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Thousands of Palestinians stranded abroad urge for repatriation |NationalTribune.com

Diya Hasheem, a 23-year-old Palestinian studying in Cyprus, says he feels lost. Since early March, when the new coronavirus escalated its rapid spread around the world and countries began repatriating their citizens, he has been seeking government help to return home in occupied East Jerusalem – to no avail. More: Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque to reopen…

Thousands of Palestinians stranded abroad urge for repatriation |NationalTribune.com

Diya Hasheem, a 23-year-old Palestinian studying in Cyprus, says he feels lost.
Since early March, when the new coronavirus escalated its rapid spread around the world and countries began repatriating their citizens, he has been seeking government help to return home in occupied East Jerusalem – to no avail.
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Hasheem, who studies international trading, said he first contacted the Palestinian embassy for repatriation, but there was no action on their part.
As a non-Israeli citizen, Hasheem holds a Jordanian passport, so he then contacted the Jordanian embassy but was told other cases took precedence.
“I feel lost,” Hasheem told Al Jazeera.
“I’m not the priority of any country and this is how it is when it comes to being a Jerusalemite,” he said.
‘Take Us Back Home’
Hasheem is not alone. Thousands of Palestinians have been stranded abroad, unable to return home during the pandemic, as no government authority has been able to help them.
Like Hasheem, many of them are in difficult situations – running low on money and unable to pay for food and accommodation.
Some have been drawing attention to their troubling situation by posting their stories online and spreading information on Facebook pages such as Raj’ouna a Byoutna (Take Us Back Home), which has more than 3,500 followers.
For Palestinians from the occupied West Bank, travelling through Jordan is the only way to get home but flights to the country have shut down for non-citizens.
Similarly, Egypt has also closed off its borders to non-nationals, which prevents Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to enter the country and cross into the blockaded enclave through the Rafah border crossing.

According to Ahmad al-Deek, the political adviser of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority’s (PA) foreign ministry, there are about 6,000 Palestinians stuck abroad.
Al-Deek told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that repatriating Palestinians back “isn’t easy” since the PA, which administers the day-to-day Palestinian affairs in parts of the West Bank, does not control its borders and has to coordinate with Jordan and Egypt.
“We sent formal letters to Egypt and Jordan to evacuate Palestinians along with their people and we didn’t get an answer yet from the neighboring countries to accept our people so they can pass through their lands,” al-Deek said earlier this week.
“Maybe it’s because their priority is [to repatriate] their citizens. But there’s been no answer yet.”
But on Friday, there were indications the long wait may soon be over for some Palestinians.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said in a statement Jordanian authorities had agreed to open the airport in the capital, Amman, for Palestinians stuck abroad and would announce procedures and dates soon.
‘Let us pass’
Ahmad Tibi, a member of the Israeli Parliament with the Joint List, the Palestinian-majority electoral alliance, said that due to a lack of effort by the Israeli government, he has been coordinating with Israeli airlines and the foreign ministry and has so far succeeded in repatriating 4,600 Palestinians from inside Israel, including 150 Jerusalemites.
“According to international law, Israel [as the occupier] is responsible for all affairs of the Jerusalemites, [but] the Israeli government didn’t make any initiative to evacuate anyone,” Tibi told Al Jazeera.
“Here, we took the responsibility to coordinate for the return of our people.”
Aseel Bader, who is from Hebron in the West Bank and studies in the Italian city of Prato, contacted the Palestinian embassy at the beginning of April as her scholarship was about to end and has since been waiting to hear for more information.
“Our government is the only door out of this crisis and the only party who can fix this situation and return us back home,” the 26-year-old said.
“We see the other students returning to their homes while our government says there’s nothing they can do but wait for neighbouring countries to help us by letting us pass through their lands.”
Additional reporting by Dareen Jubeh in occupied East Jerusalem
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COVID-19: US passes ‘unfathomable’ 200,000 death toll |NationalTribune.com

Sorry, we can’t find the page that you are looking for. Don’t let that stop you from visiting some of our other great related content.EXPLORE MOREPalestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel dealsPalestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.At UN,…

COVID-19: US passes ‘unfathomable’ 200,000 death toll |NationalTribune.com

Sorry, we can’t find the page that you are looking for. Don’t let that stop you from visiting some of our other great related content.EXPLORE MOREPalestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel dealsPalestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.At UN, Qatar emir questions world inaction on Israeli occupationQatar’s leader says Israel continues to carry out ‘flagrant violation of international resolutions’.Lebanon: Hezbollah arms depot blast caused by ‘technical error’Lebanon’s official news agency said explosion took place in southern village of Ein Qana, about 50km south of Beirut.
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Iran says ‘internal agents’ may be responsible for Natanz blast |NationalTribune.com

Tehran, Iran – The Iranian government said on Tuesday there are strong suspicions that “internal agents” played a role in a massive explosion that occurred at a key nuclear facility earlier this year. On July 2, a fire ripped through a building at Natanz, a major uranium enrichment site. Satellite images showed it caused the…

Iran says ‘internal agents’ may be responsible for Natanz blast |NationalTribune.com

Tehran, Iran – The Iranian government said on Tuesday there are strong suspicions that “internal agents” played a role in a massive explosion that occurred at a key nuclear facility earlier this year.
On July 2, a fire ripped through a building at Natanz, a major uranium enrichment site. Satellite images showed it caused the roof to collapse and parts of the building were blackened by the blaze.
“One of the strong theories is based on internal agents being involved in the incident,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei told reporters at a news conference, according to the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA).

“The issue is being seriously reviewed by the country’s security organisations and we will announce the results after things are clear.”
It is the first time an Iranian official specifically pointed to the possibility of an inside job for the blast.
In late August, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization confirmed the damage to the facility was the result of “sabotage”.
“But how this explosion took place and with what materials … will be announced by security officials in due course,” spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said at the time, citing “security reasons” for not disclosing further information.
‘Sabotage is certain’
In early September, Kamalvandi announced Natanz saboteurs “have been identified” but refrained from discussing further details, including whether internal agents were complicit.
On Tuesday, Rabiei also reiterated that “sabotage is certain” but the incident still needs to be investigated due to its complexities.
The desert Natanz site, much of which is underground, is one of several Iranian facilities regularly monitored by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog.
Following the explosion, international media reports indicated Israel may have been behind the attack. Israel has been deliberately vague, neither confirming nor denying involvement while stressing the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran.

“Everyone can suspect us in everything and all the time, but I don’t think that’s correct,” Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said days after the attack.
Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi also said “Iran cannot be allowed to have nuclear capabilities”, adding to that end, “We take actions that are better left unsaid.”
IAEA-Iran relations
September’s announcement that Iran knows the saboteurs behind the Natanz explosion came one week after IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi visited the country.
The trip was successful, leading to Iran granting access to two suspected former nuclear sites that the UN watchdog wished to inspect.
“In this present context, based on analysis of available information to the IAEA, the IAEA does not have further questions to Iran and further requests for access to locations other than those declared by Iran,” the IAEA and Iranian officials said in a joint statement following the visit.
In a speech during the 64th session of the General Conference of the IAEA on Monday, the president of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi referred to the Natanz incident.

“These malicious acts need to be condemned by the agency and member states,” he said via video conference, adding “Iran reserves its rights to protect its facilities and take necessary actions against any threat as appropriate.”
Salehi also urged the UN watchdog not to compromise its “impartiality, independence and professionalism”.
Iran, UN and the United States are locked in a major disagreement centred around the landmark 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers, which US President Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned in May 2018.
The US on Sunday declared it reinstated all UN sanctions on Iran, an announcement that was roundly rejected by the United Nations Security Council as lacking legal basis.
The US is trying to indefinitely extend an arms embargo on Iran that is set to expire in October as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the formal name of the nuclear deal.
Iran, which has always maintained it never pursued nuclear weapons, accepted the nuclear deal that removed all UN sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.
The US reneged on the deal, unilaterally imposing a harsh campaign of sanctions that have hit almost all the productive sectors of the Iranian economy. US sanctions have also targeted Iranian officials and organisations.
In response, starting exactly one year after US sanctions were imposed and other parties failed to guarantee economic benefits promised Iran under the deal, Iran started gradually scaling back its nuclear commitments.

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Palestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel deals |NationalTribune.com

Palestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.Palestine has quit its current chairmanship of Arab League meetings, the Palestinian foreign minister said on Tuesday, condemning as dishonourable any Arab agreement to establish formal ties with Israel. Palestinians see the deals that the United…

Palestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel deals |NationalTribune.com

Palestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.Palestine has quit its current chairmanship of Arab League meetings, the Palestinian foreign minister said on Tuesday, condemning as dishonourable any Arab agreement to establish formal ties with Israel.
Palestinians see the deals that the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed with Israel in Washington a week ago as a betrayal of their cause and a blow to their quest for an independent state in Israeli-occupied territory.
Earlier this month, the Palestinians failed to persuade the Arab League to condemn nations breaking ranks and normalising relations with Israel.
Palestine was supposed to chair Arab League meetings for the next six months, but Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told a news conference in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah that it no longer wanted the position.
“Palestine has decided to concede its right to chair the League’s council [of foreign ministers] at its current session. There is no honour in seeing Arabs rush towards normalisation during its presidency,” Maliki said.
In his remarks, he did not specifically name the UAE and Bahrain, Gulf Arab countries that share with Israel concern over Iran. He said Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit had been informed of the Palestinian decision.

Palestinians rally against Bahrain-Israel normalisation

The Palestinian leadership wants an independent state based on the de facto borders before the 1967 war, in which Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and annexed East Jerusalem.
Arab countries have long called for Israel’s withdrawal from illegally occupied land, a just solution for Palestinian refugees and a settlement that leads to the establishment of a viable, independent Palestinian state, in exchange for establishing ties with it.
In a new move addressing internal Palestinian divisions, officials from West Bank-based President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction and the Gaza-based Hamas movement were due to hold reconciliation talks in Turkey on Tuesday.
Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in 2007 from Fatah forces during a brief round of fighting. Differences over power-sharing have delayed implementation of unity deals agreed since then.
Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies
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