Category Archives: Uncategorized

Software for collaborative robots created by Palestinian researcher in Coimbra

The robot developed in a laboratory of the University of Coimbra is already being used in BMW and other universities.

A new software for collaborative robots KUKA (“one of the world leaders in robotics”), developed at the University of Coimbra, is already being used in companies and universities around the world.
The new software – “the first interface in MATLAB” – for collaborative robots KUKA, which was developed in the Laboratory of Collaborative Robotics of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra (FCTUC), “is already being used in large companies, as is the case of the BMW group in Germany, and in several universities around the world, “says the FCTUC, in a note sent to the Lusa agency.
KUKA Industrial Robots is one of the world leaders in the manufacturing of industrial robots and automation systems.
The Kuka Sunrise Toolbox, named by the authors, is a “free license software and has more than 100 functionalities, allowing, for example, control of robot movements and precision manual guidance,” says FCTUC.
“Mathematics features and advanced algorithms are also available, particularly for use in research papers,” adds the faculty.
Mohammad Safeea, the principal investigator of this project, whose results were published in the IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine, explains that “this software allows a user with basic knowledge in robotics can in a few hours be the operate a robot, not needing advanced knowledge and great adaptation times to the equipment “.
“It is good to know that this work of more than two years is creating a positive impact on society,” Mohammad Safeea, quoted by FCTUC, as saying.

 

Israel condemns France decision to label settlement products

The Israel government condemns France decision to label settlement products and says that this decision come as reacted to the failure of its efforts to hold an international peace conference end if the year.

According to Israeli public radio Reshet B Israel has condemned the French government’s decision to implement the EU instructions for labeling Israelit products manufactured in settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli Foreign Ministry said that by this decision France may strengthen the measures that could be interpreted as support extremist groups positions, including the boycott movement against Israel.

An Israeli political source said France decision to mark Israeli settlements products come after it failed in its efforts to hold an international peace conference .

On Thursday The French government published regulations requiring importers and retailers to label all products originating from settlements in the occupied territories .

According Israeli newspaper Haaretz the notification is headed “Notice to economic operators concerning the indication of origin of goods originating in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967.” It states that, in accordance with the November 2015 European Commission guidelines, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are occupied territories and not considered part of the State of Israel. Therefore, in order not to deceive consumers, the regulations say it is necessary to mark the precise place from which goods originating in these areas came, and not mark them as products of Israel.

Under the new regulations, if a product comes from a settlement, French retailers and importers must make this clear on the packaging and not just name the geographical location where the product originated.

The regulations make it clear that this is intended to prevent a situation in which consumers are misled and think they are buying Palestinian goods from the West Bank or East Jerusalem.

The regulations also state that the geographical region from where the product originated must be noted – for example, “the West Bank” – and then, in parenthesis on the packaging, it must be stated when the product comes from “an Israeli settlement.”

It is not clear why the French government has published these regulations now – a full year after the European Commission guidelines. So far, many countries in Europe have refrained from issuing unique regulations for their retailers and importers, but instead have made do with the general European Commission guidelines.

The November 2015 European Commission guidelines were concerned with labeling fresh fruit and vegetables, wine, honey, olive oil, eggs, poultry, organic products and cosmetics. They are not obligatory with regard to packaged foodstuffs and industrial products that are not cosmetics.

The guidelines, published due to pressure by many countries on EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, also stated that the European Union does not recognize Israeli sovereignty beyond the 1967 lines, irrespective of the status of those territories in Israeli law, and is interested in having regulations and legislation in Europe reflect this position.

The European Commission stated that enforcement of the regulations is the responsibility of the authorities in each of the 28 EU countries. It is the member countries who will determine what punishments to impose on those who do not carry out the instructions. However, the instructions do obligate the countries to impose sanctions on anyone who violates the regulations and does not mark settlement products accordingly.

The European Commission retains the possibility of initiating procedures to examine violations if the member countries don’t deal with this themselves.

The publication of the European Commission regulations triggered a major crisis between Israel and the European Union last year, with Israel suspending contacts with the EU on the Palestinian issue for about three months. The crisis only ended this February after negotiations between the two sides.

Source: http://english.pnn.ps/2016/11/25/israel-condemns-france-decision-to-label-settlement-products/

Statement by PLO Secretary General Dr. Saeb Erekat on EU Guidelines for Labeling Products from Israeli Settlements in Occupied State of Palestine

Dr. Saeb Erekat today welcomed the European Commission’s adoption of guidelines for labeling products made in illegal Israel settlements in the Occupied State of Palestine.  The move requires the correct and proper indication of origin of products produced in illegal settlements in the West Bank.
 
“We welcome this decision and consider it a significant move toward a total boycott of Israeli settlements, which are built illegally on occupied Palestinian lands,” Dr. Erekat said. “The EU has once again moved from the level of statements to taking concrete policy decisions. We believe that more actions are necessary to hold Israel accountable for the crimes it continues to commit against the land and people of Palestine.”
 
He added that “[c]oncrete actions are needed and are in the right direction toward achieving the two-state solution on the 1967 borders.”
 
This comes at a crucial time when Israeli incitement and brutality against Palestinian civilians has reached a peak.  According to UNOCHA, October alone has seen the highest recorded casualties of Palestinians in the West Bank (69 deaths and 7,392 injuries) since 2005, and the highest casualties in Gaza since Israel’s 2014 attack on Gaza last summer.
 
“The extra-judicial killings of innocent Palestinian civilians at the hands of the Israeli occupying forces and illegal Israeli settlers must stop.  The meaningful step taken by the EU today is one of many necessary steps to put a stop to these illegal settlements and violent settlers wreaking havoc on the Palestinian population,” Dr. Erekat concluded.

 

WATCH: Israeli undercover agents shoot unarmed youth at point blank range

A video released Wednesday onto several social media accounts and published by several news outlets shows Israeli plainclothes undercover officers apparently shooting an unarmed Palestinian youth in the leg at point blank range, while other undercover officers hold him down.

The shooting and beating took place during clashes in between Ramallah and the Beit El settlement, which abuts the de facto Palestinian capital and hosts the army’s regional headquarters base.

Several videos of the same event emerged on Wednesday, showing the Israeli plainclothes troops wearing keffiyehs wrapped around their faces, infiltrating the West Bank demonstration and then either shooting toward demonstrators at close range with handguns, or assaulting them and dragging them away to military vehicles.

Israeli army medics carry away a young Palestinian stone thrower who was shot in the leg by undercover Israeli troops on the outskirts of Ramallah. A tourniquet can be seen on his leg where he was shot, October 7, 2015. (Muhannad Saleem/Activestills.org)

Reuters bureau chief Luke Baker confirmed via a tweet that he had viewed footage of Israeli undercover officers throwing stones at soldiers and encouraging the Palestinian youth around them to do the same.

 AFP filmed a clip of the incident shown above from a different angle. (AFP footage cannot be embedded but you can watch the clip on YouTube, the shooting takes place at at around the 0:36 second mark.) This clip looks entirely unedited (the first version zooms in to show the gun and shot) and appears to corroborate the first video.

In 2012 Haaretz newspaper reported (Hebrew link) that the commanding officer of an undercover unit confirmed it was their practice to have plainclothes agents infiltrate Palestinian demonstrations and throw stones in the direction of soldiers while encouraging the Palestinian youth to follow suit, and then arrest them for throwing stones.

Roughly 100 Palestinians were wounded across the West Bank on Wednesday, according to Palestinian news agency Ma’an, including 10 wounded by live ammunition and 89 by rubber-coated steel bullets.

Clashes have taken place on a daily basis in East Jerusalem and across the West Bank for nearly a week following tensions surrounding Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and an increasingly frequent and ongoing series of attacks by Palestinian individuals against Israeli civilians, leaving four Israelis dead. There were five such attacks on Wednesday, leaving a number of Israelis wounded.

Protests have spread from East Jerusalem and the West Bank to Palestinian-majority and mixed Jewish-Arab cities inside Israel proper in recent days, with stone throwing and heavy handed and often violent responses from police.

In a separate incident caught on video by CCTV, Israeli police chased an unarmed boy into a grocery store in East Jerusalem, wrecking part of the store and assaulting the owner in the process. The final frames of the clip show the owner limping from his injuries just after the Israeli security forces leave his store, dragging the boy they were chasing.

 Source: http://972mag.com/watch-israeli-undercover-agents-shoot-unarmed-boy-at-point-blank-range/112474/

 

Portuguese Parliamentarians in Palestine

Portuguese parliamentarians from The Portuguese Parliamentary Friendship with Palestine Group, representing all Portuguese political parties, in first time visit to Palestine. The group met in Ramallah with Mr. Mahmoud Abbas President of Palestine, and their Palestinian counterparts, in addition to visits of the parliamentarians to Bethlehem and Hebron.

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Questions and Answers Palestine’s First Communication of Information to the International Criminal Court Regarding Violations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law

On June 25th, 2015, the State of Palestine will officially present an initial batch of information to the International Criminal Court in order to assist with its preliminary examination into crimes committed on the territory of the occupied State, including East Jerusalem, since June 13 2014. The delivery of this information is considered a fundamental step in the process of ending Israeli impunity and bringing justice to the Palestinian people.

Is this communication a referral?

No. The communication focuses on providing information to the ICC Prosecutor so as to supplement a preliminary examination in advance of an official investigation. If the Prosecutor finds that the information reaches the threshold required for an investigation, she will proceed with the investigation. Palestine is simply contributing information to facilitate the preliminary examination initiated 16 of January 2015

Will Palestine make specific referrals to the ICC?

As a State Party to the Rome Statute, the State of Palestine may make referrals to the Court and may choose to do so at a later stage if it deems necessary. This will depend upon how the preliminary investigation progresses.

What does this communication reflect?

The communication reflects the strong consensus amongst the Palestinian people that we seek accountability and the prevention of crimes of concern to the international community as a whole. Palestine’s accession to the Rome Statute was the outcome of a long process of internal discussion between the PLO, political parties, civil society and other actors within Palestinian society, reaching the consensus that Palestine should be a State Party to the ICC. In effect, this submission reflects the State and its institutions’ willingness to assist the Office of the Prosecutor by providing information relevant to her preliminary examination of the crimes committed in our territory.

What will this communication include?

The files to be presented to the court refer to war crimes and crimes committed by individuals of the Israeli leadership. It will focus primarily on providing the context within which a pattern of systematic interrelated crimes have been committed within and throughout the Palestinian state, including through the Israeli settlement regime, and the blockade and attacks against the Gaza Strip and civilian population.

The information contained in the communication aims to demonstrate that there are practices and policies which either triggered the commission of these crimes, or which are criminal in and of themselves, or both. The files include statistics on settlements, prisoners, as well as statistics on Israel’s aggression and attack on Gaza 2014

The communication will highlight the context within which a widespread and systematic attack by Israeli leaders and agents is continually being perpetrated against the Palestinian people. As a whole, the communication confirms that the absence of accountability has lead to the recurrence of violations and crimes and will continue to do so if gone unchecked.

What territory and which period of time does the communication include?

The State of Palestine, as recognized by the United Nations, includes all of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza governorates.

The communication is in line with the declaration lodged by the State of Palestine on 1 January 2015 under article 12(3) of the Rome Statute in which Palestine accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC. Consistent with the Rome Statute, the communication outlines crimes committed in the occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, since 13 June 2014.

Who prepared the files to be submitted?

The Higher National Committee prepared the communication file for the ICC. This committee includes members of the PLO Executive Committee, ministers and relevant ministerial bodies, and representatives of all political parties, security forces and professional unions.

By joining the court, Palestine seeks accountability for the widespread and blatant criminality which persists against it in hopes that this will provide a measure of protection by deterring future crime.

“It is time to put an end to the Palestinian tragedy by ensuring the rights of Palestinians under international law”

H.E President Mahmoud Abbas, May 2015.

Journalism Student, Activist And Folk Dancer, Lina Khattab, Released

It was a great joy, for all of us at the Diplomatic Mission of Palestine in Portugal, to learn that the Palestinian 18 years old, journalist students and folk dancer Lina Khattab, was released from the Israeli occupying  prisons:

http://www.imemc.org/article/71911

We are sure that it will be greater joy for us and for all peace lovers when all political prisoners are released.

More than 6 thousands Palestinian political prisoners are held unfairly in the occupying prisons  for years (some more than 20 years) for the crime of being freedom fighters.