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International Relations Council accuses U.S congress of ‘consolidating’ Israeli illegal occupation

The Palestinian Council on International Relations accused the U.S Congress of encouraging “Israel” in its violations and disregard for International law after approving a $38 billion package of military aid for Israel over the next 10 years.

In a press statement issued today, the Council said that such a decision is in the interest of the steps taken by U.S President Trump aimed at consolidation of “Israel”’s illegal occupation and crushing the Palestinians’ dream of self- determination and building their own independent and sovereign State.

The Council warned of the devastating consequences over this decision on the region’s stability, noting that U.S continued support encourages the occupation to continue its savage aggression against regional countries, which could lead to endless crisis.

The Palestinian Council on International Relations urged the U.S congress to listen to all of “the wise voices” calling upon keeping up the pressure on “Israel” to abide by the international law and stop their continuing violations against the Palestinian people.

The U.S Senate moved on Friday $38 billion to “Israel” in military assistance for a whole decade. The decision also included a million dollars fund for the State Department’s ant-Semitism observer office, which is double the current amount.

CIR praises US senators letter calling for helping Palestinians fighting Corona

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) welcomed the letter by US senators demanding the US administration to assist the Palestinians in fighting Coronavirus.

The Council said in a statement issued Sunday: “We highly appreciate the step of the eight senators in which they refused to link humanitarian aid to political situations. We appreciate these honest human feelings, especially their referring to the tragic conditions in the Gaza Strip due to the Israeli siege imposed for 14 years.”

In its statement, the CIR stressed that this step comes in the right time, as the Palestinians are facing an extremist American administration whose position is identical to the racist Israeli government, which seeks in every way to liquidate the Palestinian cause and remove the rights of the Palestinians.

The CIR called on the rest of the members of Congress to support this letter and pressure the US administration to resume UNRWA allocations and stop any steps that would support the occupation and steal the rights of the Palestinians.

Eight members of the American Senate had appealed to the American administration to provide assistance to the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, to help them overcome the Coronavirus pandemic.

CIR: US Ambassador statements on West Bank new crime against Palestinians

Council on International Relations considered the statements of the US ambassador “Israel” on the West Bank a crime and a new aggression added to the ongoing American administration’s crimes against the Palestinian people.

The Council said in a statement issued Thursday that Friedman statements reflect the US administration’s continued hostility to the Palestinians and support for the presence of the Israeli occupation on their land, and contradicts the administration’s commitment to adhere to international laws.

In its statement, the council called on the international community to break the silence it controls over the Trump administration’s actions, calling on the world to recognize the Palestinian state and its sovereignty over all Palestinian lands.

The Council made a special appeal to the Democratic Party of the United States to publicly condemn these steps and press through Congress for the American administration to retract this racist policy against our people, and to work immediately to enact laws and legislation to support our people’s struggle for freedom and stability.

These Israeli plans to annex the remainder of our lands, supported by an extremist American administration, threaten any hope for stability in an explosive region boiled by conflicts, the Council stressed in its statement.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said yesterday that America’s next step, after recognising Jerusalem as “Israel”’s capital and “Israel”’s sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, is the annexation of the occupied West Bank.

Trump, Kushner and Netanyahu are hellbent on destroying the two-state solution – the EU must not let them

Beth Oppenheim and Luigi Scazzieri

August 2, 2019

This week, Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and his team have been touring the Middle East to push his new $50bn economic plan, unveiled in Bahrain last month. The proposals aim to open the West Bank and Gaza to regional and global markets, developing the Palestinian economy. The US administration claims that within 10 years this strategy would double Palestinian economic output.

While the US maintained the launch of the plan was a success, it received scathing press coverage and little recognition by the international community. Crucially, neither the Palestinian Authority (PA) nor the Israeli government were represented, and other important players like the EU, Egypt and Jordan only sent low-level delegations.

Trump has promised the “deal of the century” to solve the Israel-Palestinian question, but so far only Kushner’s economic plan has emerged. None of Kushner’s proposals can work without knowing the outlines of a political settlement. His plan deliberately ignores the realities on the ground, failing to mention Israel’s occupation of the West Bank or its blockade of Gaza.

The Israeli occupation is the main obstacle to Palestinian economic development. In 2013, the World Bank found that restrictions in the Israeli-controlled parts of the West Bank cost the Palestinian economy $3.4bn per year, or 35 per cent of gross domestic product in 2011. Little has changed since. And the blockade of Gaza has left the strip in a permanent humanitarian crisis.

US policy is already eroding the prospects for the two-state solution, which is enshrined in several UN resolutions. Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s Middle East peace envoy, have made clear they are not committed to the international consensus. Instead, US policy under Trump has overtly favoured Israel while turning the screws on the Palestinians: the US has recognised the whole of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved its embassy there from Tel Aviv, and recognised Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights.

At the same time, Trump has ended US support for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), cut US bilateral aid to the Palestinian Authority, and closed the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s office in Washington. As a result, the US has lost credibility with the Palestinians as a neutral broker of peace.

The US’s silence on Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank could embolden right-wing Israeli politicians to annex parts of the West Bank. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already promised to pursue annexation, in order to win support from the hard-right. This would permanently fragment Palestinian territory – making a viable, contiguous Palestinian state impossible – inflame tensions across the region, and fan extremism in both the West Bank and Gaza.

 

The EU should limit the potential for Kushner’s economic package to further undermine the two-state solution, which remains the most realistic, mutually acceptable resolution to the conflict. The EU operates a “differentiation” policy towards Israel: settlement entities are excluded from its research programme, and member-states are supposed to label goods produced in settlements. But these measures are weak and poorly implemented. Netanyahu’s threats of annexation should prompt the EU to strengthen its differentiation measures, for example by barring European banks from carrying out financial transactions with people or businesses in the occupied territories.

Full Article here

CIR slams Friedman participation in Jerusalem tunnel opening

Council for International Relations – Palestine condemned the participation of the US ambassador to “Israel” in opening an Israeli tunnel under neighborhood of Silwan in the occupied east Jerusalem.

The United States, represented by its administration and envoys in the region, continues to violate and ignore international law and UNESCO resolutions, which explicitly state the right of the Palestinian people to Jerusalem and its holy sites, the council said in a statement on Monday.

The council accused David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, the US president’s envoy to the Middle East, of being Zionist settlers who are no different from the settlers who occupy the Palestinian territories and wreak havoc.

The Council expressed its deep regret over the silence showed by the Muslim and Arab countries. It called upon the American wise politicians and people to pressure the American administration to stop such acts, which only lead to further deterioration and instability in the region.

The CIR called on the international community and the United Nations to take effective measures to pressure the Israeli occupation to stop these American-backed excavations, which are contrary to international law and UN resolutions.

US officials attended the opening, organized by an Israeli settler-linked group in East Jerusalem on Sunday, their latest move breaking with precedent and angering Palestinians. White House Adviser Jason Greenblatt and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman were among the US officials present at the event.

CIR Condemns handing over of Ashqar by American authorities to Israeli occupation

Council on International Relations – Palestine (CIR) condemned the American authorities handing over the Palestinian scholar and former presidential candidate Abdelhaleem Ashqar to the Israeli occupation authorities.

The council said in a statement issued Thursday that the US authorities bear full responsibility for Ashqar, whose fate is now in the hands of the criminal Israeli occupation.

This American step emphasizes the hostile policy of the American administration toward the Palestinian people, stability and peace in the region through its blatant bias towards the unjust occupation and its ongoing crimes, the council noted.

The CIR said that the American administration had unfairly sentenced Ashqar to 11 years in prison after being abducted and placed under house arrest for nearly two years, in a charge not exceeding six months in prison, in clear reference to the targeting of Palestinian activists and scientists by the US authorities.

The council called on the international community, human rights groups and organizations around the world to press for the release of Ashqar, stressing the need for the US administration to review its policies in the region that contradict its claim to be an honest broker to achieve the peace process.

Palestinian scholar and former presidential candidate Abdelhaleem Ashqar was reportedly delivered on Wednesday night by the US authorities to the Israeli occupation, after serving 11 years inside the US prisons.

CIR Condemns New Zealand terrorist attack, holds Trump part of responsibility

Council on International Relations (CIR) Condemned the terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand on Friday morning.

The council said in a statement Friday that the attack is a reflection of the hate speech by some world leaders, especially US President Donald Trump, who inflamed and incited hatred against Islam and incited racism against refugees and immigrants.

At least 49 people have been killed and more than 40 others wounded in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, after a terrorist gunman opened indiscriminate fire at Muslim worshippers, some as they were kneeling at prayer.

In its statement, the Council added that the attack is clear evidence that terrorism has no religion, referring to the terrorism the Palestinian people are subjected to on daily basis under the Israeli occupation, that kill, wound and displace without any accountability.

The Council called on the New Zealand government to prosecute criminals and those behind them and governments around the world to take adequate measures to protect Muslims and their places of worship from racists and terrorists and to fight the culture of extremism and hatred everywhere.

CIR: Bolton visit to Jerusalem will not legitimize its occupation

Council on International Relations – Palestine denounced the visit of US national security adviser John Bolton to Jerusalem, considering it an attempt to legitimize its decades-old occupation.

The council said in a statement on Monday that Bolton’s visit to the Western Wall and tunnels under the Al-Aqsa Mosque was to encourage and legitimize the plans of the Israeli occupation aimed at demolishing Al-Aqsa Mosque, warning of dire consequences.

“The visit contravenes international law and is a clear indication of the continuation of the American policy, which is biased to the Israeli occupation and is in violation of international norms and laws”, the CIR said.

The Council pointed out that Trump’s policy only leads to greater tension and instability in the region, stressing that his policy will not push the Palestinian people to relinquish their legitimate rights, especially their right to Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.

The CIR called on the international community to take practical steps to address this policy, and pressure the US administration to retreat from its destructive policy in the region.

The President of the US National Council John Bolton visited “Israel” on Sunday and arrived at the scene opposite Al Buraq Wall, which is located on the ruins of “The Moroccan Quarter,” and also visited the tunnels along Al Buraq Wall and the Old Town.

CIR holds meeting about transformation of India’s positions towards Palestinian issue

Council on International Relations – Palestine held a dialogue meeting about the reasons behind transformation of India’s positions towards Palestinian issue Tuesday morning in Gaza City.

The council hosted Mr. Feroze Mithiborwala, the Founder General Secretary of the India Palestine Solidarity Forum, who spoke from Mumbai, India.

Feroze spoke about the far-right alliance between BJP and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which is part of the trend in the Middle East region where the Gulf Monarchies and certain right-wing Islamic parties are allied with Israel.

Speaking of the history of the relationship between Palestine and India, Mithiborwala said that the relations go back to before India’s independence in 1947, pointing out that India has always voted for Palestine. But the dramatic change in Indian politics began in 1990 when the Soviet Union collapsed. That time, India began to move toward America and Israel and sought to reorganize its strategic relations in order to find a place in the map of the New World order.

Later, Israel took advantage of the singing of the Oslo Accords to improve its relations with several countries including India, he added.

Feroze pointed out that one of the most important factor between India and “Israel” is the issue of Kashmir exploited by the Americans and “Israel” to engage deeply in the Indian Peninsula. He thus stressed on the need for governments and peoples in India and Pakistan to reach a solution to the Kashmir issue because many put the issues of Palestine and Kashmir In the same box, and what is required is the separation between both. The issue of Palestine and Kashmir are very different in their genesis andd their political solutions are also very different.

“Israel” is the last to “help” India to resolve the issue of Kashmir, as an occupying state that practices persecution against the Palestinian people, he said.

On Netanyahu’s recent visit to India, large demonstrations were held across the country, calling for NETANYAHU TO GO BACK!

Turning to the solutions, Feroze said that India is required first to build a strong movement within India on the issue of Palestine because the freedom of the World is linked to the freedom of Palestine.

Secondly, launching a boycott movement against “Israel” similar to the boycott movement in the world. Thirdly, communicating with Bollywood because of its importance in the Arab world as well as working at the level of Asian countries to unite to support the Palestinian cause.

As for the Palestinian, Feroze pointed out that the Palestinian forces and parties are required to interact more with the Indian people and to bring more Palestinians to India to talk about their struggle and their suffering.

He called on the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian embassy in India to play a more active role and to communicate more with the Indian government, parties and social movements.

CIR denounce US for withdrawing Jerusalem from negotiations and blackmailing Palestinians financially

 

Council on International Relations – Palestine denounced the dangerous statement made by US President Donald Trump in which he withdrew the issue of Jerusalem from the negotiating table as a settled issue that is not subject to discussion.

“What would remain on the table if the most serious issue, the Jerusalem issue, was withdrawn” the council wondered in a press release issued on Wednesday.

In a related vein, the Council described the threat of the US President to cut off aid to the Palestinian people as “political blackmail” that shows how ignorant he is of the peoples’ struggles for freedom.

The Council said that this threat is clearly aimed at pushing the Palestinian people to relinquish their legitimate rights, which have been recognized by international law and resolutions.

The Council noted that the aid provided by the international community to the Palestinian people through UNRWA would not compensate for the suffering of the Palestinian refugees caused by the unjust Israeli occupation.

The CIR called on the international community to stand firmly against Trump’s reckless policy, which leads the region towards the unknown, calling on the Palestinian Authority to take bold positions and respond to these policies with greater adherence to the Palestinian constants.