Palestinian election delayed due to Israel: Revelation 11

Palestinian election delayed due to dispute on east Jerusalem voting

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said early Friday that the main factions have agreed to delay the first elections planned in 15 years, citing a dispute with Israel over voting in east Jerusalem.

The decision spares Abbas’ fractured Fatah party from what was widely expected to be another embarrassing defeat to the Islamic militant group Hamas, which slammed the move as a “coup.” It will be quietly welcomed by Israel and Western countries, which view Hamas as a terrorist group and are concerned about its growing strength.

But it leaves a political leadership in place that has failed to advance Palestinian hopes for statehood and is seen as increasingly corrupt and authoritarian.

Speaking at the start of the meeting, Abbas focused his remarks on east Jerusalem, where Israel has yet to say whether it would allow voting by mail as in past elections and has enforced a ban on Palestinian Authority activities, including campaign events.

“We will take the proper decision to preserve all our rights in east Jerusalem, our eternal capital, including the right to hold parliamentary elections there,” Abbas said in a lengthy speech before the closed-door part of the gathering.

He announced the decision shortly after midnight Thursday.Video appears to show Israeli missiles intercept rockets fired from Gaza Strip – Feb 23, 2020

Postponing the vote over Jerusalem could be seen as a pretext, as only a small number of voters in the city would actually require Israel’s permission and several candidates have suggested workarounds.

Abbas said the Palestinian Authority has repeatedly sought assurances from Israel and called on the European Union to exert pressure, to no avail. He said it received a letter from Israel on Thursday saying it could not take a position on the elections because it does not yet have a government of its own following last month’s elections.

The Islamic militant group Hamas, which stands to gain influence in the elections, condemned the decision, saying it “doesn’t agree with the national consensus and popular support and is a coup.”

Prior to the announcement, Hamas had issued a statement saying the Palestinians should explore ways of “forcing the elections in Jerusalem without the permission of or co-ordination with the occupation.”

The group also issued a veiled warning to Abbas without mentioning him by name, saying Hamas “will not be party to any postponement or cancellation and will not provide cover.”

The responsibility for any such decision “will rest with those who take it in response to the veto of the occupation,” it said.

Hamas was expected to perform well in the May 22 parliamentary elections because of widening divisions within Fatah, which has split into three rival lists.

Israel has not said whether it will allow voting in east Jerusalem but has expressed concern about Hamas’ growing strength. Israel and Western countries view Hamas as a terrorist group and would likely boycott any Palestinian government that includes it.President Abbas: U.S. plan offers Palestinians ‘Swiss cheese’ state – Feb 11, 2020

The day after U.S. President Joe Biden exhorted Americans to “prove that democracy still works” in an address to Congress, his State Department distanced itself from the Palestinian vote.

“The exercise of democratic elections is a matter for the Palestinian people and for the Palestinian leadership to determine,” spokesman Ned Price told reporters in Washington. “We believe in an inclusive political process.”

Israel captured east Jerusalem, along with the West Bank and Gaza, in the 1967 war, territories the Palestinians want for their future state. Israel annexed east Jerusalem in a move not recognized internationally and views the entire city as its capital, barring the Palestinian Authority from operating there. The Palestinians consider east Jerusalem their capital.

According to interim peace agreements reached in the 1990s, which were rejected by Hamas, some 6,000 Palestinians in east Jerusalem submit their ballots through Israeli post offices. The other 150,000 can vote with or without Israel’s permission.

Fatah has said the elections cannot be held without Israel giving express permission for east Jerusalem residents to vote. Its opponents have called for creative solutions, such as setting up ballot boxes in schools or religious sites.

But Abbas appeared to rule that out on Thursday, joking that the Palestinians would not vote in “the Hungarian Embassy.”

The dispute has taken on greater import since the start of the holy month of Ramadan, as Muslim protesters have clashed with Israeli police over restrictions on gatherings.

The elections, and a presidential vote planned for July 31, offered a rare opportunity for the Palestinians to empower a new leadership and potentially chart a different course in their stalled, decades-long struggle for independence.Arab League rejects Trump’s peace plan – Feb 1, 2020

The 85-year-old Abbas and his inner circle of Fatah figures, now in their 60s and 70s, have dominated the Palestinian Authority for nearly two decades. They have failed to advance Palestinian hopes for statehood, heal a 13-year internal rift with Hamas, lift the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza or empower a new generation of leaders.

The last elections, held in 2006, saw Hamas win a landslide victory after campaigning as a scrappy underdog untainted by corruption. That sparked an internal crisis culminating in Hamas’ seizure of Gaza the following year, which confined Abbas’ authority to parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Hamas’ popularity has fallen in the years since, as conditions in Gaza have steadily deteriorated. But it has remained unified and disciplined even as Fatah has split into three rival parliamentary lists.

Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and has fought three wars with it since seizing control of Gaza. It has also carried out scores of attacks over the past three decades that have killed hundreds of Israeli civilians.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Israel drops drone outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israel drops drone in N. Gaza


MENAFN

Northern Gaza on Wednesday saw the falling of an Israeli drone, with the Israeli military having confirmed that the accident occurred during a routine operation in the region.

The news was confirmed in a twitter statement posted by Avichay Adraee, a spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), who further asserted that there are “no concerns of leaked information from the drone.”

In the meantime, Anadolu Agency quoted a source from one of the resistance groups in Gaza as saying that his group seized the drone but did not give more information.

Gaza has witnessed a military escalation since Friday in which Palestinian resistance groups have fired rockets from Gaza towards Israeli regions whereas the Israeli army has targeted many locations in Gaza of Hamas’s military wing.

Rallies held outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Rallies held in Gaza against election postponement

GAZA CITY, Palestine

Palestinians on Friday staged rallies across Gaza to protest the postponement of the parliamentary elections.

The rallies converged to the streets from various mosques after Friday prayers upon the call of the Hamas group.

The protesters raised banners in support of Palestinians in Jerusalem.

Addressing a rally in northern Gaza, Moshir al-Masri, a Hamas leader, slammed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to delay the polls.

“What the Jerusalemites achieved of victory must be a direction for the politicians of the Palestinian Authority to impose the electoral national agenda on the [Israeli] Zionist enemy,” al-Masri said.

Meanwhile, Suleiman Abu Sitta, a nominee on Hamas’s electoral list, said during a rally in Rafah, southern Gaza, that the “masses today are angry at the decision of the Palestinian Authority.”

“Delaying the polls is a political sin,” he added.

On Friday, Abbas announced postponement of elections until the Israeli authorities permit holding the elections in Jerusalem.

The parliamentary polls were expected to be held on May 22, presidential polls on July 31 and Palestinian national council polls on August 31.

* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

Hamas’ goal is a Temple Mount cleansed of Jews: Revelation 11

Hamas’ goal is a Temple Mount cleansed of Jews


Hamas is now trying to write a new equation: quiet in the south in exchange for a Temple Mount cleansed of Jews. Israel must respond with a resounding and public “no.”

Hamas’ demand that Israel start prohibiting Jews from visiting the Temple Mount “in exchange” for quiet in the Gaza sector, can only come from a terrorist organization that feels immune to repercussions for its untamed behavior – whether this includes firing rockets at southern Israel or carrying out a terrorist attack in Jerusalem, Lod or Judea and Samaria. Hamas is presenting an opposite reality: Instead of Israel deterring the terrorist group – Hamas is looking to deter Israel. It has succeeded in doing so in the past.

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The organization that has leveraged the modern-day libel of “al-Aqsa is in danger” and turned it into an assembly line for producing terrorist attacks to “save,” “liberate” or “redeem” al-Aqsa from the Jews and Israel who “defile its Muslimhood,” is now taking it one step further.

Hamas is no longer content with libeling the State of Israel, which it accuses of wanting to destroy the Temple Mount mosques; it is no longer satisfied with knife and car-ramming attacks across Israel “on behalf of al-Aqsa” and its “liberation.” Neither is it placated anymore by lone-wolf stabbers who boasted in their interrogations of trying to commit knife attacks at the Temple Mount entrance to disrupt and prevent Jews from visiting the site.

Now, Hamas is allowing itself to go one step further and put things on the table: No more Jewish visits to the Temple Mount. Essentially, it wants to return to the time when Jews were banned from visiting their own most holy sites.

We need to hope that no one in any of the Zionist political parties, defense establishment, or Israel Police is even remotely entertaining this impertinent demand. The ability to visit the Temple Mount is all the Jews have left after former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan decided in 1967 to prohibit Jewish prayer at the site.

Israeli governments throughout the years have since adhered to this “status quo,” even though the Muslims have violated the “sacred status quo” on the Temple Mount on numerous occasions since Dayan’s decree. They built two additional mosques at the site. They also turned the Gate of Mercy area into a place of worship, destroyed and desecrated Jewish antiquities on the Temple Mount, and greatly expanded Jordan’s influence at the site, to the point that it became an equal partner with Israel in the site’s management. They have also established a foothold in the “Mount’s environs” and occasional influence or veto changes at the Temple Mount’s walls (eastern, southern and the western).

In recent years, Jews have been murdered and wounded by terrorists with ties to Hamas, which desired these attacks to “block” or “disrupt” Jews from visiting the Temple Mount or to “harm them.” Such was the case with Masabah Abu Sabih, who on October 9, 2016, opened fire on commuters at the Ammunition Hill light rail station, murdering Levana Malihi, 60, and police officer Yossi Kirma. Such was also the case with Mohammed Nasser Tra’ayra, 19, who in 2016 murdered 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel as she slept in her bed in Kiryat Arba. As was the case of the Palestinian terrorist who stabbed and wounded an Israeli in November 2015 outside a supermarket at the Sha’ar Binyamin Industrial Zone, who wrote that he “devoted himself to protecting the al-Aqsa mosque.” And this was the case with Baha Elian and Balal Abu Gaanam, the two terrorists who shot and murdered three Jews on a bus in Jerusalem in October 2015. They and many more like them linked their atrocities to the al-Aqsa mosque.

Each of these hundreds of attacks in recent years “for the sake of al-Aqsa” and to “block the Jews” from going there have not helped Hamas, which is now trying to write a new equation: quiet in the south in exchange for a Temple Mount cleansed of Jews. We must understand and internalize this. Israel must respond with a resounding and public “no,” if nothing else than to rehabilitate its deterrence with Hamas.

Israel Tries to Stop Hamas Election: Revelation 11

No elections without East Jerusalem say Palestinian factions as Israel arrests Hamas members

The New Arab Staff

Palestinains want Jerusalemites to participate [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 April, 2021

Palestinian political factions on Monday unanimously agreed that no elections will take place without Jerusalemites taking part.

Palestinian political factions on Monday unanimously agreed that no election will take place without East Jerusalem residents participating, amid concerns Israel might try to block voting in the occupied areas.

During a meeting held in Ramallah to discuss the upcoming general elections, the factions reiterated East Jerusalem’s Palestinian status and said Israel has no right to prevent Jerusalemites from voting in upcoming elections.

The parties also called on the international community – including the UN, EU, China, Russia – to urge Israel not to “put obstacles in the way of holding elections in all stages across the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, the capital of the Palestinian state”, according to a statement on the Wafa news agency.

The statement urged all parties to encourage voting participation “as part of a comprehensive popular resistance across the pre-1967 occupied territories”.

It also called for Palestinian unity “for the sake of the electoral battle and all the legitimate national rights for freedom and independence in accordance with the laws and resolutions of international legitimacy”.

Prior to the 2006 Palestinian elections, Israeli officials tried to obstruct voting in East Jerusalem, which was illegally annexed by Israel in 1967 and is under Israeli civil and military control.

Unofficial estimates indicate that around 340,000 Palestinians live in occupied Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces arrested Hamas members across the occupied West Bank on Monday.

Hamas member Mustafa Shawer, Palestinian Legislative Council member Omar al-Qawasmi, and Anas Rasras were among those detained during the Monday raids, an anonymous source told Anadolu Agency.

Palestine will head to the polls for the first time in 15 years this summer. The legislative elections will take place on 22 May and a presidential vote on 31 July. 

It is currently unclear whether the votes will take place.

Israel arrests Hamas members outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israel arrests Hamas members in West Bank raids

Hamas described the arrests as ‘an attempt to disrupt and stop the course of the Palestinian elections’.

Most of the arrests took place in the cities of Hebron, Bethlehem, Jenin, Ramallah, Al-Bireh and occupied East Jerusalem [File: Alaa Badarneh/EPA]

Israeli forces arrested 25 Palestinians in overnight raids across the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) said on Monday.

Among those detained were prominent members of the Hamas movement and former prisoner Mona Qa’dan.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Mahmoud Qa’dan, Mona’s brother, said Israeli forces raided his sister’s house at dawn in the town of Arraba and took her into custody.

“Mona was previously arrested five times, and was last released in 2016 after 40 months of detention in the occupation prisons,” Mahmoud said.

A local source in Hebron, who spoke to Anadolu on condition of anonymity, said the Hamas member Mustafa Shawer, Palestinian Legislative Council member Omar al-Qawasmi, and Anas Rasras were among those arrested in the raids.

A young woman, Shams Mashaqi, was also arrested from her village of Yaseed near Nablus.

Most of the arrests took place in the cities of Hebron, Bethlehem, Jenin, Ramallah, Al-Bireh and occupied East Jerusalem, the PPS said in a statement.

Hamas has described the arrests of some of its leaders and members in recent weeks as “an attempt to disrupt and stop the course of the elections”.

Palestinians will vote in a legislative election on May 22. At least three members of the Hamas slate of candidates for the election have been arrested in recent weeks.

According to Fuad al-Khuffash, a Palestinian human rights researcher and expert on prisoners’ affairs, the arrest of Hamas members and supporters in the run-up to the vote was an attempt to harm the faction’s electoral chances.

“Prior to the 2006 elections, Israel arrested more than 560 leaders and members of Hamas,” he said.

Al-Khuffash said the Israeli tactic of arresting such people is aimed at “emptying the arena of influential people” who can determine the direction of the elections and limiting Hamas’s choice of who can run.

A member of the Hamas political bureau, Mousa Dudin, said in a statement the Israeli arrests reflect its “criminal and terrorist identity in besieging our people and its democratic options”.

“Since the start of the elections, the Israeli occupation threats against the Hamas movement’s leaders and sons have not stopped,” he said.

Dudin called on the international community to “stand up in the face of the Zionist arrogance that expresses a fascism that has no parallel in the world, by robbing the will of the people”.

“We pay tribute to the members of the movement, who have vowed to continue on the path of national cohesion,” he added.

An estimated 4,450 Palestinians are believed to be held in Israeli prisons, including 37 women, about 140 minors and 440 administrative detainees.

Head of diaspora office

Meanwhile, former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal has been elected as the head of the group’s office in the diaspora, a spokesman said on Monday.

Meshaal, 64, who survived an Israeli assassination attempt in 1997, was head of the political bureau until 2017 when he was replaced by Ismail Haniyeh, 59, who is based in the Gaza Strip.

Although Hamas’s power base is in Gaza, which it has controlled since 2007, it also has followers among refugees and others in the Middle East and elsewhere. In 2012 Meshaal angered close Hamas ally Syria when he left Damascus because of Iranian-backed President Bashar al-Assad’s war against opposition rebels.

Akram Atallah, a Palestinian analyst, said the move was not likely to cause a significant shift in Hamas’s position as Meshaal was broadly aligned with Haniyeh, both in terms of their more pragmatic approach to Arab and Western countries, and in their attitudes to the Middle East conflict.

“When it comes to Hamas’s policy towards Israel, I don’t see hardliners and moderates. I believe there is an agreement over that,” Atallah said.

Israeli authorities ban celebration for new freed Palestinian detainees outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israeli occupation authorities ban celebration for new freed Palestinian detainees

Saturday, 03 April 2021 4:43 PM  [ Last Update: Sunday, 04 April 2021 12:40 PM ]

By Wafaa Al-Udaini

The day of freedom from prison is a special day for Palestinian political prisoners and their families. It is considered a national day where celebrations are held, and fireworks launched.  

Yet, according to Israeli laws against Palestinians of Jerusalem al-Quds, freed prisoners of Jerusalem al-Quds are not allowed to hold any kind of celebration, whether in their neighborhood or in their own homes. 

Furthermore, freed prisoners are often re-arrested by the occupation police to sign pledges to not hold any celebrations, ceremonies and even the Palestinian flag; they are also not allowed to receive guests who wish to congratulate them on their release. 

On Tuesday, March 30, 2021, the Israeli occupation forces stormed the home of Majd Barbar, former Palestinian political prisoner, released after 20 years of detention, one day earlier. They kidnapped him and attacked family members and friends who were present in his home, in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood of occupied Jerusalem al-Quds. 

Barbar was released again after one day of detention, but under several conditions, including pledging not to hold celebration events, not to raise the Palestinian flag, not launching fireworks; and to pay a financial guarantee of 1,000 NIS.  

Barbar is a father of two and has been detained by the Israeli occupation forces since 2001. On the day of his release, his family, friends and neighbors of his Jerusalem al-Quds neighborhood welcomed him grandly. Several touching videos of this welcoming back reunion featuring Majd Barbar with his loved ones went viral on social media. 

Zaina, 20-year-old daughter of Majd said, “The occupation always tries to snatch any joy and happiness from our hearts. It’s really unfair! The moment of my father’s freedom is so significant in our lives; Israel took him away from me since I was 15 days old.”

Ali Almoghrabi, spokesperson of the Asra Information Office, said that this is a familiar pattern with Palestinian political prisoners held in the Israeli military prisons. “When they end their sentence, they are re-arrested. This Israeli policy is mostly used in Occupied Jerusalem al-Quds. Some ex-prisoners have been forcibly deported from their hometown for days, while others have been prohibited from celebrating or participating in any political or peaceful events,” he stated.  

“The occupation aims at keeping Palestinians of Jerusalem al-Quds in states of pain, frustration and sadness. It doesn’t want them to connect with their Palestinian identity”, he added. 

For Jerusalemite ex-prisoners, the Israeli authorities re-detained many of them as they walked out of prison after serving long years. 

“They were kidnapped and re-detained by Israeli forces and then re-released under restricted conditions by signing pledges to not celebrate or participate in any political or peaceful events”, said Amjad Abu Assab, head of the Committee of Families of Prisoners from Jerusalem al-Quds. 

Ali Almoghrabi, stated in an interview, “Such celebrations are considered as one of the popular resistance methods so the Occupation tries to stop them and kill any spirit of resistance or patriotism.” 

The total number of Palestinians held in Israeli jails today is nearly 5,000, of whom 450 remain in administrative detention. Over 500 prisoners, including women and minors, are from Jerusalem al-Quds alone. 

According to the Palestinian Prisoners Club, the Israelis follow this policy in order to keep Palestinians in Occupied Jerusalem al-Quds oppressed and disappointed so that no one can see the prisoner as a hero.  

“The Israeli policy of no-celebration is nothing new,” the spokesman of Asra Information Office explained. “All the Israeli policies used against the prisoners are totally racist. They want to bury the Palestinian identity from Jerusalemites to show that Jerusalem al-Quds is completely Jewish.” He added that this policy is not implemented on the Israelis. 

The Israelis also use another policy to oppress and harass newly freed Jerusalemites by deporting them to another city. Such a gross injustice happened to Waseem Aljallad a year ago. 

Wassem Aljallad, 42, from Jerusalem al-Quds was re-detained and transferred to al-Maskubiya police station immediately after he had been freed from a 15-year prison sentence.  

Aljallad was a new groom when he was arrested by the Israeli occupation forces. While the latter raided his home to re-arrest him, he was in pyjamas, and they dragged him this way out of his home. He was accused of participating in anti-occupation military operations. 

His family planned to hold his wedding ceremony again after finishing his sentence, but the Israeli authorities forced him to cancel his wedding ceremonies and not to celebrate his release nor to attend any gatherings as a condition to his re-release. 

They also deported him from Jerusalem al-Quds for two weeks and compelled him to pay a financial guarantee of $1,400 and another unpaid amount of $25,000. He was released one day after the expected day on July 2019. His mother said in pain that they waited this day.  

The harassing policies that Israel applies against newly freed Palestinian prisoners vary according to the prisoners’ home regions and positions. Since the Israeli occupation forces fully control Jerusalem al-Quds, they have completely banned celebrations there. In the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, prisoners are sometimes released at dawn or midnight to ensure families and friends cannot immediately greet and celebrate with the newly freed Palestinians. In cases where the detention of Palestinian political prisoners has grabbed media attention, like for teenager Ahed Tamimi, long-hunger-striker Khader Adnan, and journalist Mohammed AlQeeq, the Israeli authorities apply yet again different post-release policies. 

Several human rights organizations demand that Israel stops these sadistic and harassing policies of freed Palestinian political prisoners. 

Wafaa al-Udaini is a Palestinian journalist based in Gaza.

(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)

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Israel vows war if Hamas wins parliamentary elections: Revelation 11

Israel warns it ‘will stop everything’ if Hamas wins parliamentary elections

March 20, 2021

Supporters of Hamas come together to celebrate their anniversary in Gaza on 17 December 2018 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

April 3, 2021 at 12:41 pm

Head of Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Kamil Abu Rukun has warned that Israel “will stop everything” if Hamas wins the upcoming parliamentary elections, the Times of Israel reported.

In an interview with Israeli public broadcaster Kan, he said: “That, at least, will be my recommendation, based on things that happened in the past and on what I see in the field.”

Abu Rukun told Kan, according to the Times of Israel, that he conveyed his stance to the Palestinians via indirect channels.

He stressed: “It is a very big mistake to go to these elections due to the high risk that Hamas will win, and therefore anything that serves this [a Hamas victory]. My recommendation is to not go along with it.”

The Israeli official reiterated that Israel should prevent carrying out the Palestinian elections in East Jerusalem.

On Wednesday, Kan reported Shin Bet security agency Head Nadav Argaman urging Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to scrap the Palestinian parliament’s upcoming elections if Hamas takes part.

Replying to Argaman, Abbas responded: “I do not work for you. I will decide if there will be an election and with whom. You built Hamas, not me.”

Last week, Secretary of Fatah’s Central Committee Jibril Rajoub recognised that Abbas faced Israeli and international pressure to cancel the election.

The last Palestinian parliamentary election was held in 2006 when Hamas achieved an overwhelming majority, while Fatah, the PA, Israel, Western countries, the US and most Arab countries did not recognise Hamas’s transparent victory.

State Department says Israel ‘occupied’ outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

State Department says Israel ‘occupied’ West Bank and Gaza

HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images

April 1, 2021

The US State Department clarified Wednesday that its view is that Israel “occupied” the Palestinian territories. The comments follow a report from the department that retained some Trump administration language indicating a more pro-Israel view from the United States on the issue. 

On Tuesday, the State Department released its human rights report for 2020.  The section on the West Bank and Gaza did not include the word “occupied” in its title. Under President Barack Obama, the report used the word “occupied” in the section header. However, the department dropped the term from the report title during the administration of President Donald Trump. 

Tuesday’s report did say that it “covers the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem territories that Israel occupied during the June 1967 war.” The Israel section also says Israel “occupied” the Golan Heights in 1967, but noted the 2019 US recognition of the formerly Syrian-held territory as Israeli, as well as the 2017 US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. 

Finally, the report said it “is not meant to convey a position on any final status issues,” including on “borders.” 

Later that day, the State Department’s Acting Assistant Secretary Lisa Peterson dodged a question on whether the United States views the West Bank and Gaza as occupied, repeating that the report is not a reflection on the “final status” of the areas. 

However, on Wednesday, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the US view is that Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza. “It is a historical fact that Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights after the 1967 war,” Price said at a press conference. 

Price noted the report’s use of the word “occupation” to refer the West Bank as well. 

“This has been the long-standing position of previous administrations of both parties over the course of many decades,” he said, adding that both Israel and the Palestinians should avoid doing anything to put a two-state solution “further out of reach.”

Israel took the West Bank from Jordan and the Gaza Strip from Egypt during the June 1967 war. The majority of the population is Palestinian in both areas, though hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers now live in the West Bank. Gaza is controlled internally by the Palestinian military and political organization Hamas, while its borders are subject to an Israeli and Egyptian blockade. Israel also controls the West Bank’s borders. Internally, it is administered in some areas by the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority and by the Israeli military in other parts. The United Nations considers the territories occupied by Israel and the settlements illegal, though Israel disputes this. 

Trump changed the US view on Israeli and Palestinian territory considerably. The United States during his administration became the first country to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan and his move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem reversed decades of US recognition of Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital. The move also led several other states to establish embassies in Jerusalem. Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also said in 2019 that Israel’s settlements in the West Bank are “not per se inconsistent with international law,” which was also a departure from the policy of previous US presidents. 

US President Joe Biden’s administration has reversed some Trump policies toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In March, the administration increased aid to the Palestinian Authority, which Trump had cut significantly, and is working to repair relations with the Palestinian Authority. However, the Biden administration has said it is keeping the US Embassy in Jerusalem. 

Biden administration quietly ramping up aid outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Biden administration quietly ramping up aid to Palestinians

The Biden administration is quietly ramping up assistance to the Palestinians after former President Donald Trump cut off nearly all such aid

ABC News

By MATTHEW LEE AP Diplomatic Writer

March 31, 2021, 1:11 PM

Blinken reveals latest report on status of human rights worldwide

Secretary of State Antony Blinken discus…

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is quietly ramping up assistance to the Palestinians after former President Donald Trump cut off nearly all aid. Since taking office with a pledge to reverse many of Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian decisions, the administration has allocated nearly $100 million for the Palestinians, only a small portion of which has been publicized.

The administration announced last Thursday that it was giving $15 million to vulnerable Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. A day later, with no public announcement, it notified Congress that it will give the Palestinians $75 million for economic support, to be used in part to regain their “trust and goodwill” after the Trump-era cuts.

The State Department declined to comment on the notification, and it wasn’t clear if the $75 million includes the $15 million in pandemic aid. Nevertheless, the funding plan represents a major shift in the U.S. approach to the Palestinians after the mutual recriminations during the Trump years.

In general, the administration supports a resumption in aid to the Palestinians, State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

“We continue to believe that American support for the Palestinian people, including financial support, it is consistent with our values. It is consistent with our interests. Of course, it is consistent with the interests of the Palestinian people. It’s also consistent with the interests of our partner, Israel, and we’ll have more to say on that going forward,” he told reporters.

The administration has made no secret of its belief that Trump’s approach, which alienated the Palestinians, was flawed and made prospects for peace less likely. The new assistance appears aimed at encouraging the Palestinians to return to negotiations with Israel, though there is no indication it will have that effect and Israel’s response has yet to be gauged.

A copy of the March 26 congressional notification from the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development was obtained by The Associated Press, just hours after the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office issued a report that found USAID had not properly vetted all of its Palestinian funding recipients for U.S. antiterrorism criteria as required by law.

Under U.S. law, the United States may not provide aid to the Palestinian Authority or fund projects it would benefit from as long as the authority pays stipends to the perpetrators and families of those convicted of anti-Israel or U.S. attacks. Such payments were one reason the Trump administration cut off aid. Although none of the assistance is to be provided to the Palestinian Authority, pro-Israel lawmakers, many of them Republicans, are likely to raise objections.

The GAO based its findings on a review of aid provided to the Palestinians between 2015 and 2019, when Trump severed most of the aid. While it said that USAID had followed the law with respect to people and groups it funded directly, it had not done the same with entities, known as sub-grantees, to which those groups then distributed taxpayer dollars.

“If funding resumes, we recommend measures to improve compliance,” said the GAO report, which was released late Monday.

According to USAID’s congressional notification, much of the $75 million is intended for urgent short-term projects aimed at quickly rebuilding U.S.-Palestinian relations, which had sunk to lows during the Trump administration. The notice said the money may start to be spent on April 10.

“Given the absence of USAID activity in recent years, engaging civil society actors will be critical to regaining trust and goodwill with Palestinian society,” the notification said, explaining the rationale for providing $5.4 million to Palestinian civic groups, including possibly independent media, in the West Bank and Gaza.

Other areas identified for USAID funding include the health care sector and the resumption of assistance to the East Jerusalem Hospital Network that Trump had cut off, sanitation, water supply and transportation infrastructure, social services and job training for Palestinian youth, micro-loans and grants for small businesses as well as disaster preparedness.

In a bid to forestall expected questions and criticism from lawmakers who supported Trump’s aid cuts, USAID sought to assure Congress that it would ensure all legal criteria for providing the money would be met.

“USAID adheres to rigorous partner antiterrorism vetting and certification, auditing, and monitoring procedures to help ensure that its assistance does not go to Hamas or other terrorist organizations,” the notice said.

In announcing the $15 million in COVID-19 assistance, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said it was “one piece of our renewed commitment to the Palestinian people,” but she did not elaborate.

Under Trump, the U.S. provided unprecedented support to Israel, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv and breaking relations and slashing financial assistance for the Palestinians.

Soon after President Joe Biden was inaugurated on Jan. 20, his administration announced that it would restore relations with the Palestinians and renew aid as key elements of support for a two-state solution to the conflict.

Thomas-Greenfield reiterated Biden’s support for a two-state solution and said “the United States looks forward to continuing its work with Israel, the Palestinians, and the international community to achieve a long-sought peace in the Middle East.”