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9 Jul, 2013

Indian External Affairs Minister Visits Palestine, Grants $1M in Budget Support


RAMALLAH, July 4, 2013 (WAFA) – E. Ahamed, Indian minister of state for external affairs, who is on an official visit to Palestine, Thursday met with Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Ramallah, during which he handed over Hamdallah a cheque of one $million as part of the budgetary support pledged by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Palestine during the visit of President Abbas to India in September 2012.

According to a press release by representative office of India to Palestine, E. Ahamed also met with Foreign Minister Riad Malki and Fatah Commissioner of International Relations Nabil Shaath.

He also discussed other projects supported by India during his separate meetings with Hamdallah and Malki, as well as discussed the developments in the region, ways to forward the peace efforts with Israel and means to strengthen the bilateral relationship between India and Palestine.

E. Ahamed was accompanied by Representative of India to Palestine, B.S. Mubarak, Secretary of the West Asia Division of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, Sandeep Kumar, and Director of the Minister’s Office, Suhel Khan.

Settlers Drown Land with Wastewater in Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM, July 7, 2013 (WAFA) – Jewish settlers from illegal ‘Beitar Illit’ settlement Sunday drowned Palestinian-owned agricultural land with wastewater in the village of Wadi Fukin, west of Bethlehem, according to a local source.

Head of Wadi Fukin village council Ahmad Sokar told WAFA that settlers pumped wastewater to around 100 dumums of agricultural land belonging to around 50 farmers in the village, drowning it completely.

He said that the mentioned land became unfit for agricultural use due to the ongoing pumping of wastewater by settlers.

Officials: Israelis Desecrate Al-Aqsa Mosque

JERUSALEM, July 8, 2013 (WAFA) – Around 100 Israelis desecrated Monday the Muslim holy site, al-Aqsa Mosque, in Jerusalem when they entered the compound dressed in shorts and improper attire for a holy place, according to sources from the Muslim Waqf, which is in charge of the Mosque compound.

They said the Israeli fanatics, who were escorted by police, held prayer rituals and destroyed olive branches in the yards in a clear provocative manner to the feelings of the hundreds of Muslims who were on the site and who reacted yelling Allah Akbar (God is great) in Arabic.

Israeli fanatics are increasing their provocative tours of the Muslim compound to create daily presence there with a goal to eventually take it over and build their temple on the ruins of al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

Statistics Bureau: Rise in Unemployment among New Graduates

RAMALLAH, July 8, 2013 (WAFA) – There was a rise in unemployment among new graduates aged 20-29 years in 2012 compared to the previous year, said the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) on Monday.

It said in a special press release on new university graduates that there are around 30,000 graduates annually from Palestinian higher education institutions.

It said in the 2012/2013 academic year, around 87,000 high school students took the general matriculation exam that allows them to enter college.

According to the PCBS, unemployment rate in 2012 rose to 50.6% among graduates aged 20-29 years with a bachelor degree or an intermediate diploma – 40.9% in the West Bank and 63.2% in the Gaza Strip. In 2011, the unemployment rate for this group was 46.5%.

The highest rates of unemployment among graduates aged 20-29 years with a bachelor degree or an intermediate diploma in the Gaza Strip were teacher training and education (73.0%), social and behavioral sciences (71.7%), humanities (70.3%), life sciences (68.9%) and computing (60.8%).

The highest unemployment rates in the West Bank for the same age group by area of study were teacher training and education (54.8%), social and behavioral sciences (52.4%), mathematics and statistics (51.2%), humanities (45.9%) and journalism and information (44.7%).

Nine Years Later, Israel Still Indifferent to ICJ Opinion on Wall

RAMALLAH, July 9, 2013 (WAFA) – Nine years later, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Advisory Opinion that deemed Israel’s apartheid wall illegal and called for its removal has yet to be implemented, said the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Tuesday.

According to the July 9, 2004 ICJ ruling, ‘Israel is under an obligation to terminate its breaches of international law,’ and ‘to cease forthwith the works of construction of the wall being built in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, to dismantle forthwith the structure therein situated…’

It further affirms that Israel must ‘make reparation for all damage caused by the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem.’

Hanan Ashrawi, member of the PLO Executive Committee, said that “pursuing Israel in the international judicial arena is long overdue, and it is high time that Israel is held accountable for its flagrant violations of international law and the human rights of the Palestinian people.”

According to the PLO statement on the ICJ opinion anniversary, “Israel and members of the international community, including the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council, respectively, have the responsibility of ensuring compliance.”

It said that “Israel has failed to commit or to adhere to any of its obligations as outlined in the ICJ Advisory Opinion.”

The PLO condemned the construction of the wall on Palestinian land and said “Israel’s apartheid wall which separates Palestinians from Palestinians and occupied East Jerusalem from the rest of Palestine constitutes an immoral assault and a humanitarian tragedy that has inflicted great pain and suffering on the Palestinian people.”

It quoted the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2012 report as saying that “the agricultural livelihoods of approximately 150 communities have been severely undermined” and Palestinians are forced to “obtain visitors permits or perform prior coordination” to access their areas.

“It is therefore incumbent upon the United Nations and all its members to take immediate action, to rectify Israeli’s ongoing breach of international and humanitarian law and to end Israeli impunity once and for all,” said the PLO.

“As stated in the ICJ Advisory Opinion,” said the PLO, “all States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 have in addition the obligation, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention.”

It called for an immediate international action “to uphold the integrity of the global rule of law and to bring Israeli violations and the occupation of Palestine to an immediate end.”

Israel Arrests 25 Palestinians in West Bank and Jerusalem

RAMALLAH, July 7, 2013 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Sunday arrested 23 Palestinians from the West Bank cities of Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, Bethlehem and Hebron, in addition to two more from the East Jerusalem town of Abu Dees, according to local and security sources.

Sources said that Israeli forces arrested six Palestinians, all in their twenties, from the village of Deir Abu Mishal, west of Ramallah.

Forces have arrested around 50 Palestinians from the village of Deir Abu Mishal during the last two months.

A large military force stormed the Nablus area, raided and searched several houses and arrested six Palestinians, leading to confrontations between the soldiers and residents.

Forces fired tear gas and acoustic canisters at the residents. No injuries were reported.

Soldiers arrested a 23-year-old Palestinian from the town of Burqin, west of Jenin after raiding and searching his family home.

A twenty-year-old Palestinian was also arrested from the Bethlehem area after raiding and searching his family home.

Forces arrested five Palestinians, including four in their early twenties, during a raid and search campaign conducted in the Hebron area. Soldiers raided and searched the arrested homes, using police dogs, causing damage to the houses’ contents.

In the East Jerusalem area, Israeli police conducted a raid and arrest campaign in the town of Abu Dees, under the pretext of “looking for wanted people” and arrested two Palestinians in their early twenties.