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Save Tel Rumeida in Hebron! đź—“ đź—ş

Arwa and her mother Freya Aby Heykal in front of a bulldozer destroying the walls of their orchard


On Saturday 10th December 2016 – UN International Human Rights Day – please join with Halifax Friends of Palestine in a vigil at 12 noon outside Halifax Central Library, in solidarity with the embattled Palestinian people of Tel Rumeida, as they struggle to retain possession of their ancestral lands.
For over thirty years, Arwa Abu Haikal and her family have tried to prevent the takeover of their land on the hill of Tel Rumeida in Hebron by fanatical Zionist settlers, who are aided and protected by a large force of Israeli military.
Year after year they and their fellow Palestinians still living in Tel Rumeida have endured physical and verbal assaults, vandalism of their property, arbitrary detention and restricted movement. They live under constant threat of harm and even death from fanatical settlers. Amnesty International recently reported that Israel has drastically increased the artbitrary restrictions on movement in and around the Old City of Hebron, with the whole area declared a “closed military zone” –and in September of this year, Arwa and all the Palestinian residents of Tel Rumeida were issued with numbers, and told that no-one else, family members or visitors, would be allowed into Tel Rumeida if they could not show that they had a number.


Please join us on Saturday 10th December, in solidarity with Arwa and her family, as on International Human Rights Day we ask the Foreign Secretary to protest to the Israeli government about this most flagrant breach of the Human Rights of the residents of Tel Rumeida.

European License For Israeli Torture: The EU-Israel LAW TRAIN Joint Project

New concerns arise as the EU-Israel partnership through the LAWTRAIN Project in the framework of the EU HORIZON 2020 was discovered. The project is meant to unify the methodology for interrogation among Israeli and EU police forces and is a de facto normalisation of Israel’s most cruel practices, including physical and psychological torture, ill-treatment, arbitrary detention, threats, racial discrimination. With the risk of proliferation of Israeli practices in EU countries, European justice systems risk intensification of inhumane treatment, too. Recognising as legal the Israeli systems of oppression such as inhuman techniques of torture, the EU is violating its obligations under international law.


ECCP in cooperation with Stop the Wall started it’s advocacy campaign against the EU-Israeli cooperation in the framework of HORIZON 2020 in 2015. We have continued to express our concerns about the ongoing cooperation between the EU and Israel trough EU Research Programs (FP7 in the past and now Horizon2020).

On May 1, 2015 implementation of the European project LAW TRAIN began. The project aims at developing technology that will unify methodology for police questioning. It is coordinated from Israel and includes the participation of the Ministry of Israeli Public Safety – the organ that is, among others, responsible for the Israeli police and prison system, both of which have long been denounced by human rights organizations and the United Nations for using during interrogations various forms of racism, torture, ill-treatment and other forms of human rights violations.



Israel: Palestinians:Written question, MONDAY 10 OCTOBER 2016

  1. Baroness Tonge: What steps are HMG taking in response to the concern expressed by the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance and Development Aid in the occupied Palestinian territory about the declining health of Bilal Kayid?


2 Baroness Tonge: What steps do HMG intend to take in the light of the call by the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities for international support to improve the living conditions of those living in Gaza and to lift the blockade?


  1. Baroness Tonge: What assessment have HMG made of the case for ending the siege of Gaza in the light of the new data released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs confirming that Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip tightened during July and the warning from the UN that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020?


  1. Baroness Tonge: What representations have HMG made to the government of Israel regarding the data collected by the Coalition Against Construction Accidents, about the rates at which Palestinians, Israeli Arabs or foreign nationals have died on Israeli construction sites in the past five years?


  1. Baroness Tonge: What action do HMG intend to take following the demolition of a home in Majdal Shams in the occupied Syrian Golan by the Israeli authorities on 7 September?


  1. Baroness Tonge: What steps are HMG taking to prevent the continued demolition of Palestinian homes.?


  1. Baroness Tonge: Will HMG make representations to the government of Israel in the light of the concern expressed by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine about the death of a refugee and the high number of civilian injuries from live ammunition on 16 August during an Israeli military incursion into Fawwar refugee camp?


  1. Baroness Tonge: Will HMG make representations to the government of Israel following reports that Israeli forces prevented an ambulance from taking an injured person from Fawwar refugee camp on 16 August?


  1. Baroness Tonge: What representations are HMG making to the government of Israel regarding (1) night raids of Palestinian refugee camps in Area A of the West Bank, (2) the number of injuries to the youth in that camp as a result of those raids, and (3) reports that the Israeli commander responsible for the Dheisheh area threatened to disable the Palestinian youth living there?


  1. Baroness Tonge: What representations do HMG plan to make to the government of Israel concerning reports that on 29 August Israeli forces at Salaymeh checkpoint in Hebron fired tear gas at school-children attempting to make their way home?


  1. Baroness Tonge: What action do HMG intend to take following reports from the UN envoy that, since the diplomatic Quartet called for a halt to the construction of Jewish outposts on Palestinian land, Israeli settlement expansion has increased?


  1. Lord Empey: What encouragement have HMG given to UK investment in the Palestinian territories currently governed by the State of Israel?


  1. Lord Empey: What assessment have HMG made of companies investing in projects located in the Palestinian territories currently governed by the State of Israel?


  1. Baroness Tonge: What representations do HMG plan to make to the Palestinian Authority to encourage local elections in Gaza and the West Bank as soon as possible, and do they plan to give the Palestinian Authority assurances that they will accept the result of such elections?


  1. Lord Polak: Will HMG provide the names of the receiver organisations currently reported as “Supplier Name Withheld” for the ÂŁ5.49 million in disbursements given to the Norwegian Refugee Council for legal assistance in the West Bank and Gaza from September 2013 to May 2016?


  1. Lord Polak: What were the total values of UK aid disbursements in the Palestinian territories given for the purpose of (1) legal assistance, and (2) promoting peaceful co-existence, in each of the last five years for which figures are available?


  1. Lord Polak: In the light of the reports of a senior World Vision official in Gaza diverting funds to Hamas, what steps are HMG taking to ensure that UK aid given to projects in Gaza and the West Bank is not misappropriated?


  1. Lord Empey: What financial or other assistance are HMG making available to the Palestinian territories currently governed by the State of Israel?


  1. Lord Judd: What response are HMG making, both bilaterally and multilaterally, to the statement on 8 September of the Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine at the extraordinary general meeting called to discuss the acute financial challenges currently faced by the organisation?

Fifa must ban these Israeli settlement teams, if it wants a level playing field Ben Jamal

As a follower of football, I am passionate and partisan when supporting my team. But, like all fans, I am infuriated when I sense that a referee is not applying the rules impartially. At the heart of the beautiful game is that simple principle of fairness: that we are all playing on a level playing field.

Holding true to that fundamental has enabled sport to play a leading role in addressing wider societal inequalities – as, for example, when the sporting boycott of South Africa played such a key role in addressing apartheid. There’s no reason it shouldn’t do likewise in Palestine…. Read More

AMBULANCE – Leeds Palestinian Film Festival 2016 đź—“ đź—ş

The Palestine Film Festival Committee are proud to announce the line-up of films for this year’s festival which are linked here on the Leeds Palestinian Film Festival web page of

We welcome you to come along to the festival and view films on a wide range of topics, including a girl racing team, skateboarders, kite flyers and an ambulance team, keeping everyday life as normal as possible and keeping people alive in the Occupied Territories and Gaza.


A raw, first-person account of the last war in Gaza in the summer of 2014. Mohamed Jabaly, a young man from Gaza City, joins an ambulance crew as war approaches, looking for his place in a country under siege, where at times there seems to be no foreseeable future. While thousands of things are published on the recurring violence in Gaza, the stories behind them remain hidden.

Ambulance on Friday 4 November, 16.15, Sun 6 November, 16.15 and Tuesday 8 November, 14.00 at the Everyman, film length 80 mins, proudly presented in partnership with Leeds International Film Festival,


Fri 4th Nov, 2016, 16:15 @ Everyman Leeds Trinity – ÂŁ8.50 / ÂŁ6.50 Ticket link

Sun 6th Nov, 2016, 16:15 @ Everyman Leeds Trinity – ÂŁ8.50 / ÂŁ6.50 Ticket link

Tue 8th Nov, 2016, 14:00 @ Everyman Leeds Trinity – ÂŁ8.50 / ÂŁ6.50 Ticket link

Israel: Palestinians:Written question, MONDAY 5 SEPTEMBER 2016

1.  Richard Burden: Was the UK Ambassador to Israel asked to sign the letter -  signed in July 2016 by eight European ambassadors - to Israeli officials on the confiscation of EU-funded structures and the displacement of 49 people in Jabal al Baba, and will Foreign Secretary make a statement?
2. Richard Burden: Has DfID Secretary had discussions with her European counterparts on the letter signed in July 2016 by eight European Ambassadors to Israeli officials on the confiscation of EU-funded structures in Jabal al Baba, and will she make a statement?
3. Richard Burden: What representations has Foreign Secretary made to the Palestinian authorities on reports that three death sentences were issued or upheld by Gaza Military Court on 19 July 2016, and will he make a statement?
4. Patrick Grady: Will Foreign Secretary issue a response to Early Day Motion 110 [ed: see], on Palestinian oil and gas reserves, tabled on 26 June 2016?
Nos 1-4 Commons Written Answers
5. Lord Turnberg: Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Verma on 7 July 2016 (HL799), what discussion have HMG had with the Palestinian Authority about its non-attendance at meetings with Israeli officials on the Joint Water Committee?
6. Baroness Tonge: What representations have HMG made to the government of Israel about reports of new rules of engagement for Israeli police allowing the use of live ammunition in response to stone throwing?
7. Baroness Tonge: What representations have HMG made to the government of Israel regarding reports of the confiscation and sinking of fishing boats by Israeli forces in the past three months?
8. Baroness Tonge: What representations have HMG made to the government of Israel about reports of its intention to reduce the budget for Arab teacher training colleges in Northern Israel to half that of the budget allocated to Jewish teacher training colleges?
9. Lord Judd: In the light of the most recent Quartet Report's statement that Israel's "continuing policy of settlement and construction" was "steadily eroding the viability of the two-state solution", what specific actions do HMG plan to take in response to the recent decisions by the government of Israel to approve new settlements and to provide a further $18 million to support settlements?
10. Lord Judd: What specific action are HMG taking in response to the number of Israeli settlers in occupied Palestinian territories?
Nos 5-11 Lords Written Answers

Palestinian Economy Would Double if Freed of Israeli Control, UN Says

A United Nations agency report illustrates situation in Gaza by noting that infant mortality rate is on the rise for first time in 50 years.

Haaretz and The Associated Press Sep 07, 2016 11:08 AM

The UN's development agency estimates the Palestinian economy could be twice as large as it is now if it were freed from Israeli control.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has reported for years about conditions in Palestinian areas. But its latest report issued Tuesday marked the first time the conference has tried to tally what it called "the staggering economic cost of occupation."

The report cited limits on movement, destruction of assets, expansion of Israeli settlements, and confiscation of land, water and natural resources among the "channels through which occupation deprives the Palestinian people of their human right to development."


It noted that recovery has been weak from a 2014 recession that UNCTAD attributed largely to the impact of Israeli military operations in Gaza.

The report illustrated the situation in Gaza with the rising infant mortality rate in the Strip, noting that it has risen for the first time in 50 years. It added that neonatal mortality is also on the rise, increasing from 12 to 20.3 deaths per 1,000 live births between 2008 and 2013.

Israel: Palestinians:Written question, TUESDAY 12 JULY 2016

TUESDAY  12  JULY  2016

1. Questions to the Foreign Secretary:
– Richard Burden: What assessment has he made of trends in the number of demolitions by Israel of Palestinian homes and other structures in the west bank in 2016?
– Tobias Ellwood: Before answering this question, may I take this opportunity to say that, two weeks ago, I had the difficult task of responding to the written Foreign Office question submitted by our former colleague, Jo Cox? Given her active role in foreign affairs, I completed this task because I believe it is what she would have wanted. Given the frequency and the passion with which she spoke and indeed influenced policy in this very forum at Foreign Office questions, I thought it appropriate to begin by paying tribute to her.

– Speaker: I am extremely grateful to the Minister for what he said, which is warmly welcomed in the House. More than anyone in this House, the hon. Gentleman knows of what he speaks, and I thank him.
– TE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. We are deeply concerned by the continued demolition of Palestinian property by Israeli authorities, and the worrying spike in the rate of demolitions this year. In all but the most exceptional circumstances, demolitions are contrary to international humanitarian law. We regularly raise our concerns about demolitions with the Israeli Government. We make it clear that such actions do not encourage the confidence-building measures needed for talks to recommence.
– RB: I associate myself with the Minister’s words about our former colleague and friend, Jo Cox. She was an exceptional Member of Parliament and an exceptional person as well. Perhaps the greatest tribute any of us can give to Jo is to continue her work to support human rights throughout the world.
One of the things Jo was passionate about was justice for the Palestinians. According to the UN, Israel has demolished 649 Palestinian structures this year, and 1,000 people—over 400 of them children—have been displaced. The situation is getting worse, not better. I know that the Minister condemns these things, but if Israel feels it can continue with a culture of impunity, why should it stop? What can the international community do to show Israel that it does not have impunity, and what specific actions would the UK Government support?
– TE: Thank you very much for those initial comments. We agree and we are hugely concerned about the rate of demolitions. We need to place additional pressure on Israel and, indeed, the Palestinians to come to the table. I am pleased that we held a summit in Paris to discuss the overarching challenges that we face and the role that the international community can play. The extent of the demolitions was highlighted in the Quartet report, produced by Russia, the US, the EU and the UN, which underlines the very concerns that the hon. Gentleman has outlined.
– Sir Eric Pickles: I, too, would like to associate myself with the Minister’s moving words about our late colleague, Jo Cox. As for the general point, my hon. Friend is quite right when he says that this will not help in moving towards a position in which people come together to talk. There is, however, the other side of the coin, with 36 Israelis, along with four foreign nationals, murdered this year. Instead of condemning the murders, the Palestinian Authority glorified them. Surely, when just this weekend the Israeli Prime Minister said that he would meet without conditions, we should urge the Palestinian authorities to do precisely that and have direct talks.
– TE: My right hon. Friend raises a very important issue. We regularly raise and discuss these matters at Foreign Office questions. Now that we have had the Paris summit and seen a meeting between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Egyptian Foreign Minister Shoukry, we can see this issue coming back on to the agenda. My concern—I raised it at the Paris summit—is that with all the other distractions and concerns in the middle east, we have lost sight of something that needs to be resolved. My right hon. Friend makes the important point that the actions of the Palestinians do not go unnoticed, and we require the leadership of President Abbas to make it clear that those actions must be condemned.
– Sarah Champion: As well as demolishing Palestinian homes on the West Bank, Israel continues to arrest and detain Palestinian children in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. G4S, which has provided services for Israeli military checkpoints and prisons, has been found by the UK national contact point for the OECD guidelines to be in breach of its fundamental human rights obligations. Will the Minister join me in calling for G4S to withdraw fully from its relevant contracts with the Israeli state agencies?
– TE: I will certainly look into the case that the hon. Lady raises. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary is concerned about the treatment of Palestinian children detained in Israeli prisons and has raised it with the United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, and I raised it during my recent visit to Israel. We have done some work—and, indeed, have invested some funds—to ensure that the children are looked after in the best possible way.
– Philip Hollobone: The demolition of Arab houses, and of Jewish houses, was started by us, the British, between the wars, during the operation of the terms of the British mandate for Palestine. Today, the Israeli Government specifically cites British mandate law as a justification for the current demolitions. Has the Minister had conversations with his Israeli counterpart about the legitimacy of using that law today?
– TE: Given our legacy and the breadth of our influence over the last couple of hundred years, I think it wrong for any Government in the world to point to British policy and say that, historically, it is the cause. All laws can be updated, and both sides have a responsibility to come together and resolve this matter for the long term.
– Andy Slaughter and Margaret Ritchie: [ed: tabled as Written Question] What steps are the Government taking to support the French initiative to start peace talks between Israel and Palestine?
– TE: As I mentioned earlier, I attended the French ministerial conference on the middle east peace process in Paris on 3 June. We are in close contact with the French Government and will consider how the UK might contribute as their plans develop.
– Andy Slaughter: It is a pity that the Foreign Secretary could not attend that conference. Will he be attending or advising his successor to attend the main conference later this year, and will he join France and other European countries in recognising Palestine if Israel refuses to co-operate with the French initiative and continues building settlements?
– TE: To make it clear, the summit was moved at short notice to accommodate the Secretary of State for the United States. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary was in Africa at the time, which was why I was able to attend. I hope the hon. Gentleman does not feel short-changed by the fact that I was there instead of the Foreign Secretary. It was an important meeting, as it registered the need for the international community to play its part and we look forward to moving ahead with the process. Discussions will take place in the next few months to bring the parties together.
– Margaret Ritchie: In the light of recent moves by the Egyptian Foreign Minister, does the Minister believe that the chances for successful peace talks are improving? What efforts will the Government make to ensure that both Israel and Palestine are sufficiently incentivised to come to the table to talks?
– TE: The hon. Lady is right to say that both parties need to be sufficiently incentivised. The worry that I have had when visiting both the Palestinian areas and Israel is that the leaders on both sides are not necessarily speaking for the people, who generally want something different. My concern is that unless we see the affirmative steps taking place to reverse the trends that we have been seeing, we will drift towards an entrenched position of a one-state reality, with perpetual occupation and conflict.
– Stephen Timms: Will the Minister assure us that the Foreign Secretary or his successor will attend the peace conference that the French are planning later this year?
– TE: On the day before a reshuffle is to take place, let me say that I will heed the right hon. Gentleman’s comments and we will do our best. The implication seems to be that the Foreign Secretary is somehow not engaged in these matters. We have those set conferences and summits, but an awful lot of bilaterals also take place, not least at the NATO summit in Warsaw, where my right hon. Friend had bilateral meetings with his relevant counterparts. These very important issues are raised there as well.
– Hannah Bardell: The Minister will recall the case of my constituent, Deborah Pearson, and her niece Julie Pearson who was killed in Israel last year. Her family are constituents of my hon. Friend the Member for Ochil and South Perthshire (Ms Ahmed-Sheikh). We now have the autopsy report, but it is in Hebrew and it has been suggested that the FCO might assume the cost of translating it. Will the FCO support that? I am grateful for the Minister’s support so far, but the family are desperate and need more support. Will he consider further help?
– TE: This has been a difficult case for the family and for everybody involved. I have met a number of hon. Members who have been involved, and I also raised the issue with the Israeli authorities. It is not normal for the Foreign Office to provide translation facilities. Perhaps we could discuss the matter outside the Chamber and work to provide assistance to the family.
Commons Oral Answers
2. Tom Brake: What discussions has the Government had with the French government on Israel and Palestine since the conference organised by the French government?
Commons Written Answers
3. Iraq Inquiry:
– Lord Williams of Baglan: At the regional level in 2003 the UK, and Tony Blair in person, pushed strongly for a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. Now, 13 years on, we are no nearer that settlement. Indeed, the Middle East peace process, far from being advanced by the Iraq war, has for several years now barely existed. There have been no meetings between the parties for nearly three years. There was a fragile Middle East peace process in 2003. Now there is none. [extract]
– Baroness Armstrong: I also saw his [ed: Tony Blair’s] determination in getting the Americans to deliver a commitment to a Middle East peace process. My noble friend on the Cross Benches, the noble Lord, Lord Williams, reminded us of how unsuccessful it was. However, I remind the House that from my very clear knowledge, it was a very important issue for the then Prime Minister, as he has always seen the peaceful coexistence of Israel and Palestine as a necessary part of a peaceful way forward in the Middle East.  [extract]
– Baroness Tonge: During the discussions with the then President of the United States, and in return for supporting his invasion of Iraq in the absence of a second resolution, Tony Blair asked that we would make progress on the Israel/Palestine peace process, which had been “quiescent”, to use the term of the Chilcot report and as Tony Blair described it, since the Oslo accord in 1993. That word is a sick joke if you are a Palestinian—nothing was ever quiescent. Much has been said about the invasion of Iraq leading to the rise of Islamic fundamentalists and the so-called Islamic State or Daesh—I call them barbarians still. Anyone who has travelled in the Middle East knows that the causes lie much deeper and longer ago. The justified angst of the Arabs started after the First World War with the Sykes/Picot agreement. A major cause of this angst continuing is the increasingly appalling policies and brutality of the Israeli Government and the lack of any solution to that problem. Israel is allowed to break international law and the Geneva Convention with impunity. Together with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the other Gulf states, they abuse the human rights of people in their countries. If we in the West could stop this totally hypocritical foreign policy and treat all nations equally and fairly according to international law, we maybe would have more peace in the world. [extract]
– Lord Wright: Finally, the report reminds us that Mr Blair concluded the Cabinet meeting on 7 March 2002 by saying that it was,
“critically important to reinvigorate the Middle East Peace Process”. Here we are, more than 14 years later, with the combined efforts of Secretary Kerry and his predecessors, and of Mr Blair himself, as the quartet’s representative, having achieved absolutely nothing in persuading the Israeli Government under Mr Netanyahu either to enter into meaningful discussions with the Palestinian leadership, or to reverse his illegal settlement policies on the West Bank and in east Jerusalem.  [extract]
– Lord Soley: When I was the MP for both Hammersmith and Ealing I had a lot of Arab constituents. [passage omitted] The Sunnis and others, particularly the Palestinians, were strongly against. The whole of that region was divided about intervention. [edited extract]
Lords Debates

Palestinian villages under threat

We have already had over 4 thousand letters sent to MPs this week but we need more. Please take 2 minutes today to take action and share this post.

Two Palestinian villages, Susiya and Um Al Hiran are under imminent threat of demolition. We need to do everything we can to stop the Israeli forces sending the bulldozers in. We know that if there is international protest on a sufficient scale, particularly from European governments, this will make a difference.


Please write to your MP today asking them to take action and demand that the foreign secretary protests in the strongest terms to the Israeli government to save the homes of the Palestinians living in these villages.

UK student union elects Palestine campaigner president

Anti-racism activist Malia Bouattia was elected president of the UK’s National Union of Students at their conference Wednesday.

Bouattia is well-known for her public stances in support of many causes, including the Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign, or BDS.

For years she has successfully campaigned in favor of passing BDS resolutions within the NUS.


She has given many speeches encouraging students to back BDS and observe its guidelines within their campuses – especially the boycott of Israeli academic institutions complicit in abuses of Palestinian rights.

After serving as the Black students’ officer, Bouattia will be the first Black Muslim woman elected president in the 94 years of NUS history.