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Resources updated between Monday, August 13, 2018 and Sunday, August 19, 2018

August 18, 2018

UNRWA headquarters in Gaza

"Last week, Foreign Policy published a story about Palestinian refugees that claimed I am among the 'activists trying to strip Palestinians of their status.'...I feel compelled to correct the record on both points.
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In 1965, UNRWA changed the eligibility requirements to be a Palestinian refugee to include third-generation descendants, and in 1982, it extended it again, to include all descendants of Palestine refugee males, including legally adopted children, regardless of whether they had been granted citizenship elsewhere. This classification process is inconsistent with how all other refugees in the world are classified, including the definition used by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the laws concerning refugees in the United States.

Under Article I(c)(3) of the 1951 U.N. Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, a person is no longer a refugee if, for example, he or she has 'acquired a new nationality, and enjoys the protection of the country of his new nationality.' UNRWA's definition of a Palestinian refugee, which is not anchored in treaty, includes no such provision.
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The 1951 refugee convention has a lengthy definition of refugee that is personal: A refugee is a person who 'owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.' In registering refugees on this basis, the UNHCR interprets the convention as requiring 'family unity,' and it implements the principle by extending benefits to a refugee's accompanying family, calling such people 'derivative refugees.' Derivative refugees do not have refugee status on their own; it depends on the principal refugee. UNRWA's definition is also personal: Palestinian refugees are 'persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict,' but it also registers 'descendants of Palestine refugee males, including adopted children.' The status for descendants is not dependent upon accompanying the principal refugee.

Here is where the sleight of hand comes in: Of course it is possible for there to be multiple generations of refugees, if the multiple generations all fit the primary 1951 definition of a refugee. For example, if the granddaughter of a refugee is also outside the country of her nationality due to a well-founded fear of being persecuted, she too is a primary refugee. But she is not a refugee due to descent, because there is no provision for refugee status based on descent in the 1951 refugee convention or in internationally accepted practices for refugees who are not Palestinian refugees..."

UNRWA Has Changed the Definition of Refugee Article

Palestinians at an UNRWA headquarters (File photo)

"Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a new report that options for protecting Palestinian civilians range from establishing an armed military or police force to deploying civilian observers or beefing up the U.N. presence on the ground.
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Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon responded to the report by saying that 'the only protection the Palestinian people need is from their own leadership.'

The Palestinian Authority "incites its people to demonize and attack Jews, and Hamas, a terrorist organization, exploits those under its control by intentionally putting them in harms way," Danon said.

Guterres' report was issued in response to a request in a Palestinian-backed resolution adopted by the General Assembly in June that blamed Israel for violence in Gaza.
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The Trump administration has been a strong defender of its close ally Israel in the council, and vehemently opposed the resolution approved by the General Assembly in June that called for Guterres' proposals. So the chances of a U.S. veto in the council on any armed force for the Palestinians' benefit or a civilian observer mission are high..."

Israel slams U.N. chief for advocating armed U.N. force to protect Palestinians Article

August 17, 2018

A knife used in the attempted stabbing attack in Jerusalemís Old City

An Arab Israeli man armed with a knife attempted to carry out a stabbing attack against a policeman in Jerusalem's Old City Friday afternoon, and was shot dead by security forces, police said.

Police said the man, who had come from the direction of the Temple Mount, approached a group of policemen, pulled out a knife and attempted to stab one of them.

The officers scuffled with the assailant and one of them shot him, killing him.

Large police forces arrived at the scene of the attack and scanned the area for accomplices. The Temple Mount compound was shut down temporarily as forces conducted searches.

Police said the man was carrying an ID and was identified as an Israeli civilian, a 30-year-old resident of the Arab town of Umm al-Fahm.

On Wednesday police said security forces in the Old City last week arrested a Palestinian man planning to carry out a stabbing attack.

The 26-year-old resident of the West Bank city of Hebron was detained by officers on August 8 after they deemed his behavior suspicious. A body search revealed he was holding a knife and a can of tear gas, according to a police statement.

The suspect was immediately taken for questioning at a nearby police station, where he claimed he came to Jerusalem to pray, the statement said. But the officers doubted his version and referred him to the district's central police unit.

Police investigators then "carried out several interrogation actions through which they were able to expose the suspect's real intentions," the statement added.

The suspect was said to have admitted he had traveled from the West Bank illegally to carry out a stabbing attack against Israeli civilians or members of security forces.

Jerusalem's Old City, one of the most volatile flashpoints of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has been relatively quiet for the past year. But stabbing attacks have continued elsewhere. Last month, a Palestinian terrorist climbed the fence of the Adam settlement in the West Bank and stabbed three people, killing one of them, Yotam Ovadia.

Attempted Stabbing Attack in Jerusalem's Old City Document

Prashanti Tiwari claims Diego Palacios, the UNFPA India representative, assaulted her in an elevator

U.N. accused of hindering inquiry into alleged sexual assault by senior U.N. official in India Article

August 16, 2018

A destroyed Christian church near Tal Tamer in Kurdish-controlled northern Syria.

'There Are No Girls Left': Syria's Christian Villages Hollowed Out by ISIS Document

A knife on a resident of Hebron when he was searched by officers in the Old City of Jerusalem on August 8, 2018

Israeli Police Thwarted Terror Attack in Jerusalem's Old City Last Week Document

August 15, 2018

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the U.N. General Assembly (File photo)

A Palestinian attempt to oust Israel from the U.N. would be quixotic - and fail Article

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and her team with the Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riad Malki and his team at ICC Headquarters, May 22, 2018

The International Criminal Court is Becoming a Palestinian Propaganda Engine Article

August 14, 2018

Palestinian representative to the U.N. Riyad Mansour (File photo)

Palestinians spread lies to try to remove Israel from U.N. Article

A woman in nearby Indonesia being caned by a Sharia law officer (File photo)

Two Malaysian women convicted for attempting to have lesbian sex will be fined and caned, a prosecutor said on Tuesday, in a rare case against gay people in the Muslim-majority country.

Islamic enforcement officers in the conservative northeastern state of Terengganu found the two Muslim women attempting to engage in sexual acts in a car during a patrol in April, according to prosecutor Muhamad Khasmizan Abdullah.

The women were charged under the Islamic sharia law known as musahaqah - which bans lesbian sex - and sentenced to six strokes of the cane and a fine of 3,300 Malaysian ringgit ($806) each this week after pleading guilty, the prosecutor said.

The conviction comes amid concerns around growing intolerance toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Malaysia after activists criticised some officials for making homophobic remarks in recent weeks.

"Sexual intercourse between people of the same sex is forbidden in Islam. It is an offence and morally wrong," Muhamad Khasmizan told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.

"This verdict is a first for us," the prosecutor added, saying it was the first time people had been convicted for same-sex reltions in Terengganu.

Malaysia is home to 32 million people, where ethnic Malay Muslims make up more than 60 percent of the population and the remaining ethnic minorities practice other religions such as Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism.

It has a dual-track legal system, with Islamic criminal and family laws applicable to Muslims running alongside civil laws.

The two women, aged 32 and 22, are on bail pending the execution of the sentence on August 28, Muhamad Khasmizan said, adding that the religious officers who saw the women found one in a state of undress, and also discovered a dildo in the car.

Malaysian women to be caned for 'attempting lesbian sex' Document

Cyclists on the ground after the crash

London car crash: Man arrested on suspicion of terror offences Document

August 13, 2018

Hamas terrorists (File photo)

The United Nations shares the blame for Hamas' bloodshed Article

The Kerem Shalom Crossing burns on May 4, 2018, after it was torched by Palestinian rioters from Gaza. Kerem Shalom is used to transfer thousands of tons of goods and humanitarian aid from Israel to the Gaza Strip.

U.N. Enabling Hamas's War Machine

A large incendiary kite launched from Gaza which was removed from power lines near Kibbutz Sufa, August 11, 2018

Huge incendiary kite from Gaza lands on kibbutz power lines Document