Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Abbas: Palestine no longer bound by agreements with Israel

President Mahmoud Abbas told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that the Palestinian Authority will not remain committed to agreements with Israel, referring to the Oslo Accords of 1993, while violations take place on a daily basis.

Abbas told the General Assembly that Israel's refusal to commit to past agreements and release Palestinian prisoners, and continued Jewish settlement activity in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, were destroying the possibility of a Palestinian state.

"We therefore declare that we cannot continue to be bound by these agreements and that Israel must assume all of its responsibilities as an occupying power, because the status quo cannot continue and the decisions of the Palestinian Central Council last March are specific and binding."

The Central Council meeting had called for an end to security coordination with Israel as long as it continued to violate signed agreements. Despite the call, security coordination with Israel has remained unchanged. more

Mahmoud Abbas lists alleged Israeli violations before 'bombshell' UN speech

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has circulated a hard-hitting critique of alleged Israeli violations of the 20-year-old Oslo accords and subsequent agreements ahead of his speech to the UN general assembly in New York later on Wednesday.

The comprehensive matrix of claimed violations, seen by the Guardian, was compiled in July and has been shared with US and European officials, among others, and is expected to form the basis of Abbas’s speech.

Covering issues from water rights, tax collections and transfer of monies, to settlement building, house demolitions and the continued Israeli military occupation which gives Israel “exclusive control of 62% of the West Bank”, the document argues that “Israel has failed to honour the accords as it has violated many of its provisions”.

Western diplomats who have met Abbas recently report he feels exhausted and isolated, and say he will argue that he feels the Oslo agreements have been effectively gutted.

A further flavour of what Abbas might say was supplied in an article he wrote for the Huffington Post calling for multilateral international efforts to push forward the peace process outside of US stewardship.

“While the Israeli government pays lip service to the two-state solution internationally, domestically it employs policies aimed at destroying what’s left of Palestine,” he wrote.

The UN speech has been heavily trailed – including by Abbas himself, who hinted he intended to “drop a bombshell” at the general assembly. That led to speculation by some Palestinian officials that Abbas might announce he was nullifying the Oslo agreement in whole or in part. more

13-year-old shot by Israeli forces 'to undergo amputation'

The Palestinian Prisoner's Society said Wednesday that Israeli doctors had decided to amputate the leg of 13-year-old Palestinian Ahmad al-Muti after he was severely wounded by Israeli forces last week.

The child was reportedly shot by Israeli forces during a protest in Bethlehem with a "dum-dum" bullet -- a bullet that expands inside the body on impact -- in his right leg on Sept. 18 before he was detained by Israeli forces, the prisoners' society told Ma'an.

The Israeli army told the society that Al-Muti was shot and detained for throwing stones, but al-Muti's lawyer said that the 13-year-old was taking his brother to a nearby hospital when he was hit.

The child was taken by Israeli forces to Hadassah hospital in Ein Kerem for treatment, where he was held under tight Israeli security and registered as a prisoner in the Ofer jail.

When one of the society's lawyers visited Al-Muti in hospital on Monday he reported that the child was chained to his hospital bed despite his injury and was in serious condition.

On Sept. 29, an Israeli court ruled that Al-Muti would be released on bail of 7,000 shekels ($1,780). However, the Palestinian Prisoner's Society told Ma'an that the prosecutors had appealed his release and a decision would be made within 72 hours. more

Israeli army bombs 4 sites in Gaza after rocket fire

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces launched air strikes on the Gaza Strip early Wednesday after a rocket was fired from the besieged coastal enclave overnight, the Israeli army said.

The army said in a statement that Israel's war planes "targeted four terror sites" in Gaza.

Witnesses and Palestinian security sources said four training camps for Hamas's armed wing, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, were hit in the strikes. They were empty at the time, and no one was injured.

Three of the camps are located in Gaza City and the fourth in the north of the coastal enclave.

The rocket fired from Gaza late Tuesday was intercepted by Israel's "Iron Dome" defense system, and caused no injuries or damage, the army said.

It was claimed by a Salafist militant group, the Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade, which said on Twitter that it had been carried out in response to the killing of 18-year-old Hadeel Hashlomon in Hebron last week.

It also cited Iman Kanjou, a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship who was arrested earlier this month at Ben Gurion Airport on suspicion of having attempted to join the Islamic State group in Syria.

The Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade is allegedly affiliated with IS.

Despite the brigade claiming responsibility, the Israeli army laid blame on Gaza's de facto leaders Hamas. more