PFLP calls for urgent international mobilization for Comrade Bilal Kayed

PFLP
Press Release

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As Comrade Bilal Kayed nears his 70th day of hunger strike, facing the courts of the occupation and threatened with death or serious damage to his health at any moment, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine urges immediate action by all international friends of Palestine and all Palestinian communities to save his life and demand his freedom immediately.

Palestinian leftist writer Comrade Khaled Barakat emphasized the critical importance of this mobilization, saying that “We are calling on all international forces in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa to act urgently and mobilize against the ‘slow execution’ of Comrade Bilal Kayed, who has been on hunger strike for almost 70 days.” Read more »

UNRWA GRAVELY CONCERNED BY DEATH OF YOUNG REFUGEE IN ISRAEL MILITARY OPERATION

Chris Gunness, UNRWA Spokesperson
Press Statement

Photo: The Muslim News

Photo: The Muslim News

UNRWA is gravely concerned about the death of a young Palestine refugee and the high number of civilian injuries from live ammunition which occurred on 16 August, during a large Israeli military incursion, into Fawwar refugee camp near the city of Hebron. Residents reported that large numbers of Israeli security forces entered the camp starting in the early hours and over the course of the day, conducting extensive search operations inside more than 200 refugee households. Clashes between Palestinian youth and the Israeli security forces ensued. Israeli forces responded by using a range of munitions, including lethal, live ammunition, plastic-coated metal bullets (PCMBs), and large amounts of tear gas.

As a result, a reportedly unarmed 19-year old Palestine refugee from Fawwar camp was killed after being shot in the chest by live ammunition rounds reportedly fired by an Israeli sniper stationed approximately 100 meters away. Read more »

Israel attacks Gaza

Julie Webb-Pullman

gaza

Israeli aircraft and tanks carried out dozens of attacks on Gaza late Sunday afternoon and evening, injuring several civilians.

Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said in a press statement that the escalation comes in the context of increasing aggression by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people, and Israeli attempts to create new facts on the ground.

Sites in Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya came under attack from F-16s and artillery fire from tanks.

In Beit Hanoun last night at least 10 missiles struck agricultural land, while one from an F-16 struck the town.

Simultaneously, Israeli military aircraft launched some 35 strikes in Beit Lahiya causing material damage, including to some resistance sites.

Israeli drones are continuing to fly over Gaza at low altitudes.

“The aggression will not succeed in breaking the will of our people or the imposition of any new equations in the face of the resistance,” said Sami Abu Zuhri.

The Israeli attacks represent a disproportionate response to a rocket fired from Gaza, which on Sunday afternoon fell inside the southern Israeli city of Sderot causing no injuries or damage.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the rocket, and many Palestinians consider that such rockets are fired either by Israel itself or by persons in their pay, in order to provide justification for another Israeli aggression against and invasion of Gaza.

The attacks suggest a change in military strategy by the recently-appointed hardline right-winger Avigdor Lieberman yo the post of Israeli Minister of Defence.

If I were in Palestine… Photo exhibition on Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons.

Palestina Solidariteit
Press Release

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Members of the European Parliament have posed behind fake prison bars to raise awareness about the over 7000 Palestinian political prisoners who are currently held in Israeli jails. Of these over 700 are administrative detainees, 6 are elected officials and over 350 are children.

Their pictures will be exhibited at the European Parliament from 5 till 9 September 2016 in the main hall.

On 6 September at 1pm the opening event will take place with Mr. Salah Hammouri who will testify about the 7 years he was held in an Israeli prison of which 3 under administrative detention. He is now a lawyer with the Palestinian Human Rights and Prisoners’ Support Association assisting and advocating for prisoners’ rights.

As a second speaker Mr. Yamin Zeidan will discuss the military court system. Mr. Zeidan started out as a prison guard but made a drastic career switch and became a lawyer after witnessing first hand the circumstances in which Palestinians were being condemned and imprisoned. After serving at the facility where, among others, Mr Marwan Barghouti was held, he decided to become a lawyer and has represented many Palestinian political prisoners ever since.

The event will be in English.

For your access to the EU Parliament please register ASAP.

REGISTRATION BEFORE 25th of AUGUST, by sending an email with you First Name / Last Name / Date of Birth / Nationality / ID CARD number to photoexhibition.prisoners@gmail.com

Israel Lines Its Pockets With Palestinian Aid — And The US Helps Israel Keep It That Way

Robert Fantina
Mint Press

Since all aid to Palestine must go through Israel, this provides endless opportunities for “aid subversion” or “aid diversion.” Studies indicate that 72 percent of that money remains in Israel, never benefitting Palestinians.

Beit Hanoun was decimated in 2014 (Photo: Julie Webb-Pullman

Beit Hanoun was decimated in 2014 (Photo: Julie Webb-Pullman

From severely limited water supplies to a blockade on even the most basic supplies, Israel’s continued illegal occupation of Palestine has destroyed even the most basic infrastructure Palestinians need to survive, forcing residents of Gaza and the West Bank to struggle through a humanitarian disaster.

This was intensified in 2014 during Israel’s most recent genocidal attack on the Gaza Strip, which left over 2,000 Palestinians dead and over 100,000 homeless. During that onslaught, Operation Protective Edge, Israel deliberately targeted Gaza’s infrastructure, destroying factories and plants that posed no threat to the occupation.

In September 2015, The United Nations’ Roberto Valent estimated that, at the current rate, it will take 30 years to rebuild Gaza, not to mention the estimated $7.8 billion required to fund those efforts.

Now, just two years later, the unemployment rate in Palestine has neared an astronomical 27 percent, and Oxfam International operates a food voucher program that assists 71,000 people in Gaza alone.

And while the chief reason for Palestinian suffering is the brutal, illegal occupation of Israel there are a number of other compounding factors found in the deeply corrupt Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas. Read more »

Israel ordered by own Supreme Court to pay court costs, release ‘Estelle’ to owners, ‘Ship to Gaza’

Canadian Boat to Gaza
Press Release

ship

In a ruling issued by the Supreme Court of Israel, under the presidency of Miriam Naor, the state of Israel is ordered to immediately release and return the vessel ‘Estelle’ to its owners, the Swedish human rights organisation Ship to Gaza. The ship was boarded and seized by IOF in the fall of 2012 during an attempt to break the inhumane blockade of the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.

The Finnish flagged S/V Estelle departed from Sweden in early summer of 2012. It visited ports in the Baltic, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean before it was attacked by Israeli military, 30 naval miles outside the coast of Gaza.

The Supreme Court ruled that the state should have immediately asked the court for the confiscation of the ship and shouldn’t have waited for ten months. The state did not conduct negotiations with the owner of the ship, did not respond to appeals by the owners, and did not inform the owners about its intentions.

According to the ruling, the state of Israel is required to pay the court costs of Ship to Gaza in the amount of 40,000 NIS (approx 10500 USD).

Ship to Gaza will bring claims against the state of Israel via their Israeli lawyers.

Together with its partners in the Freedom Flotilla, Ship to Gaza is right now planning a new action to break and abolish the devastating blockade of Gaza: Women´s Boat to Gaza will set sail in the middle of September.

Israel and the World Vision Crime Sham

Vacy Vlazna

Mohammed El Halabi, World Vision's Area Development Programme Manager in Gaza, meets with children displaced by the violence during the brief ceasefire. Photo by Mohammad Awed

Mohammed El Halabi, World Vision’s Area Development Programme Manager in Gaza, meets with children displaced by the violence during the brief ceasefire. Photo by Mohammad Awed

The crackpot Israeli Hasbara* Circus featuring the four clowns of the truth apocalypse, Shin Bet, the Israel government, Shurat HaDin and the mainstream media fools, has, yet again, hit the world stage with the usual lame show of fact contortions, tight rope slander and smoke and mirrors fantasies.

Taking a leaf from the Bush-Blair weapons of mass destruction hoax, Israel is going all out to divert anti-Israel opinion on its monumental humanitarian disaster to a fictitious crime allegedly perpetrated by the very victims of said humanitarian disaster- Israel’s wars on Gaza -by concocting an elaborate false crime of embezzlement and terrorism by Mohammed el-Halabi, the dedicated zonal manager for World Vision in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza.

Mohammed el-Halabi

El-Halabi, a family man and ‘trusted colleague’ has worked tirelessly for World Vision for a decade. On World Humanitarian Day 2014, celebrating aid workers, el-Halabi was profiled by the UN as a Humanitarian Hero – a truly well deserved honour when one considers the horrors Palestinian families face, and particularly aid workers at the emergency front of the carnage, destruction and suffering. Read more »

Hamas, World Vision deny Israeli claims that Halabi diverted cash to Hamas

Palestinian Information Center

Gaza Destruction6_small

Hamas on Thursday denied Israeli allegations that the manager of World Vision’s Gaza office, Mohammed al-Halabi, passed millions of dollars to Hamas.

Hamas spokesperson Abdullatif al-Kanou’ said the group had “no connection to al-Halabi and therefore, all Israeli accusations are counterfeit and aim to suppress our people and toughen the blockade”.

Israel’s Shin Bet agency accused al-Halabi of funneling millions of dollars in aid money to Hamas, charges that the resistance group denied and the charity voiced skepticism over. World Vision official Mohammed al-Halabi appeared before a court on Thursday, facing charges of using millions of charity funds in aid to Hamas.

The Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet claimed Hamas recruited al-Halabi more than a decade ago. The agency said since al-Halabi took over World Vision operations in Gaza in 2010, roughly 60 per cent of World Vision’s annual budget in the territory was diverted to Hamas.

Mohammad al-Halabi, World Vision’s manager of operations in Gaza, was arrested by Israel on June 15 while crossing the border into the enclave. World Vision said it was “shocked” by Israel’s allegations and said in a statement that it had regular internal and independent audits and evaluations as well as a broad range of internal controls to ensure aid reached intended beneficiaries.

World Vision added that al-Halabi has worked with the group for 10 years, and that they have “no reason to believe” the allegations against their employee are true. Read more »

PFLP Prison Branch: Statement No. 12: We will continue to pound on the walls until victory and freedom

PFLP Prison Branch
Press Release

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The heroic battle for freedom waged by the prisoners of the Popular Front, led by the General Secretary, Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat in support of their comrade Bilal Kayed, who has been on open hunger strike for 54 days, continues with growing escalation of protest by prisoners. The prisoners are confronting the fascist occupation which continues in its attempt to suppress the strike through a series of continuous retaliatory measures. We are confident that the occupation is losing its strength for this battle and that the question of the victory of Bilal and his comrades is now a matter of time. This victory will not only have a positive effect on the prisoners’ movement and the struggles inside the prisons, but also at the level of the overall struggle of our people in Palestine and in exile. Read more »

Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades: We will not stand by in the face of Zionist attacks on the prisoners

Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades
Press Release

Communique by the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

We will not stand by in the face of Zionist attacks on the prisoners

Given the serious escalation by the Zionist occupation and the prison administration of repression and attacks against our brave prisoners and the crimes that threaten their lives, led by the leaders, Comrade General Secretary Ahmad Sa’adat and Bilal Kayed, we in the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, affirm that we will not stand by in the face of the occupier’s persistence in its criminal attacks and the ongoing repression against the prisoners. Our patience will not be long, and we and our people will respond firmly in all fields and arenas.

Victory is inevitable.

Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades
4 August 2016

Israel and World Vision: Are journalistic ethics dead?

By Julie Webb-Pullman

Mohammed-Khalil-El.Halabi-with-children-e1470324947867

Widespread publication by media such as the New York Times and the Guardian, of Israeli allegations against the Gaza manager of World Vision Mohammad Al-Halabi, without any independent corroboration or substantiation, breach the most fundamental journalistic ethical principles – respect for and the right of the public to the truth, and to not publish unfounded accusations.

As Peter Beaumont, author of the Guardian article, admits, “The Guardian was unable immediately to independently corroborate the claims against Halabi, who remains in custody” – and days later none have made the effort to do so, let alone produce any evidence of their own to demonstrate any wrongdoing on the part of Mohammad Al-Halabi, or basis for the claims.

Lazy journalists are one thing, but to publish the product of their slothfulness is editorial malfeasance of the highest order.

Worse still is that the allegations themselves rely on a ‘confession’ to an organisation with a clear vested interest in discrediting Gaza, and compelling circumstantial evidence that the ‘confession’ was obtained under duress.

Mohammad Al-Halabi was detained and interrogated for over 50 days before being charged, the first 23 of them without any access whatsoever to a lawyer, family members, or a representative of World Vision itself.

Further, he was detained by the Shin Bet, an internal Israeli security agency with a long and extensive history of systematic torture during detention and interrogations of Palestinians, including children.

Two Israeli human rights groups, Hamoked and B’Tselem, published a report earlier this year titled Abuse and Torture at the Shikma Interrogation Facility, noting on Page 52 that:

“…the methods described here are not used solely at the Shikma facility: similar conditions and techniques have been documented by human rights organizations in recent years at various facilities in Israel.”

Similar reports over many years by numerous Palestinian and international organisations are also on record expressing concerns about routine Israeli torture of Palestinian detainees, inlcuding Adalah, Al Mezan, EuroMed Monitor, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and International Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, plus the United Nations Committee Against Torture itself, which in May 2016 expressed concern about:

“torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of persons deprived of liberty, including minors,” by the Israeli regime.

Given this background and reputation, it is remiss in the extreme for the media reporting on the issue not to inquire into nor inform the public what passed during those 23 days of complete isolation of Mr Al-Halabi from the outside world.

In such circumstances, and in the interests of removing any semblance of bias, the minimum we could expect is that comment was sought from Mr Al-Halabi or his legal representative about the alleged confession and the conditions under which it was made.

There is no indication that any such line of journalistic inquiry was pursued.

Is it not the very basis of balanced journalism that both sides are presented, for the public to draw their own conclusions? Of justice, that the accused is given the right to defend themselves?

If, as seems likely, the confession was coerced, how much weight can it be given?

None. Forced confessions are neither reliable, nor admissible, and those obtained under torture particularly so. As international law expert Dr. Tobias Thienel pointed out in 2006,

“The inadmissibility is also comprehensive under the right to a fair trial, having regard to the right against self-incrimination and to the unreliability of statements obtained by torture.”

If forced confessions cannot be relied upon in courts, even less should they be relied on by media, particularly in the absence of any form of independent substantiation or corroboration that leaves us with nothing but allegations from the torturer himself.

International Federation of Journalists’ Code of Principles

The International Federation of Journalists’ Code of Principles requires that “Respect for truth and for the right of the public to truth is the first duty of the journalist” (Principle 1), that the journalist “…shall report only in accordance with facts of which he/she knows the origin…” (Principle 3) and that reporting “unfounded accusations” is a “grave professional offence.” (Principle 8).

The publication by media of uncorroborated claims by a party with vested interests is clearly a gross breach of these principles on several counts. There is no independent verification that the allegations are the ‘truth,’ the origin of the information is the party with vested interests, and there has been no evidence produced on which to base the accusations.

Further, Principle 7 has also been breached, given that the reports include again-unsubstantiated statements linking Mr Al-Halabi and his father to a legitimate Palestinian political party, thus using the media to promote discrimination based on political belief or affiliation.

Neither the public nor journalists of integrity should accept this latest attack on journalistic principles, professionalism and public confidence, already battered by the revelations of the News Corp phone hacking scandal.

It is bad enough that the Israeli domestic security agency Shin Bet is continuing its well-documented abuses of Palestinians and of due process to undermine critically needed humanitarian services to Gaza, but it is unforgivable that the mainstream media is, through its unquestioning compliance, breaching its obligations to its profession and to the public by colluding in the mud-slinging rather than pursuing an independent and credible investigation of the facts prior to rushing into print.

What’s really behind Israel’s attack on Christian charity World Vision?

Ali Abunimah
Electronic Intifada

“If every cent has been diverted, it doesn’t add up to $50 million,” Tim Costello told Australia’s SBS public broadcaster, “World Vision’s program in Gaza amounts to only around $2 to $3 million a year.

mohammed-el-halabi (400 x 300)

Israel grabbed global headlines on Thursday with sensational allegations that tens of millions of dollars from the Christian relief and advocacy organization World Vision had been diverted to the military wing of the resistance group Hamas in Gaza.

But a day later, the Israeli claims look more than ever like sloppy propaganda. A World Vision official says Israel’s sums don’t add up and it has also emerged that a Mossad-linked Israeli group has been stoking allegations against the charity for years.

An Israeli general has said that Israel is relying on a “confession” extracted by an intelligence agency which is notorious for using torture.

Israel has also instructed its diplomats to smear World Vision, especially among Christian communities around the world.

But if Israel’s intention was to damage international humanitarian efforts in Gaza, it can chalk up a success, at least for now.

Australia, which has given World Vision about $5 million in the last three years for projects in Gaza, said it was suspending contributions pending an investigation.

Indeed, ending humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip, or at least bringing it under even tighter Israeli control, looks like the purpose of the allegations. Read more »

Israeli violations against Palestinians in July

Hamas

resist (400 x 205)

The Hamas Information Office has issued a report documenting Israeli and Palestinian Authority violations against Palestinians in July 2016.

According to the report, the Israeli occupation forces “IOF” had killed 8 Palestinians last month, including 7 in West Bank and 1 in the Gaza Strip.

Over the same period, IOF had arrested 434 Palestinians, including 36 minors, 26 freed ex-prisoners, and 13 women, and knocked down 42 houses and 7 agricultural and industrial facilities.

In addition, Israeli Occupation Authorities had in July approved the construction of 2152 housing units in illegal settlements erected on Palestinian lands in Jerusalem, while the occupation government had authorized two other major construction projects to be carried out on occupied Palestinian lands.

The report further documented 72 cases of arbitrary arrests by the PA security forces targeting Hamas and pro-resistance activists.

Arrest campaign intensified after Hamas declared it intends to participate in the municipality elections in the West Bank and Gaza, with 64 political arrests following that declaration.

PA apparatuses had also summoned 38 Palestinians for interrogation over political activities, 36 of whom were questioned after Hamas declared participation in the upcoming elections.

Haniya hails steadfastness of hunger striker Bilal Kayed

Hamas

kayed (400 x 205)

Deputy chairman of Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniya commended the steadfastness of Palestinian prisoner Bilal Kayed, who has been on hunger strike for fifty days protesting his detention in occupation prisons without trial or charges.

Haniya praised Kayed for remaining steadfast in the face of his jailers, confirming that the Palestinian resistance regards the freedom of Palestinian prisoners as a top priority.

On June 15, Palestinian prisoner Bilal Kayed launched a hunger strike against the Israeli policy known as administrative detention, under which Palestinians are held indefinitely in Israeli prisons without charges or trial.

Think globally and act locally

Mazin Qumsiyeh

In news of the Orwellian world we live in

-Israeli occupation soldier was caught on video stealing a crying eight-year-old Palestinian girl’s bike and throwing it in bushes.

-Israeli prime minister defended the arrest of children and blamed the native Palestinian victims for their own suffering. The ranks of children in Israeli jails continue to grow.

-Israel detained Islamic officials for renovations of Dome of the Rock mosque without Israeli permission!

-Health of striking Palestinian prisoners deteriorates. Their fasting strike involved taking only water and salt some for several weeks now as the rank of the strikers grow. They are protesting the policy of administrative detention where they can be held for months and even years without charge or trial.

-Israel continues its policies of home demolitions and in one case demolished an entire village over 100 times (each time Al-Araqib residents rebuilt). Read more »

Hunger-striking prisoner Bilal Kayed writes from hospital

Hunger-striking Palestinian political prisoner Bilal Kayed issued the following letter on the 48th day of his hunger strike from inside Barzilai Hospital, where he is shackled hand and foot to his hospital bed.

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Letter by Hunger Striker Bilal Kayed

To my heroic Palestinian people…
Free people of the world…

In this difficult stage that I am enduring on a personal level, in the struggle against the attempt to force my submission to the brutal occupation which made a decision to liquidate me, for nothing but the fact that I stood beside the prisoners of my people, defending my rights and their rights and the rights of their families to achieve even the minimum conditions for human dignity. It is not strange that I find myself supported by all of my people, who surround me with their shouts and cries and their support and tireless efforts to remove the injustice that has been inflicted upon me and upon the prisoners. This comes in accordance with the national understanding that I was raised with, by you, my people, and by the free people of the world, wherever they are. In the West Bank, rising up against oppression; in the occupied lands [of 1948], proud and rooted in the land and upholding their identity; my heroic people in victorious Gaza, and all of the free people of the world, of all nationalities and backgrounds.

I am here, today, finishing my first stage in my battle with this brutal occupier, and I have declared my second stage, which is one of unity with all prisoners from all backgrounds and political parties so that we can all, collectively, stand at the point of the arrow of the national struggle, inside and outside the prisons. Read more »

Israeli forces execute Palestinian near Nablus

Qassam

Rami Ortani (300 x 143)

Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man at Huwwara checkpoint, south of Nablus in the north of the occupied West Bank, on Sunday evening.

Eyewitnesses said the soldiers fired many live rounds fired at the Palestinian after dragging him out of his car, while the army claimed, “he ran toward the soldiers.”

The slain Palestinian was later identified as Rami Ortani, 31 years.

The Israeli soldiers prevented Palestinian ambulances from entering the area, and refused to allow the medics to approach him to provide the urgently needed medical treatment.

The Palestinian bled to death, while the soldiers closed the entire area, and declared it a closed military zone.

Eyewitnesses confirmed that the soldiers forced Ortani out of his car, and executed him at close range.

PFLP Prison Branch Statement No. 11: Ahmad Sa’adat joins hunger strike

PFLP Prison Branch
Press Statement

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As the imprisoned leader Bilal Kayed enters his 47th day of hunger strike, representing the meaning of steadfastness and pride despite his pain and deteriorating health, he is determined to defeat the oppressor, the killer, and achieve his date with freedom. At the same time, the prisoners of the Front who are engaged in the battle in support of their comrade Kayed, are being hit by Zionist repression. They emphasize that no matter what forms of terror and repression are used against them by the prison administration, the jailer will not be able to stop the march toward victory in this battle and the achievement of freedom for Bilal.

To the steadfast Palestinian masses,

We have previously stated and we do once again, before the prisons and intelligence services of the occupation, that the continued imprisonment of Comrade Bilal Kayed and his transfer to administrative detention, including his suffering now in the hospital under harsh repression, will be met with the escalation of struggle by the prisoners of the Front. From the leaders of the Front to the youngest imprisoned children, the prisoners will not leave their comrade Kayed alone in isolation, transfer, or sanctions and repression. The prisoners confirm that they are in the struggle against time to achieve freedom for their comrade, and that in light of the ongoing struggle with the prison administration, they have succeeded in destabilizing the prison administration. We have seen this in its failure to confront or suppress this struggle despite its attempts to impose all forms of sanctions and punishment against the prisoners of the Front. Those who are marching toward the continuation and conclusion of this battle declare that we are entering a new era of the march toward victory, in which tyranny and terror are defeated by will and determination.

We in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine organization in Israeli jails emphasize the following amid the escalation of the battle for freedom of our Comrade Kayed: Read more »

UNRWA statement on Hebron closures

UNRWA
Press Statement

25 JULY 2016

UNRWA is deeply concerned about the humanitarian impact of the closure applied by the Israeli authorities in the Hebron district, affecting in particular Fawwar refugee camp.

Fawwar refugee camp. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Dominiek Benoot

Fawwar refugee camp. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Dominiek Benoot

The closure was implemented following a series of violent incidents that took place before the end of Ramadan in which two Israelis were killed: a stabbing attack in Kiryat Arba settlement on the outskirts of Hebron killing a 13-year old Israeli girl in her home (30 June), a drive-by shooting attack on Road 60, south of Hebron (1 July), and two separate stabbing attacks in Hebron (30 June and 1 July). The United Nations, including the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, has repeatedly condemned in the strongest terms, all such attacks. The UN condemns all violence impacting Israeli and Palestinian civilians.

Since the beginning of the closure, the main entrance of Fawwar camp has been closed for 25 consecutive days affecting approximately 9,500 refugees in Fawwar camp. These closures create serious challenges for UNRWA’s humanitarian access, including the delivery of medical supplies, the removal of refuse from the camps, and the daily movement of Agency staff working inside the camp. Read more »

New Zealand Member of Parliament to join Women’s Peace Flotilla to Gaza

Marama Davidson, MP
Press Release

Photo: Maori Television

Photo: Maori Television

Green Party MP Marama Davidson will be joining a women’s peace boat in late September which will highlight the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the Green Party said today.

Israel has blockaded the Gaza strip by land, sea, and air since 2006, resulting in plummeting living standards and health services, high unemployment, and severe food insecurity, according to the United Nations.

“I am participating in the Women’s Boats to Gaza flotilla to highlight the crucial role of women in keeping their communities afloat, particularly in post-conflict situations,” said Green Party human rights spokesperson Marama Davidson.

“The people of Gaza are still living with the terrible impact of the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, which resulted in the death of 2,300 civilians and the destruction of hundreds of thousands of homes, schools and hospitals.

“As an indigenous woman myself, I want to stand alongside the women of Gaza and to draw attention to the ongoing humanitarian crisis there.

“Women around the world bear a disproportionate burden in caring for people and keeping communities together in times of hardship, and the women of Palestine are no different. Women’s role in navigating oppression and working for peace and justice has long been under-valued.

“More aid is urgently needed to ensure the fundamental human rights of the Palestinian people in Gaza and to help rebuild the homes, public services and livelihoods that were destroyed in 2014.

“We are calling on Israel to end the collective punishment of the people of Gaza by lifting the inhumane blockade and allowing more critical supplies to go where they are needed the most,” said Ms Davidson.