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Trump 'good for Israel, bad for Jews': Israel historian

By Ali Abo Rezeg </p> <p>ANKARA (AA) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East policies, especially his unbridled support for Israel, are likely to hurt Jews worldwide, Israeli historian Ilan Pappe told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview.</p> <p>“Outside Israel, the only people who are pro-Israel are those who stand against justice and support racism,” said Pappe, director of the European Center for Palestine Studies at the U.K.’s Exeter University. <br> </p> <p>“It’s good for Israel to have Trump, but he’s very bad for Jews all over the world,” he added. <br>

“I tell the Israeli Jews: Now you think Zionism is good for you because you are the privileged ones,” Pappe said. “But in the long run, it will be bad for you.”

Since assuming the presidency in 2016, Trump and his administration have made several decisions seemingly inimical to Arab and Palestinian interests.

These have included cutting aid to the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), unilaterally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, closing the Palestine Liberation Organization’s office in Washington, and acknowledging Israel’s right to the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

Regarding Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century”, a backchannel U.S. Mideast peace plan, Pappe said: “Trump has driven the last nail into the coffin of the two-state solution. This will be better understood once we know the terms of the deal.”

<p>Details of the “Deal of the Century” remain vague. But according to recent statements by U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, the plan would give Israel significant parts of the West Bank that are considered “occupied territory” under international law.</p> <p>“Some people, especially those in the occupied West Bank, wrongly believe that a two-state solution would end Israel’s control over the land,” Pappe said.<br>

“But they will soon realize this isn’t the case,” he added. “We’re dealing with an apartheid state [i.e., Israel] all over historical Palestine.”

  • Rising extremism

Regarding last month’s elections in Israel, in which Benjamin Netanyahu secured a fifth term as prime minister and leftist parties performed worse than expected, Pappe said: “You cannot be a leftist and a Zionist.”

He added: “This is the inevitable outcome of the Zionist idea. You can’t be a leftist and a Zionist; you can’t be a leftist and a colonizer. You’re either an oppressor and colonizer or you’re not.”

In the April 9 poll, Israel’s leading leftist parties — Labor and Meretz — only managed to capture 10 out of 120 seats in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament).

Pappe believes the recent ascension of right-wing extremist parties in Israel has revealed “the true face of the [Zionist] project embraced by the majority of Israeli Jews”.

“Unfortunately, most of them believe it’s better to be a racist ethnic state than a democratic one,” he said. “The notion of a [two-state solution] was totally defeated in this election.”

“We no longer hear anything about ‘liberal Zionists’ or ‘Jewish democracy’, which don’t really exist,” the historian added.

Israel, Pappe continued, “has nothing to do with ‘Jewish values’. It’s an ideological ethnic state based on power and oppression”.

– Gaza

<p>Since March of last year, Palestinians have been holding weekly rallies along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone to demand their right to return to historical Palestine, from which they were expelled by Zionist forces in 1948. <br> </p> <p>They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.</p> <p>Since the rallies began more than one year ago, more than 270 Palestinian demonstrators have been killed — and thousands more injured — by Israeli army gunfire. <br> </p> <p>For Pappe, however, the ongoing Gaza protests have served to create a new balance of power — one which Israel “doesn’t really know how to deal with”.<br>

“The Israel army… doesn’t know how to confront this phenomenon, which clearly resonates with the Palestinian public and Palestinian youth,” he said.

The Gaza protests are “a model for all of us”, Pappe told Anadolu Agency, adding that the rallies had served to expose “the limits of the region’s strongest military power”.

“When people are this determined,” he said, “you can’t stop them with F-16s.”

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Palestinians stage rallies near Gaza-Israel buffer zone

<p>By Mohamed Majed</p> <p>GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – Palestinians on Friday converged along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone to take part in ongoing rallies against Israel’s decades-long occupation. </p> <p>In a statement, Gaza’s National Authority for Breaking the Siege called on the people of Gaza to take part in Friday’s demonstration, which was held under the slogan, “Prisoners' Day”.</p> <p>On Wednesday, thousands of Palestinians marked Palestinian Prisoners' Day (marked on April 17 of each year) by staging demonstrations across the Israeli-occupied West Bank. </p> <p>Protesters in Gaza demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel. </p> <p>They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities. </p> <p><br></p> <p>Writing by Mahmoud Barakat</p>

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Gazans flock to Israel buffer zone for 52nd Friday

By Mohammed Majid <br>

GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – Palestinians flocked to the Gaza-Israel buffer zone on Friday, where they are holding anti-Israel demonstrations for the 52nd consecutive Friday.

Hundreds of demonstrators could be seen carrying Palestinian flags and banners, according to an Anadolu Agency correspondent covering the protests.

Gaza’s National Committee for Breaking the Siege (comprised of Gaza-based resistance factions) called on the people of Gaza to take part in Friday’s demonstration.

Nearly 270 Palestinian demonstrators have been killed since Palestinians began holding weekly rallies along the buffer zone in March of last year.

Demonstrators demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

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UPDATE – 2 Gazans martyred by Israeli fire amid Land Day demos

UPDATES WITH MORE INJURIES

By Mustafa Haboush

GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – Two Palestinians were martyred and dozens injured by Israeli army fire during protests marking the Land Day in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, according to the health ministry.

In a statement, the ministry said Nidal Saqr, 17, and Jihad Saad lost their lives east of Gaza City, while another 138 demonstrators were injured — including 24 by live ammunition.

The ministry said eight of the injured protesters were in a serious condition.

On Saturday, tens of thousands of Palestinians staged mass rallies near Gaza-Israel buffer zone to mark the first anniversary of protests against the decades-long Israeli occupation.

The protests also commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the Land Day when six people were killed in 1976 during demonstrations against seizure of Arab land in Galilee.

In the run-up to Saturday’s rallies, the Israeli army has deployed numerous tanks and armored vehicles along the buffer zone with the Gaza Strip.

Nearly 270 Palestinian demonstrators have been martyred by Israeli army gunfire since Palestinians began holding regular demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone in March of last year.

Demonstrators demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

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Israel shells Hamas observation posts in Gaza

By Zeynep Tufekci</p> <p>GAZA (AA) – The Israeli army shelled two observation posts in the Gaza Strip belonging to Palestinian resistance group Hamas, eyewitnesses said late Friday. </p> <p>In a written statement, the army said it bombed a military position of Hamas after explosives were thrown towards a security fence. It did not confirm whether it shelled another Hamas post.</p> <p>The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza has yet to issue a statement on any casualties.</p> <p>On Monday, Israel launched a wave of airstrikes across the Gaza Strip following rocket fire from the enclave that injured seven Israelis north of Tel Aviv. </p> <p>The Israeli army has deployed reinforcements along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone in anticipation of Palestinian rallies Saturday marking the first anniversary of Gaza’s “Great Return” march.</p> <p>Saturday’s planned demonstration will also mark Palestinian Land Day, which commemorates the killing of six Arab-Israelis by Israeli forces in 1976 during protests against land confiscations.</p> <p>In the run-up to Saturday’s rallies, the army has deployed numerous tanks and armored vehicles along the buffer zone. </p> <p>It is also reportedly monitoring the region with surveillance balloons and positioning snipers throughout the area.</p> <p>On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly instructed the army to prepare for the possibility of a “broad” campaign in Gaza.

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Hamas hails UN resolution condemning Israeli occupation

By Moustafa Maged Haboosh and Gulsen Topcu

GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – Palestinian resistance group Hamas sees UN resolution condemning Israel’s human rights violations in occupied Gaza Strip as a “step in the right path “.

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Friday passed a draft resolution to strengthen the UN presence in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory.

“Hamas welcomes the UN Human Rights Council’s resolution that condemns the Israeli occupation for its crimes against the peaceful protesters at the Great Return March east of Gaza,” the group said in a statement.

The resistance group “deems this resolution as a step in the right path towards supporting the Palestinian rights and criminalizing the Israeli occupation at international forums. ”

Hamas also stated that the UN rights body's move “requires effective and practical steps on the ground to hold the Israeli Occupation accountable for its crimes and violations and to mobilize more support for the Palestinian people and their just cause. ”

During the Friday’s session, the UNHRC condemned “all violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law ” and expressed concern over widespread destruction, death and human suffering in Palestine, including East Jerusalem.

It also decried the use of excessive force by Israel against civilians including children, journalists and health workers.

The council noted that it was “gravely concerned ” by the findings of the independent international commission of inquiry, which warned of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity by Israeli forces during the peaceful Great March of Return protests.

It stressed “the urgency of achieving without delay an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and affirming that this is necessary in order to uphold human rights and international law. ”

Since Palestinians began holding rallies along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone on March 30 last year, more than 250 demonstrators have been killed by Israeli army gunfire.

Demonstrators demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

*Writing and contribution by Zehra Nur Duz from Ankara.

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Gaza factions prepare to mark Land Day on March 30

By Nour Abu Aisha <br>

GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – Gaza-based resistance factions are calling on the Palestinian people to participate in planned demonstrations to commemorate Land Day on March 30.

Khaled al-Batsh, a leading member of the Islamic Jihad group, said Thursday: “We’re planning to hold mass rallies on the 42nd Land Day, which will also coincide with the first anniversary of our ongoing protests along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone.”

“We plan to organize peaceful rallies at five camps set up near the [Gaza-Israel] buffer zone,” he added. “We’re also calling for demonstrations in the West Bank and Jerusalem.”

Land Day commemorates the murder of six Palestinians by Israeli soldiers in 1976. The six had been protesting Israeli land confiscations where they were killed.

Since Palestinians began holding rallies along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone on March 30 of last year, more than 250 demonstrators have been killed by Israeli army gunfire.

Demonstrators demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

*Writing by Ali H. M.Abo Rezeg

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Israel to probe deaths of 11 Palestinian demonstrators

JERUSALEM (AA) – The Israeli army is investigating the deaths of 11 Palestinians killed last year while taking part in ongoing protests along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone, according to Israeli media reports.</p> <p>“The [Israeli army’s] legal division has launched five separate criminal investigations into the deaths of 11 Palestinians within the context of the yearlong Gaza border crisis,” Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post reported. </p> <p>The first probe is looking into the death of Abad al-Nabi, a Palestinian man who was shot in the back while taking part in the rallies, and three other Palestinian protesters killed on March 30 of last year. </p> <p>The second and third investigations are examining the deaths of five other demonstrators near Jabalia and Al-Bureij in April and May of last year respectively. </p> <p>A fourth investigation is looking into the death of Palestinian paramedic Razan al-Najar on June 1 of last year, while a fifth probe is examining the death of 14-year-old Othman Halas on July 13 of last year. </p> <p>In February, a UN commission of inquiry declared that Israel’s deadly 2018 crackdown on Palestinian protesters “may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity”.</p> <p>In May, the UN Human Rights Council tasked the commission with investigating alleged rights abuses in the Palestinian territories, with a focus on the ongoing Gaza protests. </p> <p>Since March 30 of last year, Palestinians have been staging regular anti-occupation demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone.</p> <p>Since the rallies began almost one year ago, more than 250 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli army gunfire.</p> <p>Protesters demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel. </p> <p>They also demand an end to Israel’s ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

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Two Gazans hurt by Israel army gunfire near buffer zone

<p>By Mohamed Majed</p> <p><br></p> <p>GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – Two Palestinians were injured by Israeli army gunfire on Tuesday near the buffer zone separating Israel from the blockaded Gaza Strip.</p> <p><br></p> <p>In a statement, Gaza’s Health Ministry said the pair had been shot east of central Gaza’s Bureij refugee camp, where they had gathered to take part in an anti-occupation demonstration.</p> <p><br></p> <p>The ministry did not provide details regarding the extent of the injuries.</p> <p><br></p> <p>More than 250 Palestinian demonstrators have been killed by Israeli army gunfire since Palestinians began holding regular demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone in March of last year.</p> <p><br></p> <p>Demonstrators demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and villages in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel. </p> <p><br></p> <p>They also demand an end to Israel’s years-long blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.</p>

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Palestinian man succumbs to wounds in Gaza

By Nour Abu Aisha

GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – A Palestinian man on Sunday succumbed to wounds he sustained from Israeli army gunfire during demonstrations near the Gaza Strip’s eastern border, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

Anwar Mohamed Qadeih, 33, was martyred due to wounds he sustained in the neck a few weeks ago, ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said in a statement.

Since March, more than 250 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more injured by Israeli army fire during protests near the Gaza-Israel buffer zone.

Protesters demand the right to return to their homes and villages in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its more than two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.