stepped up attacks and arrests against children since the beginning of October.

The Palestinian Prisoners Society, in its turn, pointed out that 250 Palestinian children are currently held in Israeli prisons and detention centers.

Israeli vandalism at al-Aqsa culminates in kidnaps, injuries

[ 15/10/2014 - 10:59 AM ]


Tension has been running high at holy al-Aqsa Mosque as dozens of Palestinian peaceful sit-inners on Wednesday sustained critical wounds in a round of arbitrary assaults launched by the Israeli occupation police and settler bunches.

Mahmoud Abu Al-Ata, media manager at the Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage, told Al-Ray news agency that many of the hundreds of Jerusalemites and Palestinians of the 1948 occupied Palestine, who gathered at the downtown street near Bab al-Asbat and Bab Hatta in an attempt to foil the settlers’ sacrilegious break-ins, were left wounded.

At least 50 Israelis, divided into two settler flocks, stormed Muslim’s holy al-Aqsa Mosque as early as 7.30 a.m. and defiled its courtyards.

The Israeli policemen had earlier tightened grips on Occupied Jerusalem and cordoned off all of al-Aqsa gates, denying Palestinians below the age of 50 and women access into the Mosque to perform their religious prayers within.

Fait accompli spatio-temporal division Israeli fanatic rabbis and leaders stepped up calls for desecration attacks against al-Aqsa under pretext of the advent of the so-called Israeli sukkot holiday. Analysts said the campaign manifests of Israel’s attempt to enforce spatio-temporal division and impose a fait accompli on the Mosque.

A wave of violent confrontations flared up between the Israeli occupation apparatuses and a group of Palestinian unarmed youths as a result.

Eyewitnesses documented heavy discharge of random barrages of tear gas on the Palestinian youngsters and civilian homes in al-Tur neighborhood, the Shua’fat refugee camp, and the Qalandia crossing, among other neighborhoods.

At least 20 Palestinian civilians, including a child and a woman, have been nabbed by the Israeli occupation police throughout the mass-abduction campaign that suddenly rocked Occupied Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, the High Follow-up Committee for the Arab masses in 1948 occupied Palestine has launched distress signals over the ferocious sacrilegious campaign targeting the sanctity of al-Aqsa and Occupied Jerusalem, calling on Arabs and Muslims to head to the Mosque en masse on Wednesday.

The call comes at a time when Jerusalem’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohamed Hussein, who partook in the mass-rallies staged at al-Aqsa, urged Muslims to intensify their presence at the Mosque.

Along the same line, the ministry of information called on all mass media and news reporters to join the sit-ins so as to broadcast an authentic coverage of the scene and pressure the international community to immediately step in and take serious action against Israel’s flagrant breaches of international laws and Muslims’ rights.

Meanwhile, Hundreds of buses loaded with Muslim worshippers headed to al-Aqsa at dawn on Wednesday to maintain vigil at the Mosque and thwart Israeli break-ins.

Local media sources said the Israeli occupation soldiers denied the buses access into al-Aqsa Mosque and its vicinities, forcing all those who managed to mush their ways through the barriers out of the area.

The sit-inners have been performing pro-Muslim chants and slamming the apathy maintained by the Arab and international community’s vis-à-vis Israel’s mounting terrorism against such a historically Islamic site.

In a related development, the Israeli minister of internal security and the commander in chief of the occupation police have been deliberating over ways to step up monitoring of young Muslim worshippers via drones and military tactics, the Israeli Channel 2 reported Tuesday. 


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