18 | 10 | 2019

Israel’s extrajudicial execution of nine human rights defenders attempting to break the illegal siege of Gaza in 2010 sealed Manu Pineda’s involvement in the movement for Palestinian liberation.

Pineda, an MEP for Spain’s Izquierda Unida elected in the last European elections, was moved to join the efforts to break Israel’s blockade. But in 2011, at Israel’s behest, the Greek government impounded the 14-boat flotilla he was sailing in.

Eventually making it to Gaza through Egypt, Pineda witnessed two large-scale Israeli military assaults on the tiny strip during the subsequent three years he was there.

It is with concern that the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation (CPPC) is following the path that the European Union (EU) has been treading in order to create conditions to criminalise solidarity with the Palestinian cause, while turning a blind eye on the illegalities and crimes of the Israeli regime against the Palestinian people.

Examples of this are the assimilation, denunciation and condemnation of Israeli policy, anti-Semitism (EU Justice and Home Affairs Council, and subsequent decisions by several member states); legislation against the international “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Movement” (Germany and France); the ban on participating in any political activities or events, enacted against the Palestinian writer and activist Kahled Barakat (Germany); the threat of a residence ban against Charlotte Kates, coordinator of the International Network for Solidarity with Palestinian Prisoners (Germany); the charge against Ángeles Maestro Martín and two other women of collaboration with a terrorist organisation for raising funds for the reconstruction of what the Israeli forces had destroyed in the Gaza Strip in 2014 (Spain).

Moscow has noted with great concern the persisting tensions when it comes to the Palestinian-Israeli settlement, which became hostage to Washington’s one-sided approaches as confirmed once again by the recent discussion of the Middle East agenda by the UN Security Council. On July 25, the United States blocked the approval of a draft press statement, proposed by Kuwait, Indonesia and South Africa, condemning the demolition of Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem. Under international law, Israel’s actions in the occupied Palestinian territories were illegal.

The Ministers of the Ministerial Committee of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on Palestine, meeting on July 20, 2019, in Caracas, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in the framework of the Ministerial Meeting of the Movement Coordination Bureau, taking into account the prevailing need to address the decisive events in the international arena and the continuing deterioration of the situation on the ground, which are dangerously undermining the inalienable rights and legitimate national aspirations of the Palestinian people and the expectations for a peaceful and fair solution for the Palestinian issue.

In an article published in its weekend magazine section on Friday, July 5, the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz revealed that since the start of the last decade, Defense Ministry teams have been scouring archives throughout Israel and removing “sensitive” historic documents. However, among the documents being transferred to secret vaults are not just papers relating to Israel’s nuclear project or to the country’s foreign relations. They also include  hundreds of documents that have been illegally requisitioned and hidden away as part of a systematic effort to conceal evidence of the Nakba.

Following a prolonged legal battle led by three human rights organizations, Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, and the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, Israel returned on July 1 a boat to a Gaza fisherman after seizing and holding it without legal authority for three years.

As part of the legal proceedings, the state also notified the Supreme Court two weeks ago that it will return another 65 boats and fishing vessels seized from Gaza fishermen within the next four months.

Israel announced on Tuesday, June 25, its decision to immediately begin halting the transfer of fuel used to operate the sole power plant in the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) tweeted that fuel supply to the power plant in Gaza would be stopped “following the launching of incendiary balloons from Gaza towards Israel…until further notice.”

In response to Tuesday’s announcement, the Palestinian Energy Authority and the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company said that the fuel then currently available in the power plant’s storage tanks was only sufficient for operating the plant’s turbines until Tuesday evening, after which the plant would be forced to cease operations.

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have been taking to the streets to protest the imperialist “Deal of the Century” and the Bahrain workshop, starting today, sponsored by the Trump administration, which they absolutely reject and view as a plot to annihilate the Palestinian cause.

Dozens of Palestinian activists held the first demonstration on Saturday, June 15, marching through he city center of Ramallah. Protesters held aloft Palestinian flags and placards condemning the US administration and the involvement of Arab countries — especially Bahrain — for hosting the workshop.

The Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) called Friday, June 14, on all parties who have been invited to the Bahrain workshop initiated by the United States, to refrain from attending, as this framework aims at establishing the principle of “money for peace.”

During a consultation meeting in Ramallah, the PLO Executive Committee announced that it has not delegated any party to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinian people. “Therefore,” it said, “the results of this workshop are null and void and will not create a right nor will they create an obligation.”

On June 1, 2018, an Israeli military sniper shot and killed, Palestinian paramedic Razan al-Najjar, 20, during the weekly Great March of Return procession along the Gaza border. Razan wanted to show the world that “We Palestinians can achieve anything even without weapons.” The marksman who shot her undoubtedly had other ideas.

PGFTUIn a press statement issued Saturday evening, the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) condemned the anti-BDS resolution by the youth organization of the German United Sevices Union (ver.di) and its political attack on the activities of the international boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) against the Israeli occupation state. PGFTU equally condemned the association with the General Federation of Israeli Trade Unions’ (Histadrut) position regarding its dissatisfaction with the movement of the global boycott of Israel.

In its press statement, the Union stressed its firm positions stemming from the positions of the Palestine Liberation Organization and its legitimate institutions, including the National and Central Councils, and to abide by them and not to be excluded from them.

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