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Israeli forces kill senior Palestinian official

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Israeli forces have killed a senior Palestinian official during a protest rally near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.
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According to Palestinian security sources on Wednesday, Ziad Abu Ein, who was in charge of  the issue of Israeli settlements within the Palestinian Authority, died after Israeli soldiers hit him with the butts of their weapons and their helmets during the rally in the village of Turmus Ayya.
Abu Ein "was martyred after being beaten in the chest," said Ahmed Bitawi, the director of the Ramallah hospital.
The president of the Palestinian national unity government, Mahmud Abbas, condemned "the brutal assault that led to the martyrdom" of Abu Ein, calling it "a barbaric act that cannot be tolerated or accepted."
"We will take the necessary measures after the results of the investigation into the incident," Abbas said.
Tensions have been running high in the past few weeks in the West Bank and East Jerusalem Al-Quds over the desecration by Israeli troops against Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Pakistan Makes its Largest Ever Contribution for UNRWA, Gaza Reconstruction

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JERUSALEM, December 8, 2014 (WAFA) – The Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has pledged its largest ever donation 
of US$ 1 million in support of emergency needs in Gaza, including reconstruction.
plf pakis 2The Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the United Nations, Ambassador Masood Khan, presented the donation to the Director of the UNRWA Representative Office in New York, Richard Wright.
“UNRWA is extremely grateful to the Government and people of Pakistan for this exceptional gesture, which will help alleviate the suffering of Palestine refugees in Gaza, in particular those living under extreme hardship following the summer’s hostilities and large-scale destruction,” said UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl.
“It is my hope that other countries will, like Pakistan, come forward generously to show their support for Palestine refugees.”
The agency recently issued a $1.6 billion appeal for funds for recovery and reconstruction.
More than 30,050 homes were bombed and demolished were demolished during the summer Israeli aggression on Gaza.
Over 5,238 structures were also demolished, while 4,374 others were partially demolished.
The aggression resulted in the killing of at least 2,150 Palestinians, including women, children and entire households.

Israeli forces arrest 12 Palestinian fishermen off Gaza coast

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Israeli forces have arrested 12 Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip and confiscated their boats and equipment by force.
plffishIsraeli naval forces detained the fishermen from four boats near al-Sudaniyya area in northern Gaza early on Sunday, a researcher for the Gaza-based al-Mezan Center for Human Rights said.
The arrests marked largest detention of Gaza fishermen since the seven-week Israeli offensive on the besieged enclave which started on July 8 and ended on August 26, the researcher said.
An Israeli army spokeswoman claimed the fishing boats were apprehended after crossing to a fishing zone restricted by Israel.
Israeli warships have opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Gaza on many occasions, violating a ceasefire agreement with the Palestinians that took effect after indirect negotiations in the Egyptian capital Cairo.
Under the ceasefire agreement, Israel said it would immediately expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast and allow fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles from shore. The Israeli military actions have significantly damaged Gaza’s fishing industry.
The Gaza Strip has been under Israel’s blockade since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standard of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.

Gunmen kill Palestinian worker in Qalansuwa

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Gunmen have killed a Palestinian worker in the town of Qalansuwa in the occupied territories.
plfkillAbd al-Azim al-Wadiya, the head of the village council of Qusra in the Nablus district, where the victim was from, said that the incident occurred on Saturday when three gunmen opened fire on a workers’ apartment in the Arab town.
Kathem Ramadan Sami Odeh, 25, lost his life after three bullets hit him in the stomach and the neck, Wadiya said.
He added that other workers in the apartment managed to escape the attack.
The motives behind the shooting remain unclear.
Odeh’s body has been transferred to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute in Tel Aviv, Wadiya said.
Israeli police have made no comment on the incident.

Palestine not to recognize Jewish state: Abbas

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The president of the Palestinian national unity government says Palestinians cannot and will not recognize Israel as a "Jewish state".
plfyo08Palestinians "cannot recognize a Jewish state. We will stand against this enterprise, not out of obstinacy, but because it contradicts our interests,” Mahmud Abbas said an interview with the Egyptian daily Akhbar Al-Yawm.
He further said that there are six million “Palestinian refugees”, including himself, who’ve become homeless since the beginning of the Israeli occupation in 1948.
The recognition of a Jewish state contradicts the Palestinians’ interests by “preventing the return of the Palestinian refugees,” Abbas added.
Abbas further said in the interview that Israelis are too difficult a partner to negotiate with because they are not interested in "peace".
"Working with Israel is very difficult, if not impossible. We are conducting mutual relations with people who don't believe in peace. You ask for peace, and they do not want it...,” he said
The president of the Palestinian national unity government also reiterated the Palestinians’ call for an independent state based on the pre-1967 boundaries and an end to the Israel occupation.
"We want a state in the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital, and we want to [set] a date to end the occupation. That is all we want. If Israel agrees to this now, we will go to negotiations. [But] they use deception and excel at media fraud,” Abbas said.
In 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem Al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip. However, Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.On May 17, 2014, almost all countries in the United Nations voted in favor of Resolution 58/292 stipulating that the borders of a Palestinian state should be based on the pre-1967 borders.
"If we cannot get what we want, there are other steps [we can take]. The first step is joining many international organizations, such as the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice,” Abbas further said, adding, “There are 520 international organizations, and [joining them] will surely bother everyone. If there is an appeal to the ICC, and a Palestinian files a lawsuit against an Israeli, they [the Israelis] get scared, because they are wanted and cannot travel."
Tel Aviv, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of East Jerusalem Al-Quds.

Netanyahu plays with fire in al-Aqsa: Meshaal

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The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the recent rise of violence in the occupied territories.
plstoday3“Netanyahu is playing with fire when he allows members of his government, the Knesset, and the extremists to repeatedly storm the al-Aqsa Mosque - that’s dangerous,” Hamas Political Bureau Chief Khaled Meshaal said in a Thursday interview with Sky News.
Meshaal added that “the action of the occupation targeting the Islamic and the Christian Holy sites, in Jerusalem (al-Quds) and Palestine, and specifically the al-Aqsa Mosque, brings about the angry Palestinian reaction.”
He said the resistance of Palestinians against the Israeli regime “is a national fight, but Netanyahu is turning it into a religious fight. He bears responsibility for the consequences of what is happening.”
“The al-Aqsa Mosque is for the Muslims. The Muslims were blocked from praying there. The soldiers and the police and the right-wing extremists were allowed to storm in with their shoes, into the sanctuary of the mosque — this is playing with fire.”
Over the past weeks, the al-Aqsa Mosque has been the scene of clashes between Palestinian worshippers and Israeli settlers and troops.
The al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage, a Palestinian non-governmental organization, has said in a recent report that nearly 14,000 Israelis, most of them extremist settlers, have forced their way into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds since the beginning of 2014.
Israel has over the past decades tried to change the demographic makeup of al-Quds by constructing illegal settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population.
The al-Aqsa compound, which lies in the Israeli-occupied Old City of al-Quds, is a flashpoint. The location of the compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, is the holiest site in Judaism. The mosque is Islam’s third-holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

Israeli troops arrest 13 Palestinians across West Bank

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Israeli forces have abducted more than a dozen Palestinian people in overnight operations on a number of houses across the occupied West Bank.
plftoday1According to the Palestinian Prisoners Society, Israeli troops stormed the Palestinian town of Tuqu’, located 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) southeast of Bethlehem, late on Wednesday, and detained six people.
A Palestinian was arrested in the town of Beit Fajjar, situated eight kilometers (about five miles) south of Bethlehem, while an 18-year-old Palestinian, identified as Abd al-Rahman Naim Abd al-Rahman, was detained in the village of Deir Abu Mash’al, located 24 kilometers (15 miles) west of Ramallah.
Israeli soldiers also seized five Palestinians during operation across East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
The Palestinian Prisoners Society recently said Israel arrested as many as 549 Palestinians from East al-Quds and the occupied West Bank in November.
The NGO further delineated that the Tel Aviv regime’s arrests included 120 Palestinians from al-Khalil, 43 from Ramallah and al-Bireh, 34 from Bethlehem, 30 from Nablus, and 26 from Jenin.
It added that most of a group of 233 detainees from East al-Quds were minors who were released later. It added that the released minors were subsequently forced to pay fines or were put under house arrest.  
According to latest reports, there are over 7,000 Palestinians in 17 Israeli prisons and detention camps. Among Palestinian prisoners behind Israeli bars, there are 18 women, 250 children, 1,500 sick detainees, who are mostly in a critical condition, and 540 Palestinians held under administrative detention without any trial.

UN raps Israel over demolition of Palestinian houses

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The United Nations has censured the Israeli regime for demolishing Palestinian houses in the occupied West Bank, calling it a violation of the most basic human rights.
plf1205The demolition of homes as a “punitive” measure against Palestinians runs counter to international laws and must stop, UN Humanitarian Coordinator James W. Rawley told a press conference on Thursday.
The Israeli regime routinely demolishes the houses of those Palestinians whom it accuses of being involved in attacks against Israelis.
Rawley said, “Punitive demolitions are a form of collective penalty that punishes people for acts they did not commit. They render innocent people homeless. The impact on children, women and the elderly is particularly devastating.”
“Punitive demolitions must stop. They contravene international law and risk undermining the already fragile situation. Human rights violations are not only a symptom of the continued conflict here; they contribute to it,” he added.
In November, the Israeli regime ordered the destruction of the houses of two Palestinians who Tel Aviv claimed had carried out attacks against Israelis in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
According to reports, 34 Palestinians, including 16 children, have lost their homes as a result of Israeli demolitions from June to November this year.

Unity government’s mandate to expire this week: Hamas

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The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas says that the mandate of the national unity government,
established in June, with the rival Fattah group will expire this week.

hms d 1Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told a news briefing in Gaza City on Sunday that the national consensus government declared six months ago will end on December 2, adding that talks should take place regarding a future government.
Earlier in April, the two Palestinian factions signed an agreement to end years of rivalry and form a unity government. The new cabinet of the Palestinian unity government was sworn in on June 2.
Abu Zuhri said that any decision on either extending the mandate or forming a new government must be made through national dialogue and consensus.
“We should agree on the coming period either by extending the mandate for this government or look for forming a new government,” he said.
“Therefore we need to continue our debates and discussions concerning the future. So keeping this government or reshuffling it should go through dialogue, discussion and consensus,” Abu Zuhri added.
He said that Hamas “isn’t interested in incitement, but rather seeks to maintain national unity.”
Abu Zuhri also censured the arrests of dozens of Hamas supporters by Fattah security sources in the West Bank.
Meanwhile, Faisal Abu Shahla, a senior Fattah official, denied that the unity government was meant to last only six months, adding "What we agreed in June is to form a government and after six month is to hold the elections.”

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Israeli policewoman shoot, seriously injures Palestinian for ‘fun’
Foreign Ministry calls on Australia to reconsider Jerusalem remarks
US Greenblatt reveals plan to unite West Bank, Gaza
Japan-funded projects completed in Gaza Strip
Kuwait approves $2.5 million contribution for Gaza
Israeli forces raid home of killed Palestinian
Israel continues airstrikes over Gaza
Mayor Salman: Stop using Christians as a tool to whitewash occupation
Israeli settlers assault Palestinian farmer near Nablus
Israeli forces detain 15 Palestinians, including 3 minors
Australia says mulling over recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israeli 'capital'
MOH: 32 Palestinians injured during Gaza naval march