ONTD Political

Tens of thousands of Palestinians are left without access to safe drinking water during the Islamic holy month.


Israel's national water company has cut crucial water supplies to large areas of the occupied-West Bank, leaving tens of thousands of Palestinians without access to safe drinking water during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Mekorot, the main supplier of water to Palestinian towns and cities, siphoned off water supplies to the municipality of Jenin, several Nablus villages and the city of Salfit and its surrounding villages.

Ayman Rabi, the executive director of the Palestinian Hydrology Group, told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that in some areas people had not received water for more than 40 days.

"People are relying on purchasing water from water trucks or finding it from alternative sources such as springs and other filling points in their vicinity," he said.

"Families are having to live on two, three or 10 litres per capita per day," he said, adding that in some areas they had started rationing water.

The city of Jenin, which has a population of more than 40,000 people, said its water supplies had been cut by half, and warned it would hold Mekorot solely responsible for any tragedies resulting from water shortages during the hot summer months.

Mekorot did not respond to Al Jazeera's request for comment.

According to the UN, 7.5 litres per capita per day is the minimum requirement for most people under most conditions but in some areas of Palestine - where temperatures exceed 35 degrees celsius - the minimum requirement is much higher.

Since 1967, Israel has limited the water available to Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since its forces occupied the territories.

Israelis, including settlers, consume five times more water than Palestinians in the West Bank, 350 liters per person per day in Israel compared to 60 liters per Palestinian per day in the West Bank.

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Cuomo to Halt State Business With Groups That Back Boycott of Israel

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York ordered agencies under his control on Sunday to divest themselves of companies and organizations aligned with a Palestinian-backed boycott movement against Israel.

Wading into a delicate international issue, Mr. Cuomo set executive-branch and other state entities in opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or B.D.S., which has grown in popularity in some quarters of the United States and elsewhere, alarming Jewish leaders who fear its toll on Israel’s international image and economy.

Mr. Cuomo made his announcement in a speech at the Harvard Club in Manhattan to an audience including local Jewish leaders and lawmakers, describing the B.D.S. movement as an “economic attack” on Israel.

“We cannot allow that to happen,” the governor said, adding that, “If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you.”

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The recent political reshuffling in Israel’s governing coalition will put the unbridled nationalist Avigdor Lieberman in charge of the defense ministry and seal the creation of the most overtly right-wing government in Israeli history. It is an accurate reflection of how far to the right Israel’s political consensus has shifted and where the dividing lines in society now lie.

The moment Lieberman’s appointment was announced and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon found himself out of a job, the latter suddenly appeared to be moderate, reasonable—practically a lefty in comparison. Remember, Ya’alon is the military careerist who oversaw the IDF’s last two Gaza operations, which caused massive Palestinian civilian deaths and destruction; he is the man who called US Secretary of State John Kerry “obsessive” and “messianic” for trying to gets Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate a two-state solution; and who called Peace Now a “virus” back in 2009 and recently accused Breaking the Silence of treason and espionage. He is, to put it mildly, no dove.

But what separates him from Netanyahu and Lieberman is how he responded to the IDF soldier’s execution of a wounded, prone Palestinian assailant in Hebron at the end of March. While Ya’alon immediately called the soldier a “transgressor” who should be brought to justice and assured that he was a rotten apple in an otherwise moral, just army, Netanyahu and Lieberman backed the soldier, the former implicitly and the latter explicitly.

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Former US President Bill Clinton came to his wife's defense on Friday when the focus of a campaign event for the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton shifted to Israel, Politico reported.

Amid a speech discussing his wife's positions on the major issues at an event in New Jersey, a member of the audience interjected "What about Gaza?" and criticized her statement that neutrality is not an option when it comes to Israel.

"I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state," the former President responded. "I had a deal they turned down that would have given them all of Gaza."

When the audience member continued to press the issue, Clinton elaborated on the complicated nature of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. "Hamas is really smart. When they decide to rocket Israel, they insinuate themselves in the hospitals, in the schools, in the highly populous areas."

"[Hamas] said they try to put the Israelis in a position of either not defending themselves or killing innocents. They're good at it," Clinton elaborated.

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The United States will endorse a tougher tone with Israel in an upcoming international report that takes the Jewish state to task over settlements, demolitions, and property seizures on land the Palestinians claim for a future state, diplomats said.

The United States and its fellow Mideast mediators also will chastise Palestinian leaders for failing to rein in anti-Israeli violence. But the diplomats involved in drafting the document said its primary focus will be a surge of construction in Jewish housing in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Washington has traditionally tempered statements by the so-called Quartet of mediators with careful diplomatic language, but the diplomats said the United States in this case will align itself closer to the positions of the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations, who emphasize Israel’s role in the Mideast impasse.

The report’s release is sure to infuriate Israel, where officials are already bracing for expected criticism. And on the other side, although the mediators will endorse some longstanding Palestinian complaints, the Palestinians are likely to complain the report does not go far enough.

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The row was prompted by the suspension of Labour MP Naz Shah over comments she made about Israel on social media four years ago, including suggesting that Israel should be moved to the US. She has since apologised for the remarks.

Mr Livingstone appeared on BBC Radio London defending her and said he had never heard anyone in the Labour Party say anything anti-Semitic. Mr Livingstone said Naz Shah was "not anti-Semitic - she was completely over the top, what she said was rude".

He added: "I've heard a lot of people being critical of Israel, but if I was to denounce the South African government, you wouldn't say I was racist.

"And one of my worries is this confusion with anti-Semitism and criticising the Israeli government policy undermines the importance is tackling real anti-Semitism."

He added: "When Hitler won his election in 1932 his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews."

His remarks blew up when Labour MP John Mann then accused Mr Livingstone of being a "Nazi apologist" in front of a media scrum as he arrived at Westminster's media studios.

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Prime Minister David Cameron said it was "quite clear the Labour Party has got a problem with anti-Semitism" adding: "They've got to deal with it."
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By Hillary Clinton/JNS.org

I didn’t grow up celebrating Pesach. But over the years, I’ve attended seders where I was inspired by the remarkable story told in the haggadah—a tale of a people who, sustained by fortitude and faith, escaped slavery and reached their freedom.

As Jewish people around the world prepare for this festival, I wanted to offer a few of my own thoughts on ancient lessons that still hold wisdom for today’s world.

The first is the importance of religious freedom. The Book of Exodus recalls how the Pharaoh denied the Israelites the right to worship as they chose. Today, there are new threats to religious liberty and an alarming rise in anti-Semitism. In many parts of Europe, we’ve seen synagogues vandalized and gravesites desecrated. International efforts to malign and isolate the Jewish people—like the alarming “BDS” movement—are gaining steam.

We must confront these forces of intolerance. As New York’s U.S. senator, I sponsored laws to support restitution for victims of the Holocaust. And I joined with the Helsinki Commission to help protect and preserve Jewish cemeteries in Eastern Europe. As secretary of state, I stood up for oppressed religious minorities in China, Iran, and around the world. If I’m fortunate enough to be elected president, I would ensure that America continues to call out and stand up to anti-Semitism. And just as Jews have always stood up for other communities, we must push back on the rising trend of anti-religious sentiment in any form.

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An Israeli solder faces a charge of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a wounded Palestinian man suspected in a knife attack in Hebron, the Israeli military said Friday.

Initially, the soldier, whose identity has not been released, could have faced a murder charge after video appeared to show him shooting the Palestinian suspect in the head as he lay on the ground, already subdued. The soldier, who was being held in a military prison, has been released to confinement on a military base, despite the objection of the prosecution.

In a court hearing Thursday, military prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed that the soldier shot the suspect on the ground, according to Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

In dispute is the motive and the reasoning behind the shooting. Defense attorneys say the soldier felt his life was in danger.

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During a campaign event in Harlem on Saturday night, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addressed race and politics, and, of course, the issue of Zionist Jews.


An attendee at the event at the Apollo Theater posed a blatantly anti-Semitic question to the Vermont Senator, who is Jewish:

“As you know, the Zionist Jews–and I don’t mean to offend anybody–they run the Federal Reserve, they run Wall Street, they run every campaign.”
Identified by The New York Times as John Prince, the man went on to ask, “What is your affiliation to your Jewish community? That’s all I’m asking.”

Sanders replied, “That’s not what you’re asking,” before defending Israel and saying that Palestinians deserve protection, too.

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Hillary Clinton’s AIPAC Speech Was a Symphony of Craven, Delusional Pandering

Clinton had an opportunity to show some political courage. She decided to alienate the left instead.


Any presidential candidate speaking to AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, during an election year is going to bow to the hawkish elements of the Israel lobby. .Hillary Clinton’s keynote speech at AIPAC’s annual meeting Monday, however, was more debased than it needed to be, promising that under her administration, Israel will be spared even the mild rebukes it has suffered under President Obama. A symphony of pandering, it attempted to outflank Donald Trump on the right and will end up outraging a large chunk of the left.


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The Israel/Palestine conflict has always frustrated me. Israel's human rights abuse has reached a boiling point and the fact that they get the green light to continue is disgusting. I know Palestine's hands aren't exactly clean either but they have no resources, power or support the way Israel does. There is no easy solution for this but to basically cheerlead genocide and say that the US will stand by you no matter what is horrifying. That speech terrified me.
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