Foreign Ministry Condemns Execution of 15-year-old

The foreign ministry Tuesday condemned the killing of a 15-year-old Palestinian near the village of Beit Liqya, southwest of Ramallah.

The Ministry of Health said Israeli soldiers opened live fire at 15-year-old Mahmoud Rafat Badran and four others, allegedly for pelting stones at Israeli vehicles.

The injured four were transferred to hospital for medical treatment, with injuries ranging between moderate and serious.

Badran sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead, bringing up the number of Palestinians killed since early October to 220, 75 of whom since January 1, 2016.

The foreign ministry said the killing of Badran comes in a time where the Israeli far-right government is rejecting and attempting to foil all initiatives and regional and international efforts to revive a serious and real peace negotiations.

It said “The actions of the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are a conclusive evidence of the intentions of this extreme government and its racist policies agains the Palestinian people.”

The ministry called on international institutions to document the heinous crime to hold the killers accountable.


Saeb Erekat: Paris Peace Summit Will Equalize Power Between Israel and Palestine

Secretary General: 20 years of bilateral negotiations have failed. The international community must compel Israel to accept its responsibility as the occupying force and implement the two-state solution.

Saeb Erekat

With the 50th anniversary of Israel’s military and colonial occupation of Palestine coming to a head, we have reached a critical juncture within the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. For over 20 years, bilateral negotiations between Israel and Palestine failed on account of Israeli intransigence over its refusal to recognize Palestinian national rights and the continuation and expansion of its settlement enterprise.

In fact, the number of Israeli settlers transferred into occupied Palestine has nearly quadrupled since the beginning of the “peace process,” yet Israel continues to enjoy impunity and is not held accountable. It is now critical to move from an imbalanced bilateral track between an occupied and occupier refusing to uphold basic principles of international law, to a broader framework whereby the international community assumes its responsibility to implement international law and see the realization of the two-state solution through sustained and effective engagement.

The French Initiative is the flicker of hope Palestine has been waiting for and we are confident that it will provide a clear framework with defined parameters for the resumption of negotiations. The international conference should be viewed as an opportunity to create a negotiating environment in which power is equalized and law and human rights prevail. The conference should not concern itself with how to grant impunity for Israeli violations but rather, with how to respect and uphold the principles of the UN Charter and of peace-loving, law abiding nations.

Palestine seeks the same rights and responsibilities enjoyed by other states, and accordingly, any negotiations and permanent status agreement should reflect that. Specifically, the conference must embody the basic principle of sovereign equality, and focus on the implementation and the materialization of Palestinian independence on the ground within a clear framework and timeline. Although a ray of hope, we are under no illusions that this conference will miraculously result in the immediate end of Israel’s settler-colonialism. Rather, we see this conference as a long overdue commitment by the international community to compel Israel to accept its responsibility as the occupying force and recognize that the way forward is to implement the two-state solution before it’s too late.

This means that Israel freezes all illegal settlement activity in Palestine, that Palestine must have control over its borders, East Jerusalem is and remains the capital of the Palestinian state, sovereignty is divided along the 1967 border, Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem are reopened and able to operate freely, our refugees scattered worldwide are treated with respect and in accordance with international law and UNGA Resolution 194, and Palestinian political prisoners languishing in Israeli prisons are released.

We support the French Initiative with the aim of securing our freedom from belligerent Israeli occupation, and thus independence for the State of Palestine, including its capital East Jerusalem. The solution to our colonial problem is not to reshape the Israeli occupation but to end it. Nothing short of full Palestinian sovereignty, with no Israeli interference inside the independent State of Palestine, will bring the just and lasting peace that we seek.

We envision a future where two sovereign and democratic states can live side by side in cooperation, peace and security – two states that will provide equal rights for all their citizens without discrimination. We call upon the conference to provide a clear path toward this goal.

This path should be clear and unambiguous whereby both parties are required to fulfill their obligations emanating from past agreements. The implementation of past agreements will serve as a means toward confidence building between both sides and will prepare the ground for social and political acceptance on both sides for a two-state solution. The international community of states should make it clear that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot linger any longer and should not be a source of instability in a region that is already unstable. The fact of the matter is that the parameters of a permanent and final status agreement between both parties are well known.

It is the responsibility of the world to ensure that Israel may not continue to deny a people of its most fundamental and precious rights, including the right to be free. Let us make next year an anniversary to celebrate, rather than mark yet another anniversary of collective international failure to place Palestine firmly on the map and for peace to reign.

Dr. Saeb Erekat is the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

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Netanyahu, Einstein and the French Initiative


Hikmat Ajjuri

In 1996, Netanyahu was elected for the first time prime minister of Israel on a manifesto of destroying the Oslo agreement as he stated this in his book of 1993 ‘’Place under the Sun’’.
Netanyahu has so far been elected four times because he excels at scaring his own people and excels at creating enemies to keep himself and his people at a state of war all the time, to the extent that many of the Israelis now believe that all non-Jews are their enemy. The Israeli media reported that the assassination of the visionary politician in Israel, late Prime Minister Rabin was a provocative act by the anti-peace language of Netanyahu and his likens in the right wing.
All who watched the Last Israeli elections in March 2015 still remember that Netanyahu was elected last term on the manifesto of big NO to the state of Palestine while he rules.
This denial of the Palestinian right towards a statehood, in an utter defiance of all man made laws has been and still is a prime goal for Netanyahu all his political life.
This denial was served properly by using negotiations as a smoke screen for territorial expansion and building illegal settlements on a stolen Palestinian territories.
When former French president Jacques Chirac who was a friend of late Arafat, visited the Holy land in 1996, Netanyahu then Prime Minister, called on the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams to resume negotiations. The teams went to the hotel each stayed in separate rooms. As soon as Chirac ended his visit on the same day, the teams were then asked to go home without a word to each other.
This style of Netanyahu is recognized by all his colleagues in Israel, of them, former Prime Minister Sharon who once told Netanyahu “a liar you were and a liar you will remain’’.
Ironically, politicians worldwide are used to turn deaf ears and blind eyes to Netanyahu’s lies and allegations for different reasons but mainly based on their perception of politics: “the art of possible including lies”.
These days we have on the International political table a serious French initiative, borne from the womb of responsibility and enough is enough for 7 decades of suffering to the Palestinians whom are the victims of the creation of Israel in 1948.
This is coupled with; the damaging repercussions of this historic injustice accordingly inflicted on the Palestinians and created a state of instability and a thriving environment for terrorism in the region and beyond.
The French initiative by inviting all influential players of the world’s political theatre will offer a creative cooperation capable of finding a solution based on the international law to favorably end the Israeli Palestinian conflict
The call these days from Netanyahu with his known trickery style for a bilateral talks, purposefully to thwart the French initiative, should alarm all decent politicians in the world particularly those who are meeting in Paris on 3 June and accordingly they should ignore it.
Over the past six months only, more than 300 Palestinian children were killed and more than 1500 have been arrested and tortured at the hands of the Israeli occupying forces.
The French initiative based on the International Humanitarian Law is an urgently needed tool to convince those residents of the Holy Land: Palestinians and Israelis who call for revenge, that eye for an eye will end with both Palestinians and Israelis to become blind (Gandhi). It is also a non -violent and ideological tool that also urgently needed to tell all terrorists in the world that there is no one above the law, individual, faction or a state, a law to which we are all answerable and abide.
Finally I would like to reiterate that Netanyahu’s recent call, for bilateral negotiations once again stems from his camouflage nature to counteract the French initiative is a call consistent with the Einstein’s law of madness, definition of which is “to do the same again and again and expect a different results”.

Article first appeared on 01.06.2016 :