Palestinians welcome UN report confirming Israeli apartheid in Occupied Territories

Palestinians welcome UN report confirming Israeli apartheid in Occupied Territories
A Palestinian demonstrator stands before Israeli border guards during a demonstration against Israeli occupation near an Israeli settlement outpost west of Salfit in the centre of the occcupied West Bank on December 22, 2020. (File/AFP)
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Updated 25 March 2022

Palestinians welcome UN report confirming Israeli apartheid in Occupied Territories

Palestinians welcome UN report confirming Israeli apartheid in Occupied Territories

RAMALLAH: Palestinians have welcomed international organizations’ reports supporting their claim of Israeli racial discrimination against them for more than five decades.

UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Occupied Territories Michael Lynk concluded that the situation amounted to apartheid.

Lynk’s report, which was submitted to the UN Human Rights Council and published by Amnesty International on its website, examined the current human rights situation with a particular focus on the question of apartheid.

It found that Israeli Jews and Palestinians in the Occupied Territories lived “under a single regime which differentiates its distribution of rights and benefits on the basis of national and ethnic identity, and which ensures the supremacy of one group over, and to the detriment of, the other.”

It set out how this system endowed “one racial-national-ethnic group with substantial rights, benefits, and privileges, while intentionally subjecting another group to live behind walls, checkpoints and under a permanent military rule,” and concluded that this satisfied the “prevailing evidentiary standard for the existence of apartheid.”

Mustafa Barghouti, secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative, told Arab News: “Finally, this UN report confirms what we warned 22 years ago about the emergence of a racist apartheid regime, as it has been proven today that Israel practices oppression and persecution against the Palestinian people.

“The core issue is not revealing the incident, but what is being done about this matter. The world fails to impose sanctions on Israel for what it is doing against the Palestinian people.”

Barghouthi believed the report would form a solid basis for Palestinians to demand sanctions and a boycott of Israel and give the Palestinians hope to develop their struggle against apartheid, as happened in South Africa.

Senior Israeli peace activist Gershon Baskin told Arab News: “We need to find a new word to describe the systemic discrimination against Palestinians in the state of Israel and the occupied territories because, by using the word ‘apartheid,’ the essence of the issue is lost when we differentiate between Israel and the apartheid regime of South Africa.

“The point is that many laws give Israeli Jews superiority over Palestinian citizens in the state of Israel, including the nation-state law and the citizenship law. In the Occupied Territories, there are two completely different legal systems for Jewish Israelis and Palestinians under which Jewish Israelis enjoy full human and civil rights while Israel severely limits Palestinian rights.

“From now on, the Palestinians must not be satisfied with their struggle to overthrow the (Israeli) occupation. They must get rid of the Israeli apartheid regime that affects the Palestinians inside Israel and the Palestinian diaspora."

While the report upset Israeli hawks, Hamas welcomed it.

“We in Hamas value Lynk's call to the international community to take immediate action to help end the (Israeli) occupation's crimes and protect the rights of our Palestinian people,” Jihad Taha, a spokesman for Hamas, said in a statement.

“Hamas stresses the importance of the report and considers it a new and essential addition to the series of positions and reports issued by international and human rights organizations; the latest of which is the Amnesty report, which documented the crimes and violations against our Palestinian people.”

Hamas renewed its call to the UN and the international community to take deterrent measures against the occupying power, activate the procedures to prosecute its leaders, work to end the occupation and give the Palestinian people their rights.


Flights for West Bank Palestinians to Turkey to start at end of August

Flights for West Bank Palestinians to Turkey to start at end of August
Updated 57 min 54 sec ago

Flights for West Bank Palestinians to Turkey to start at end of August

Flights for West Bank Palestinians to Turkey to start at end of August
  • "We welcome efforts to facilitate travel for the Palestinian people," a US Embassy spokesperson told Reuters
  • But representatives of Palestinians, whose movement is routinely restricted by Israel, said they were not a party to the decision

JERUSALEM: Palestinians from the Israeli-occupied West Bank will be offered special flights from Ramon Airport, near the Red Sea resort city of Eilat, to destinations in Turkey, Israel’s Airports Authority said on Tuesday.
The move is Israel’s latest gesture to Palestinians, following pressure from the United States to ease travel for Palestinians as prospects for reviving long-stalled peace talks and establishing an independent Palestinian state appeared dim.
“We welcome efforts to facilitate travel for the Palestinian people,” a US Embassy spokesperson told Reuters.
But representatives of Palestinians, whose movement is routinely restricted by Israel, said they were not a party to the decision.
“Nobody consulted with us on this matter,” said Wasel Abu Yousef, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization. “What we seek is the return of Al-Quds International Airport to operate as the State of Palestine’s airport.”
Palestinians from areas Israel occupied in a 1967 war cannot fly from Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport without special permission. They typically travel to Jordan to catch international flights, a trip that entails crossing through checkpoints and can take hours.
Under the pilot program, the flights will run twice a week starting at the end of August to Istanbul and Antalya on Turkish carriers Atlas and Pegasus and using Airbus A321 aircraft, the airports authority said.
These flights will not be offered to Palestinians from Gaza.
Ramon Airport, which opened in 2019, is about 300 km (185 miles) from Jerusalem and designed to take any planes re-routed from Ben Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv.
Foreign carriers such as Ryanair, Wizzair and Lufthansa began to fly non-stop to older Eilat airports in 2015 during winter months after Israel offered airlines 60 euros ($61) per passenger brought on direct flights from abroad.
But the COVID-19 pandemic largely halted those flights.
The airports authority said that for the first time, summer flights to various destinations in Europe from Eilat would start in the coming days. They include Batumi, Georgia and Larnaca, Cyprus on Israeli carrier Arkia, and Warsaw and Katowice on Poland’s Enter Air.
Pegasus in October will fly Israelis to Turkey with four flights a week, the authority said.


Iran releases Iranian-French academic Adelkhah on furlough -lawyer

Iran releases Iranian-French academic Adelkhah on furlough -lawyer
Updated 09 August 2022

Iran releases Iranian-French academic Adelkhah on furlough -lawyer

Iran releases Iranian-French academic Adelkhah on furlough -lawyer
  • Adelkhah was sentenced in 2020 to five years in prison on national security charges
  • She was moved to house arrest later, but in January was returned to jail

DUBAI: Iran has released Iranian-French academic Fariba Adelkhah on furlough for five days, her lawyer told the Emtedad website on Tuesday, a day after Tehran and Washington wound up indirect talks in Vienna to revive a 2015 nuclear pact.
“We hope it (the furlough) will be extended,” Emtedad quoted Hojjat Kermani as saying.
Adelkhah, who is a resident of France and was arrested in 2019 while on a visit to Iran, was sentenced in 2020 to five years in prison on national security charges. She was moved to house arrest later, but in January was returned to jail.
Adelkab has denied the charges. France has called them “politically motivated” and repeatedly called for the release of Adelkhah, a researcher affiliated with Paris’s prestigious Sciences Po University.
Iran does not recognize dual nationality, saying the case is an Iranian domestic legal matter.
In March 2020, Iran released Adelkhah’s partner, French academic Roland Marchal, who was detained along with her, after France freed Iranian engineer Jalal Ruhollahnejad, detained over alleged violations of US sanctions against Tehran.


Turkish drone strike kills 4 in northeast Syria: Monitor

Turkish drone strike kills 4 in northeast Syria: Monitor
Ankara has launched successive military offensives in Syria. (File/AFP)
Updated 09 August 2022

Turkish drone strike kills 4 in northeast Syria: Monitor

Turkish drone strike kills 4 in northeast Syria: Monitor
  • Turkey has stepped up its drone strikes in Kurdish-controlled areas of Syria since a July 19 summit with Iran and Russia failed to greenlight a fresh offensive, according to Kurdish officials and the Observatory

BEIRUT: A Turkish drone strike Tuesday killed at least four people in a northeast Syrian city held by Kurdish forces, the latest in a flurry of attacks, a war monitor said.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack struck near a hospital in Qamishli, the defacto capital of a semi-autonomous Kurdish administration that runs large parts of the country’s northeast.
The four victims, all affiliated with the administration, were killed while they dug trenches near Turkey’s border in anticipation of a new offensive that Ankara has threatened to launch since May, the monitor said.
Ankara has launched successive military offensives in Syria. Most have targeted Kurdish militants that Ankara links to a group waging a decades-long insurgency against it.
Turkey has stepped up its drone strikes in Kurdish-controlled areas of Syria since a July 19 summit with Iran and Russia failed to greenlight a fresh offensive, according to Kurdish officials and the Observatory.
A Turkish drone strike on Qamishli at the weekend killed four people, including two siblings, said the Observatory.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have counted at least 13 of their members killed in several Turkish attacks since July 19.
Syria’s conflict that began in March 2011 has killed nearly half a million people and displaced half the country’s pre-war population.


Egyptian FM, Kazakh deputy FM discuss bilateral ties

Egyptian FM, Kazakh deputy FM discuss bilateral ties
Updated 09 August 2022

Egyptian FM, Kazakh deputy FM discuss bilateral ties

Egyptian FM, Kazakh deputy FM discuss bilateral ties
  • Shoukry praised Kazakhstan’s role in launching the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia
  • Tursunov emphasized the value that Kazakhstan places on relations with Egypt, and on the critical role that Cairo plays in the region

CAIRO: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry received Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Adil Tursunov in Cairo.

They discussed issues of common interest and ways to enhance bilateral relations. Shoukry praised Kazakhstan’s role in launching the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, which aims to enhance security and stability on the continent, particularly with regard to terrorism, drug trafficking and weapons of mass destruction.

He and Tursunov highlighted the significance of developing cooperation between their nations in various fields, following up on the phone call between their presidents in February.

Tursunov emphasized the value that Kazakhstan places on relations with Egypt, and on the critical role that Cairo plays in the region.


Egyptian, Israeli leaders hold talks after Gaza truce

Egyptian, Israeli leaders hold talks after Gaza truce
Updated 09 August 2022

Egyptian, Israeli leaders hold talks after Gaza truce

Egyptian, Israeli leaders hold talks after Gaza truce
  • Yair Lapid thanks Abdel Fattah El-Sisi for Cairo’s mediation

CAIRO: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid held talks following Sunday night’s Cairo-brokered truce between Israel and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, where fighting last week left at least 44 Palestinians dead, including 15 children.

During their phone call, El-Sisi said it is crucial to build on the current calm and take immediate steps to improve living conditions in Gaza and support Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Lapid reaffirmed Egypt’s role as a cornerstone for Middle East peace, expressing his gratitude for its effective mediation in recent days.

In a statement, Lapid said he and El-Sisi “talked about the importance of promoting and developing normalization between Israel and the countries of the region and the importance of dialogue for achieving stability in the region.”

They also discussed “important humanitarian issues for the two countries and the continuation of economic cooperation between them.”

The truce ended the worst fighting in Gaza since an 11-day war last year. Israel began its operation by assassinating an Islamic Jihad leader on Friday, and killed another of its leaders on Saturday.