Archive for February, 2016

UNRWA Launches 2016 Syria Appeal “Critical Palestinians not Forgotten”


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2 February 2016

UNRWA today appealed to donors for US$ 414 million to meet the critical humanitarian needs of Palestine refugees affected by the conflict in Syria, which is now entering its sixth year. The Agency’s 2016 Emergency Appeal for the Syria Regional Crisis aims to support 450,000 Palestine refugees inside Syria, as well as the 60,000 who have fled to Lebanon and Jordan.

“In the midst of the broader Syrian tragedy, and with just two days to go before the London donors’ conference, it is critical that the plight of the Palestine refugee community is not underestimated or forgotten,” urged UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl.

Palestine refugees have been dramatically affected by the crisis due to their proximity to conflict areas inside Syria, high rates of poverty and the tenuous legal status of those forced to flee to Lebanon and Jordan.

Over 60 per cent of those remaining inside Syria (280,000 people) are internally displaced, and an estimated 95 per cent (430,000) are in need of sustained humanitarian assistance. This includes tens of thousands who are trapped in areas of active conflict, with extremely constrained access to humanitarian assistance. Around 42,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) have fled to Lebanon and 18,000 to Jordan where they face a marginalized and precarious existence. Read more »

‘Don’t shoot the messenger,’ Ban fires back at Israeli criticism


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United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called Israeli criticism of attacks on its settlement policy unsustainable in an opinion piece published Sunday by The New York Times, doubling down on comments earlier in the week that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said encouraged terrorism.

In the piece entitled, “Don’t Shoot the Messenger, Israel,” Ban reiterates many of his earlier comments to Security Council Tuesday, calling Israeli settlement activity “an affront to the Palestinian people,” adding that “it is human nature to resist occupation.”

He also called for a freeze on settlement activity, which most of the international community views Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal or illegitimate.

“Criticism of the United Nations — or attacks against me — comes with the territory. But when heartfelt concerns about shortsighted or morally damaging policies emanate from so many sources, including Israel’s closest friends, it cannot be sustainable to keep lashing out at every well-intentioned critic,” Ban wrote. Read more »

Rights group raises alarm bells over al-Qeiq’s health condition

Palestinian Information Centre

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The Assembly of Palestinian Doctors in Europe has sent letters to a number of European MPs and international human rights institutions raising alarm bells over the Palestinian journalist Mohamed al-Qeiq’s health condition as he enters his 69th day of hunger strike.

The letters were sent to MEP Martina Anderson, Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Palestine, and Gilbert Roger, Senator of the Socialist Party of France and President of the France-Palestine Friendship Group.

In its letters, the Assembly called on human rights institutions and the free world to urgently intervene to save al-Qeiq’s life before it is too late. The Assembly declared its full readiness to send a medical delegation to check on al-Qeiq’s health situation and provide him with the appropriate treatment.

“Al-Qeiq has been detained over the past three months without charge or trial in total provocation to the basic human rights. This pushed him to declare an open hunger strike.”

The Assembly pointed to the Red Cross reports which raise alarm bells over al-Qeiq’s serious health deterioration.

“Al-Qeiq’s life is threatened,” the Assembly warned, attributing his condition to the Israeli violations against Palestinian prisoners and detainees.

Leila Khaled: Palestinian people have struggled 100 years for liberation

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

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Renowned Palestinian struggler and member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Comrade Leila Khaled, urged the prosecution of Zionist war criminals and support for the Palestinian resistance, calling these the duty of all progressive movements, in a speech at the closing of the New World Summit in Utrecht, the Netherlands on January 31.

“The Palestinian people have been struggling for 100 years against occupation and colonization and will continue until the return of all Palestinian refugees, and until we achieve justice and equality on the land of Palestine,” said Khaled. She noted that the Israeli state is an illegitimate project built on the ruins of the Palestinian people and society and based on the erasure of Palestinian existence. “68 years ago, the Israeli state was constructed on the ruins of our people, our land, our homes, and until this moment our people are prevented from exercising their right to return,” said Khaled.

“I was born in Haifa. All of you here are able to go to Haifa at any time, but I – and seven million Palestinians scattered throughout the world – are the indigenous people, deprived of that right,” said Khaled. She said that Palestinians will continue to resist occupation until they achieve their full rights, especially the right of return and the liberation of Palestine.

Khaled highlighted the responsibility of the United Nations for the crimes in Palestine, saying that the international organization was built on a framework of protecting human rights, but instead gave the Zionist movement the right to colonize parts of Palestine and build a racist state, saying that the UN is a partner in the daily crimes being committed against the Palestinian people. Read more »

IOF escalates arrest campaigns in January to quell intifada


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The Palestine Center for Prisoners Studies (PCPS) published its monthly report on the status of Palestinian detainees in January.

The center said that Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have escalated their arrest campaigns against Palestinians over the last month in a bid to quell the ongoing intifada.

According to the report, IOF detained over 490 Palestinians in January, of which 140 were minors, some of whom were injured, and 13 women and young girls, including wives and mothers of prisoners.

IOF also detained two MPs of the Legislative Council and a former minister, raising the number of detained MPs in Israeli prisons to seven. Read more »

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