Archive for March, 2014

Khudari: Poverty rate in Gaza over 50%

Jamal Al-Khudari

Jamal Al-Khudari

MP Jamal Al-Khudari, the head of the Popular Committee Against the Siege, said on Wednesday that the poverty and unemployment rates in Gaza had surpassed 50% due to the Israeli blockade that has entered its 8th consecutive year.

Khudari added that more than one million citizens in Gaza Strip depend on aid relief to survive, and the per capita income does not exceed two dollars a day.

He stressed that the humanitarian situation in Gaza has reached horrrific proportions, and is affecting all aspects of life.

The harsh economic and humanitarian conditions due to the Israeli blockade have been exacerbated by the Egyptian closure of all border tunnels, which used to provide the beleaguered Strip with a portion of its needs.

The MP called on the international community to immediately apply pressure for lifting the siege on Gaza, to avoid further deterioration of the already-critical humanitarian conditions.

Renewed Administrative Detention of MP El Natsha denounced

Muhammad Jamal El Natsha, MP

Muhammad Jamal El Natsha, MP

PRESS RELEASE

The International Campaign for Releasing the Abducted MPs denounces the third renewal of the administrative detention of Palestinian Legislative Council member Muhammad Jamal El Natsha.

El Natsha, a 55 year old from Hebron city, had already spent over 17 years in Israeli prisons before his re-abduction on 27 March 2013, and suffers from ill-health, including chronic chest and kidney problems.

The Campaign considers that the policy of renewing administrative detention against MPs breaches both humanitarian and legal norms.

The Campaign points out that nine MPs belonging to the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc are currently subjected to this policy. Three of them, Jaber El Foqahaa, Muhammad El Ramahi, and Yaser Mansour have also had their administrative detention renewed.

Renewal of the administrative detention of MPs is a flagrant violation of the basic rules of democracy and international law.

The International Campaign holds the Israeli authorities accountable for the life of El Natsha, given his deteriorating health, and calls for urgent steps to be taken by all international legal, parliamentary and political institutions to immediately end this policy, and ensure his immediate release.


The International Campaign For Freeing PLC Members
Email:- FreePLC2009@gmail.com

The International Campaign condemns blocking of European Fact-Finding Visit to Israeli prisons

Protest demanding end to MPs' detention

Protest demanding end to MPs’ detention

PRESS RELEASE

The International Campaign for Releasing Abducted MPs strongly denounces the Israeli authorities for preventing a fact-finding committee comprised of members of the European Parliament from visiting Israeli prisons to investigate the situation of abducted members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and other Palestinian prisoners.

The visit followed a request from the International Campaign to the European Parliament to investigate and report on the conditions faced by MPs inside Israeli jails.

The European Parliament decided to send a fact-finding committee, which arrived in Israel on 19 March 2014. However they received no co-operation whatsoever from the Israeli occupation authorities.

The Campaign considers this to be unethical behavior towards parliamentarians protected by parliamentary immunity, and points out that it is yet another example of the ongoing violations suffered by the Palestinian lawmakers, from persecution to abduction and deportation.

11 Palestinians MPs are still behind Israeli bars, being subjected to oppressive and illegal practices.

The Campaign calls for parliamentary and human rights organizations internationally to break the silence on the abduction and detention of Palestinian MPs, and to hold Israel accountable for the crimes it is committing against them, and other Palestinian prisoners.

The International Campaign For Freeing PLC Members
Email: FreePLC2009@gmail.com

Gaza Government Weekly Statement calls for action on Al Aqsa, siege, Rafah closure

PRESS RELEASE

The Palestinian Government in Gaza held its weekly meeting No (334) on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, and concluded with the following statement:

Jewish invasions of Al Aqsa
The Palestinian Government denounces the ongoing invasions of Al-Aqsa Mosque by Jewish settlers, noting 2,500 extremists have entered the mosque since the beginning of 2014. The government calls on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank to defend the holy site by maintaining a continual presence there.

Colonial Settlement
The Palestinian Government denounces the continued and accelerated pace of settlement construction, and the Judaization of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, the rate of which increased by 123% in 2013. The government considers that continuing negotiations with the occupation will provide a cover for Israeli authority to build more settlement houses, and calls for the Palestinian Authority to withdraw from the ‘peace process.’ Read more »

2013 worst year ever, says Raji Sourani at PCHR Annual Report launch

Presenting the PCHR 2013 Annual Report in Gaza

Presenting the PCHR 2013 Annual Report in Gaza

PRESS RELEASE

Ref: 14/2014
Date: 25 March 2014

On Tuesday, 25 March 2014, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) announced the publication of its 2013 Annual Report in the presence of decision-makers, politicians and representatives of civil society and youth organizations. This report is the seventeenth of its kind as PCHR has published annual reports, which review the human rights situation throughout the year, since 1997.

The ceremony was opened with a speech by Dr. Riad al-Zanoun, Chairman of PCHR’s Board of Directors. Dr. al-Zanoun highlighted PCHR’s efforts to monitor and document violations of human rights. He stressed the importance of joint work to promote respect for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). Read more »

“Grave violations and aggression by Israel against the Palestinian people continued in a culture of impunity,” says Human Rights Council

On 24 March The Human Rights Council held a general debate on the human rights situation in Palestine and other Occupied Arab Territories, in a meeting at which four reports on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories were presented.

The Secretary-General’s report again confirmed continued flagrant violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said that the reports highlighted the issue of settlements, which, together with settler violence, were at the core of many of the human rights violations in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Despite repeated calls on Israel to cease settlement activity, their construction continued with devastating consequences for Palestinian civilians. Ms. Pillay also expressed deep concern at the situation in Gaza. Read more »

Hamas: Resistance is the only path for a free Palestine

Gaza PM & Deputy Chief of Hamas politburo Ismail Haniyeh addresses rally honouring Hamas Founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin

Gaza PM & Deputy Chief of Hamas politburo Ismail Haniyeh addresses rally honouring Hamas Founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin

Gaza, ALRAY – Prime Minister and Deputy Chief of Hamas Politburo Ismail Haniyeh on Sunday said the movement does not and will never pursue power, but is aimed at liberation of the ‘Homeland,’ in a speech to a well-attended festival ‘Loyalty and Adherence on Leader Martyrs Anniversary’ organized by Hamas on the 10th anniversary of the death of its founder Ahmed Yassin, and leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi.

Hamas Not Power-Seeker

“Take all the [political] powers and positions and keep the homeland; do not give up Jerusalem; do not give up the right of return,” Haniyeh said, referring to the Fatah movement, a hardcore supporter of the so called ‘peace process.’ Read more »

ICJ should assess legal status of prolonged Israeli occupation of Palestine, says UN rights expert

PRESS RELEASE

United Nations Office of the High Commissioner forHuman Rights

GENEVA (21 March 2014) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on occupied Palestine, Richard Falk, today called for an assessment by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legal status of the prolonged Israeli occupation of Palestine, and allegations that it has legally unacceptable characteristics of ‘colonialism’, ‘apartheid’ and ‘ethnic cleansing.’ Read more »

Today is Mothers’ Day in Gaza

by Julie Webb-Pullman

What does this mother in Gaza do on Mothers’ Day?

Mother in Khan Younis

She wakes to pitch blackness, because there is no electricity to light the room.

She fumbles her way by torch or candlelight (if there is not too much wind to blow it out) to the bathroom.

Is she in luck this-morning? Did the electricity come on during the night and power the pump so that there is water in the roof-top tank to wash with? Even if it is so icy-cold and salty that it stings her eyes almost as much as the teargas that her sisters in the West Bank and Jerusalem must bear? Read more »

Time to target Britain’s Israel-first MPs

Article – Stuart Littlewood

Last week David Cameron, addressing Israels Knesset, pledged to defeat any boycotting of Israel. Britain opposes boycotts, he said without having consulted the British people on the matter. Read more »

Kuffiya for Tony Benn: British Warrior Who Matured with Age

Column – Ramzy Baroud

Long before the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment campaign inched slowly from the fringes of global solidarity with Palestinians to take center stage, Tony Benn had been advocating a boycott of Israel with unrestricted conviction, for years. Read more »

Middle East: Status Quo Not Sustainable – UN Political Chief

Press Release – UN News

Against the backdrop of last weeks dangerous escalation in Gaza and Israel, the top United Nations political official told the Security Council today that this latest upsurge serves as yet another reminder that the international community must … Read more »

Rafah Crossing Closed for 38-Consecutive-Days

PRESS RELEASE
Gaza Ministry of the Interior

18/03/2014

Closure of the Rafah Border Crossing by Egyptian authorities for 38-consecutive-days has reached crisis proportions, and is causing intolerable suffering for travelers across the Gaza Strip.

Since the 30 June 2013 events in Egypt the crossing has been open for only 88 days, and in 2014, for 9 days only. Read more »

EURO-MID: Israeli army increases detentions of Palestinian children by 80%

PRESS RELEASE
EURO-MID OBSERVER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Geneva

A report issued on March 17th by the Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights points out that the Israeli forces have detained 740 Palestinian children during the first two months of 2014, 465 of them remained in custody for at least one week.

The Euro-Mid Observer, an independent human rights organization based in Geneva, states that approximately 200 Palestinian minors were detained monthly on average by the Israeli forces during 2013, and 197 on average during 2012, according to data published by Defense for Children International (DCI) and Israel Prison Service. Read more »

Israeli public figures proposal for Palestinian agreement

Press Release – Adam Keller

Towards Today’s crucial meeting between President Obama and President Mahmud Abbas (Abu-Mazen), regarding the proposed American “framework agreement”, hundreds of Israeli public figures are making a public proposal of principles on which such an agreement … Read more »

Pride of place for locally-made rocket

Gaza, ALRAY

The Al-Qassam Brigades in Gaza said it has succeeded in developing crude rockets, and knows many weak points of the Israeli military.

The statement of the armed wing of Hamas came during the inauguration of the ‘Martyr Ibrahim al-Maqadmah’ square in northern Gaza strip.

M75 honours Ibrahim al-Maqadmah (Photo by Alray) Read more »

Hunger Strike! Is It Still an Effective Mode of Resistance?

Article – Pam Bailey

Prisoners are perhaps the most powerless individuals in the world. They are at the mercy of their captors — deprived of freedom of movement, stripped of virtually all personal resources, limited in communication with the outside to rationed, supervised … Read more »

Gaza Interior Ministry: “We do not need experts from abroad”

Press Release – Gaza Interior Ministry

The Gaza Minister of the Interior Fathi Hammad said that the Interior Ministry is fighting a relentless war with the Israeli Occupation, requiring ongoing efforts to identify and incapacitate collaborators, who undermine national security by providing … Read more »

Gaza Interior Ministry: “We do not need experts from abroad”

Article – Julie Webb-Pullman

The Gaza Minister of the Interior Fathi Hammad said that the Interior Ministry is fighting a relentless war with the Israeli Occupation, requiring ongoing efforts to identify and incapacitate collaborators, who undermine national security by providing … Read more »

Gaza Update: March 14, 2014

Article – Julie Webb-Pullman

In the last hour, Israeli warplanes targeted the following sites in the Gaza Strip: The military Site “Abu Atayah” of Nasser Saladin Brigades, west of Rafah. The military Site “Saad Sayel” of Qassam Brigades east of Rafah. A piece of agricultural … Read more »

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