#AceWorldNews – May 02 – JERUSALEM – A visit to Israeli-occupied Jerusalem by the patriarch of the Lebanon-based Maronite church to greet Pope Francis would be a “historic sin,” a leading secular newspaper said Saturday.
Patriarch Beshara al-Rai, whose church is the largest Christian denomination in Lebanon, told AFP on Friday he would travel to the Holy Land to welcome the pontiff during his brief May 24-26 visit.
In doing so, he would be the first patriarch to do so since the 1948 Nakba.
In response, the leading Arab nationalist daily As-Safir ran a critical piece headlined “Historic sin: Rai goes to Israel.”
AceNewsServices – JERUSALEM – May 01 – Israeli police on Thursday challenged Washington’s inclusion of Jewish extremist attacks on Palestinians in a global terror report, saying such incidents could not be likened to militant attacks.
For the first time, the State Department’s 2013 Country Reports on Terrorism, published Wednesday, included a reference to a growing wave of racist anti-Palestinian vandalism, euphemistically known as “price tag” attacks.
“Attacks by extremist Israeli settlers against Palestinian residents, property, and places of worship in the West Bank continued and were largely not prosecuted,” the report said, citing UN and NGO data.
But Israel police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the incidents were far from the global terror threats outlined in the report.
“There’s no comparison whatsoever between criminal incidents with nationalistic motives and terrorist-related incidents,” Rosenfeld told AFP.
AFP – AL-ARABIYA – UN – NGO’s
#AceWorldNews – JERUSALEM – April 22 – (JP) – Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman made clear Tuesday that Israel intended to refrain from taking a firm position on the Ukrainian crisis, saying there is “no lack” of problems in the Middle East that Israel needs to contend with.
“Our basic position is that we hope Russia and Ukraine will find a way as quickly as possible to normalize relations, and find a way to talks, and to solve all the problems peacefully,” he said at a Jerusalem press conference with visiting Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz.
#AceWorldNews – GAZA – April 22 – (Reuters) – Palestine Liberation Organization delegates arrived in Gaza on Tuesday to discuss unity with militant group Hamas for the first time since their 2007 conflict, in a potential boost for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Few Palestinians expect a breakthrough in the deadlock that has paralysed Palestinian politics, and many have low expectations of any resolution to the seemingly endless duel.
A deal could restore a measure of sovereignty to Abbas in Gaza and boost his negotiating power with Israel in any future peace talks, although such a partnership could also provoke a backlash from Israel against the PLO in the occupied West Bank.
The reconciliation mission coincided with a meeting between Abbas’s Fatah-led group and Israeli peace negotiators in Jerusalem to try to extend talks beyond an April 29 deadline.
#AceNewsServices – JERUSALEM – April 19 – The Holy Fire, described by Orthodox Christians as an annual miracle, was lit at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Great Saturday, or Holy Saturday, the day preceding Orthodox Easter.
Thousands of Orthodox Christians filled Jerusalem’s ancient Church of the Holy Sepulchre and spilled out into the narrow streets on Saturday for the “Holy Fire” ceremony on the eve of Orthodox Easter, reports AFP.
Believers hold that the fire is miraculously sent from heaven to ignite candles held by the Greek Orthodox patriarch in an annual rite dating back to the 4th century that symbolises the resurrection of Jesus.
Israeli public radio said around 10,000 faithful attended this year’s ceremony, fewer than in recent years, as police were deployed around the church and in the streets of the surrounding Old City to keep the jubilation from getting out of hand. Source: http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/52945.htm
The Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, has passed the Holy Fire to the pilgrims, including the Russian delegation, which will deliver it to Moscow.
The Holy Fire, which symbolizes the miraculous light of the Resurrection, has been brought to Russia from Israel every year since 2003.
This year it will be taken for the first time to Crimea, a former Ukrainian region that became part of Russia in March.
Ace Related News:
1. #History2Research on The Holy Fire http://wp.me/p48Dp0-ej
#AceWorldNews – JERUSALEM – April 17 – Palestinians have said 25 people were hurt during a clash with police on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, including one seriously, according to the Haaretz daily.
Clashes continued for several hours on Wednesday between Israeli police officers and dozens of young Palestinians.
One officer was slightly wounded amid stone-throwing by the protesters.
Police allowed some Jews onto the Temple Mount after the clashes subsided, but hundreds of visitors were turned away.
Tensions have increased recently, and most incidents involve Jews attempting to access the area in order to pray or demonstrate a Jewish presence.
#AceWorldNews – April 16 – Israeli police on Wednesday stormed a holy site in Jerusalem to disperse a riot, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
Palestinian rioters hurled stones and firecrackers from atop the compound known to Jews as the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, AP reported.
Police then entered the site and dispersed the rioters with tear gas and other non-lethal means, Rosenfeld said.
The compound is Islam’s third-holiest site. Israel captured the area from Jordan in the 1967 war. Jews typically pray below at the Western Wall, but an increased number of them have started praying at the Temple Mount as well.
#AceNewsServices – JERUSALEM – April 13 – (ALJ) – Israeli soldiers and police have hurled stun grenades at Palestinian worshippers after entering the holy Haram al-Sharif compound in Jerusalem.
Violence erupted on Sunday morning after Israeli police opened one of the walled compound’s gates to non-Muslim visitors after dawn prayers.
The Palestinians had remained in the courtyard of the al-Aqsa mosque in anticipation of an incursion by groups of Jewish extremists.
The Haram al-Sharif, which includes the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, is Islam’s third holiest site and is known to Jews as the Temple Mount.
Although non-Muslim visitors are permitted, Jews are not allowed to pray at the site, even under Israeli law.
Courtesy of Al Jazeera
#AceWorldNews – HEBRON – April 08 – Israeli bulldozers early Tuesday demolished agricultural structures and levelled fields in north-west Hebron, locals told Ma’an.
Witnesses said bulldozers escorted by Israeli troops entered private Palestinian fields in the Farsh al-Hawa neighbourhood and tore down four buildings used for agricultural purposes.
The structures belonged to Bassam Dweik, Arif al-Jolani, and the al-Yazori family.
Bulldozers also destroyed almond and grape vine fields in the area, locals added.
Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. It has demolished at least 27,000 Palestinian homes and structures since occupying the West Bank in 1967, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.
Israel destroyed more than 663 Palestinian properties in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 2013, displacing 1,101 people, according to UNOCHA. Around 241 more people have been displaced just since the beginning of 2014.
The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.
#AceWorldNews – JERUSALEM- April 08 – (AP) – Israel’s supreme court has upheld a ban on Palestinian students from the Gaza Strip studying in the West Bank.
Israeli and Palestinian rights groups petitioned the court to allow five students from Gaza to travel to the West Bank for a master’s program in gender studies. They argue the two separate Palestinian territories should be treated as a single entity.
Israel has treated Gaza as a hostile territory since 2007, when the militant group Hamas took control of the seaside strip. Israel limits Gazans’ travel to Israel and the West Bank, citing security concerns.
Army spokesman Guy Inbar says Israel grants travel permits only for humanitarian reasons.
The supreme court this week upheld that policy, saying Israel could not individually screen each student application.
Rights groups published the ruling Thursday.
Read More of the Big Story http://bigstory.ap.org/article/israel-upholds-ban-gaza-students-west-bank
#AceWorldNews – JERUSALEM – April 03 – (Reuters) – Israel has called off a planned release of Palestinian prisoners meant to advance peacemaking and called for the U.S.-sponsored negotiations to be reviewed, an official briefed on the talks said on Thursday.
The official, who declined to be identified, said Israeli negotiators had informed their Palestinian counterparts of the decision in an overnight meeting held at Washington’s behest in an effort to avert a collapse of the troubled talks.
#AceWorldNews – ISRAEL – April 02 – An Israeli official has confirmed to Arutz Sheva that a deal to secure Jonathan Pollard’s release over the next two weeks has crystallized, in a bid to exchange him with over 400 Palestinian Arab terrorists – arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti among them.
While both the US and Israel have now admitted that Pollard’s release is on the table, the State of Israel itself has not officially announced that it is accepting the proposal. If true, however, Pollard would be released just prior to the Pesach (Passover) holiday – the Jewish holiday of freedom and redemption.
The exchange will also include a construction freeze in Judea and Samaria, as well as Jerusalem, according to the source.
“It won’t be a complete freeze,” the source stated. “Tenders and projects already being built will continue, as well as government and public buildings in Jerusalem.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly refused to a full construction freeze, and will only halt construction for government buildings in Judea and Samaria. According to Channel 2, he is in the midst of updating senior ministers on the status of the deal.
IDF Radio reports Tuesday afternoon that there is an additional concession: both sides must remain in peace talks well into 2015.
Ace Related News: WASHINGTON – April 01 – United States President Barack Obama has not made a decision to release convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Tuesday (DS) http://wp.me/p165ui-4Co
#AceWorldNews – JERUSALEM – April 01 – United States Secretary of State John Kerry met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the second time in less than 12 hours on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
The meeting was staged as the US tries to salvage stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
Kerry altered his travel schedule on Monday for a flying visit to Jerusalem, but there was no word of any breakthrough. The US Secretary of State might return to the region once more late Wednesday to see Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a Palestinian official said.
#AceWorldNews – UNITED NATIONS – 22 March – UN Special Rapporteur on occupied Palestine accused Israeli authorities of conducting colonialist policies that constitute forms of apartheid and ethnic cleansing in the occupied territories in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Speaking at a news conference at the UN European headquarters in Geneva on Friday, the UN Special Rapporteur on occupied Palestine, Richard Falk, accused Israel of pushing Palestinians out of East Jerusalem and creating unbearable conditions for the minority to force them to immigrate.
Falk, an ethnic Jewish expert in international law and professor emeritus at Princeton University, told journalists that Israeli policies have “unacceptable characteristics of colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing.”
In the present situation where talks between Israel and Palestinian authority remain in deadlock, the acceleration of Israeli settlement construction in the occupied territories is causing Palestinians to lose their faith that a state of their own could ever be created.
“Every increment of enlarging the settlements, or every incident of house demolition is a way of worsening the situation confronting the Palestinian people and reducing what prospects they might have as the outcome of supposed peace negotiations,” the UN Special Rapporteur said.
Speaking about Israel de facto annexing parts of the Palestinian territory, Falk was actually citing a report – http://blog.unwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/A-HRC-25-67_en-Falkfinalreport_Feb2014.pdf on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, prepared by his group and presented in January.
The report maintains that Israeli policies in the West Bank are effectively denying the Palestinian right to self-determination by means of “apartheid and segregation.”
RT – Reuters – United Nations News
#AceWorldNews Israel’s Jerusalem municipality has given the go-ahead for the construction of 184 new homes in the occupied West Bank.
The local planning committee years ago gave the green light to the requests from private contractors for 144 residences in Har homa, south of Jerusalem, and 40 more in Pisgat Zeev, further north of Jerusalem. Israel considers both neighbourhoods to be land that they would keep in any future peace negotiations.
However, Israeli settlements – considered illegal by Palestinians and the international community – could potentially obstruct the establishment of a Palestinian state.
The land was captured in 1967, but never recognized on an international level.
Currently, some 500,000 Israelis are settled in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
#AceWorldNews says that `Jordan’s Parliament’ has voted unanimously to expel the Israeli ambassador and recall its own envoy to Israel, AP reported.
The move came after Israeli lawmakers debated whether to take over a Jerusalem holy site administered by Jordanians.
The debate, initiated Tuesday by the Likud party’s Moshe Feiglin, considered a proposal for the state of Israel to wrest control of Muslim holy shrines from Jordan, but the debate ended without a vote.
No action regarding the Jordanian parliament’s vote is expected before the outcome of the Israeli Knesset debate, a Jordanian Cabinet official said.
The city council said Tel Aviv had pushed forward with plans to build the homes in settlement neighbourhoods.
In a statement listing “building permits that were approved” during a session of the local planning committee, it said permits had been granted to private contractors to build 386 units in Har Homa, 136 units in Neve Yaakov and 36 units in Pisgat Zeev.
Israeli forces also razed down an entire Palestinian village in the Jordan Valley region of the occupied West Bank on Thursday.
Israel occupied the Palestinian territories of East al-Quds, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank during the Six-Day War of 1967. Israel conducted a self-proclaimed withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, but Israeli forces have carried out regular deadly forays into the sliver ever since the so-called pull-out.
The United Nations regards the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured in the war and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.
#AceNewsServices says according Qassam website – A Palestinian child succumbed to his wounds after he was run over by a Jewish fanatic settler north of occupied Jerusalem on Saturday, local sources said.
They said that the 14-year-old child, Amin Al-Faqir, was seriously injured in the incident and died shortly after arrival in Hadassah hospital where he was admitted to intensive care.
The sources said that the child was riding a donkey on his way home in Enata when the settler rammed into him near Issawiye village.
Editor says just before Christmas another “Mother and Father loses a child, in an area close to where one was born so long ago. We have not come that far from the violence of “Herod Killing Children” have we!
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
#AceWelfareNews says the United Nations human rights office recently urged Israeli authorities to halt the recent wave of demolitions of Bedouin structures, noting the destruction of this property violates international humanitarian law.
“These mass demolitions raise serious concerns about the prohibition on forced evictions under international human rights law, and Israel’s obligations to respect, protect and fulfill the rights of Palestinians to adequate housing and freedom from arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy, family and home,” said Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
In July, OHCHR urged Israel to reconsider a proposed law that would result in the demolition of up to 35 Bedouin villages, displacing as many as 40,000 members of these communities from their ancestral homes.
However, demolitions began on 19 August and have been carried out by Israeli authorities in at least six different locations, including East Jerusalem. Subsequently, on 11 September all but two residential structures in the Bedouin community of Az Za’ayyem on the edge of Jerusalem were demolished.
The latest wave of demolitions occurred on 16 September, when 58 structures were knocked down, including all residential structures and livestock shelters in the herding community of Mak-hul in the northern Jordan Valley.
According to OHCHR, all 10 families inhabiting the structures were rendered homeless and no alternative housing options were offered.
English: Bedouin woman in Jerusalem. Gaeilge: Bean Bedouin i Iarúsailéim, idir 1898 agus 1914 This is a restored version of the original LoC .tif file with damaged areas cropped and missing foliage replaced at far upper right. Dirt and scratches removed, fading at bottom addressed. Sharpened and levels adjusted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“Israeli authorities denied the provision of emergency shelter assistance to the community by humanitarian organizations,” Mr. Colville said. “The community remains vulnerable to further demolitions and repeated displacement due to lack of legal security of tenure and the consequent inability to obtain building permits.”
Mr. Colville added that the obligations of Israel with respect to the right of adequate housing of Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory include ensuring access to basic shelter and housing, and refraining from interfering with the enjoyment of these rights.