Tuesday, 6 January 2015

EU foreign policy chief: Israel violating Oslo Accords by freezing Palestinian tax revenues

From Haaretz - The EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, called on Israel on Tuesday to immediately renew the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority, calling the recent freeze on the funds a violation of the Oslo Accords.

Mogherini stressed in a statement that Israel's decision to freeze the transfer of tax revenue "runs counter to Israel's obligations under the Paris Protocol" – the economic part of the Oslo Accords. According to Mogherini, the EU provides extensive financial aid to the Palestinian Authority to build the institutions and infrastructure of the future Palestinian state. "These achievements should not be put at risk by not meeting obligations regarding the timely and transparent transfer of tax and custom revenues," she said.

Mogherini's statement didn't mention the Palestinian move to sign the Rome Statute and their request to join the International Criminal Court at The Hague, saying only that "recent steps taken by Palestinians and Israelis could aggravate the already tense situation on the ground and bring them further away from a negotiated solution." The foreign policy chief called on both sides to "refrain from taking actions which could raise obstacles to the rapid return to the negotiations." more

Palestine recognises ICC jurisdiction for period covering Gaza war

The International Criminal Court said Palestinian authorities had formally recognized the court's jurisdiction to investigate crimes allegedly committed during last summer's Gaza war.

The legal declaration would allow the ICC to scrutinize offences allegedly committed since June 13, 2014, the start of Israel's military operation, but does not mean the court would automatically launch an investigation, it said.

Palestine has formally requested to join the Hague-based court in a move which opens the way to file suit against Israeli officials for alleged war crimes in the occupied territories, a request that has infuriated Israel.

Acceptance of the ICC's jurisdiction differs from accession to the Rome Statute, the court's founding treaty. The UN is still reviewing documents submitted to join the Court.

"On 1 January 2015, the Registrar of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Herman von Hebel, received a document... by the Palestinian government declaring Palestine's acceptance of the jurisdiction of the ICC since 13 June 2014," the ICC said in a statement.

It was on June 13 that Israel began a massive crackdown on the West Bank after the kidnapping and subsequent murder of three Israeli teenagers, triggering a series of events which led to a seven-week Gaza war that killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians and 73 Israelis. more

PA: Health conditions of Palestinian prisoners deteriorating

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The health condition of several Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails is deteriorating, the Palestinian Authority Department of Prisoner Affairs said Monday.

A report from the department said that prisoner Fouad Shweiki, 75, suffers from poor eyesight, high blood pressure, and prostate problems.

The Israeli prison service has not been providing Shweiki with proper medical treatment, the report said. Shweiki is the oldest Palestinian prisoner currently held in Israeli jails. In 2006, he was sentenced to 20 years in jail.

Another prisoner, 38-year-old Bassel Mizher, suffers from swollen veins and sometimes experiences severe pain that affects his mobility.

Mizher was recently taken for a checkup in the Soroka hospital, the statement said.

Khaled Hassan al-Qadi, 40, suffers from Hepatitis B, a disease he contracted after he was jailed in 2003. He is currently receiving no medical treatment.

Additionally, 37-year-old Zaid Beseisi suffers from a foot injury. He has not received the necessary treatment and is currently unable to bend his leg.

Samer Omar, 38, has an irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure.

The statement added that Ismail Abu Shaduf suffers from severe pains in the hands and feet caused by clogged arteries. more