Wednesday, 19. September 2018

Sky-high unemployment, declining per capita income, contracting agricultural productivity and worsening socioeconomic conditions characterize a bleak assessment of the economy of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), according to the new annual report by UNCTAD (the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) on its assistance to the Palestinian people.

Three Palestinians were killed and dozens others sustained injuries during Friday’s 25th consecutive Great March of Return protests in the eastern sector of the besieged Gaza Strip. Thousands of Palestinians gathered on Friday, September 14, along the eastern border of the Gaza Strip with Israel to take part in protests under the slogan “Resistance is our Choice.” A spokesperson for the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, Ashraf al-Qidra, confirmed that three Palestinians were killed during Friday’s protests.

An Israeli High Court injunction preventing the forced displacement and demolition of the Arab-Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar expired at midnight on Tuesday this week. Israeli army bulldozers may now show up at any time to destroy the West Bank Palestinian village, strategically situated between Jerusalem and the Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.

Israeli occupation forces detained on Sunday, September 9, Ayman Nasser, a senior staff member of Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer, the human rights organization has reported.

Nasser, 48, the coordinator of Addameer’s legal unit, was seized by soldiers at his home in the occupied West Bank and is currently being held without charge or trial in the Ofer military prison.

About 140 artists, including musicians, writers, actors, directors, novelists, and poets from around the world have signed a letter calling for the boycott of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, which is scheduled to be held in Israel next spring. The group of artists , including six Israelis , are demanding the song contest should be boycotted if it is “hosted by Israel while it continues its grave, decades-old violations of Palestinian human rights.” Their letter has been published by the British newspaper The Guardian.

Among those who signed the letter are musicians Roger Waters, Brian Eno, Nosizwe, Bugge Wesseltoft, Lars Klevstrand, Trond Ingebretsen, Jos M rio Branco, Chullage, Dror Feiler, Christy Moore, Charlie McGettigan, Kimmo Pohjonen, Paleface, and actors Candy Bowers, Daan Hugaert, Marijke Pinoy, Chokri Ben Chikha, Tove Bornhoeft, Anne Marie Helger, Tommi Korpela, Krista Kosonen, and novelists Manuela Bosco, Gerard Mordillat, Jose Luis Peixoto, and others.

The Central Committee of the Syrian Communist Party (SCP) held its periodical meeting on August 3 under the chairmanship of Secretary-General Ammar Bagdache and issued a communiqué. The CC stressed the achievements of the Syrian armed forces which have liberated large areas, including all positions surrounding the capital, Damascus.

Promoting the steadfastness of the resisting people and struggling communists in the occupied areas, the communiqué pointed out the growing popular discontent among masses and indicated practices of the Turkish authorities like demographic change, displacement and imposition of the currency of the occupying power, which are practices prohibited by international treaties. It was also added that American flags were set on fire on many occasions as an expression against American colonists and organizations who cooperate with them.

Two weeks ago, Amir Dahan, the judge of the Jerusalem Magistrate Court, ruled in favor of the Jerusalem Municipality’s request to evict Barbur Gallery from the locale it has been operating from for the past 13 years. Judge Dahan admitted that there are political forces that have been trying to interfere with the exhibitions displayed at the gallery and silence the voices emanating from there and force it to close. Nevertheless, the judge decided to curtail the right to free speech even further and denied the gallery the right to defend itself and present its arguments, and ruled that it must vacate the premises by February 1, 2019.

Israeli officials pressured the European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in recent weeks to cancel her meeting with Joint List Chairman MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) regarding the racist Nation-State Law. Haaretz claimed the Israeli officials tried to convince Mogherini to have a lower-level EU official meet with Odeh in her stead.

wfdy 148The World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) condemns the decision of the US government to stop funding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for refugees in the Near East, the service that has been providing shelter, care and education to Palestinian #refugees in the occupied territories and in the neighboring countries for 70 years now.

The goal of the United States and Israel is to undermine the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. Israel is questioning the number of refugees who are entitled to relief from #UNRWA, as well as the right of Palestinians to return to their homes.

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