Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Abbas inaugurates new Palestinian embassy in Sweden

President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday inaugurated the new headquarters of the embassy of Palestine in Sweden.

The ceremony took place in the presence of Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstroem together with other government officials and foreign ambassadors.

Abbas praised Sweden for its recognition of Palestine and said the country took a "brave step" which should be emulated by other members of the European Union.

"Such recognitions do not mean that we don't want to negotiate with Israel," Abbas said.

"We call upon the Israeli government to start negotiations on the basis of international legitimacy and to halt the procedures and sanctions it has taken against the state of Palestine by withholding Palestinian money."

Abbas said that the PA would negotiate regardless of international recognition by states or the United Nations Security Council. more

Israel earmarks vast area of Hebron land for annexation

Israel has earmarked around 2,000 dunams (500 acres) of private Palestinian land for annexation in the Hebron district, local activists say.

Muhammad al-Halayqa, an activist in the village of al-Shuyukh northeast of Hebron, told Ma'an that Israel's Civil Administration has posted warning notices on the land slated for confiscation.

The land belongs to the al-Halayqa, Rasna, and al-Hasasna families.

The Mayor of al-Shuyukh, Sharif al-Halayqa, says Israeli forces have prevented locals from accessing their land, adding that the areas slated for confiscation are likely going to be used for settlement building.

The village council will liaise with Palestinian officials and legal groups to try to prevent the annexation. more

Israeli forces detain Gaza businessman at Erez crossing

Israeli forces on Tuesday detained a Palestinian businessman from Gaza en route to the West Bank while he was passing through Erez crossing, a prisoners' rights group said. The organization "Hossam" said in a statement that Hussam Nouredin was detained at Erez crossing, becoming the seventh Palestinian businessman to be arrested at the crossing since the beginning of the year.

It named the other six businessmen as Abd al-Hakim Shubair, Hassan al-Sharaafi, Akram Yaseen, Khaled Lebed, Riyadh al-Mashharawi, and Muhammad Lebed. more