Monday, 19 December 2016

Group headed by Trump’s Israel envoy pick sued for war crimes

From the Electronic Intifada - President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for US ambassador to Israel is the head of an organization that is being sued by Palestinians for its role in the theft of their land for settlements and other Israeli war crimes.

Announcing the nomination, the Trump transition team said that David Friedman would serve from Jerusalem, “Israel’s eternal capital” – signalling that the new administration intends to move the US embassy to the city from its current location in Tel Aviv.

Friedman is being described as “more extreme” even than the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

As the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz reports, Friedman has called President Barack Obama an “anti-Semite” and labeled supporters of the liberal Zionist lobby group J Street as “kapos” – a term used to describe Jews who collaborated with the Nazis in the death camps.

Friedman supports the outright annexation of the occupied West Bank and has argued that absorbing the Palestinian population would not threaten Israel’s status as a Jewish-ruled state because, allegedly, “Nobody really knows how many Palestinians live there.” more

Israel bans burials in parts of East Jerusalem Muslim cemetery

Employees of Israel's Nature and Parks Authority escorted by Israeli forces raided the Palestinian Bal al-Rahma cemetery in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday and installed a sign forbidding burial in parts of the cemetery which have been claimed to become a national park.

The head of the committee for the preservation of Islamic cemeteries in Jerusalem, Mustafa Abu Zahra, told Ma'an that the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority crew installed around 10 signs in different areas in the cemetery in both Arabic and Hebrew reading “National Park around Jerusalem wall,” “open public area,” and “no burials allowed.”

Abu Zahra added that the area targeted on Sunday included plots belonging to the al-Husseini and al-Ansari families in the eastern area of the cemetery, and amounted to three to four dunams (0.75 to one acre) of confiscated lands.

Abu Zahra said that some graves in the al-Husseini area had been erected during the Ottoman Empire era, and that old Egyptian graves were located in the al-Ansari part of the cemetery, adding that the cemetery was Islamic property and that Israel had no right to infringe upon it. A spokesperson for the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority did not respond to a request for comment from Ma’an on Monday.