Archive for July, 2018

UNRWA condemns the Killing of 11 Year Old Boy in Gaza by Israeli Security Forces

PRESS STATEMENT
UNRWA Spokesperson, Chris Gunness

Relatives grieving at his funeral. Photo: EPA

Relatives grieving at his funeral. Photo: EPA

28 July 2018

Yesterday, during protests at the fence in Gaza, Majdi Ramzi Kamal Al Satari, an 11 year old boy and UNRWA student, was killed by Israeli Security Forces.

This dramatic incident brings to ten – nine boys and one girl – the number of UNRWA students killed near the fence in Gaza since 30th March when the present round of demonstrations began.

UNRWA condemns in the strongest possible terms the deaths of these children in Gaza. We have conveyed our condolences to Majdi’s family and loved ones.

Conditions in Gaza have reached extremes of hardship, fueled by ongoing conflict, blockade and occupation. The absence of horizon is impacting the community in multiple ways.

UNRWA endorses the statements of the United Nations Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights that Palestinians have the right to peaceful assembly and expression. Lethal force may be used only when strictly unavoidable as a last resort in self-defense or in order to protect life. The killing and injuring of children – who enjoy additional protection under international law – is particularly appalling .

UNRWA calls for maximum restraint to prevent an escalation of the violence. Utmost efforts must be made to prevent any further loss of life, especially of children. Thorough, independent, and transparent investigations must be undertaken in relation to these incidents to ensure accountability in accordance with international standards.

UNRWA Condemns Demolition of a Kindergarten in the Occupied West Bank

PRESS STATEMENT
Chris Gunness, UNRWA spokesperson

Jerusalem 26 July, 2018: Yesterday morning at 0700hrs the Israeli Security Forces entered the Jabal al Baba Bedouin Palestine refugee community in the West Bank, close to the outskirts of East Jerusalem and dismantled and removed a donor funded structure that serves as a kindergarten for 28 children (3-6 years old) and a women’s centre. The school has been demolished once and dismantled twice so this is the third time within a year that the pre-school refugee children in this community have been deprived of having a safe place to play and learn.

This demolition comes against a backdrop of the intensification of Israeli measures in the context of plans for the relocation of communities. There are concerns that these communities in Area C of the West Bank at the outskirts of East Jerusalem face an increasingly coercive environment. UNRWA strongly condemns the demolition and calls for an immediate halt to such demolitions in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

UNRWA condemns the killing of a refugee child during military raid in the occupied Palestinian territory

PRESS STATEMENT
Chris Gunness, UNRWA Spokesperson

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Jerusalem, 25 July 2018: During a large scale incursion by the Israeli security forces (ISF) into Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem on 23 July, a fourteen year old Palestine refugee student at UNRWA’s Basic Boys School in the camp was shot and killed, reportedly with live ammunition. Preliminary reports suggest he was not armed. UNRWA condemns the killing of children and calls for an independent and transparent investigation to establish the cause and circumstances of this death.

Across all 19 refugee camps in the West Bank since the beginning of 2017 until now, 10 refugees have been killed and 129 (27 minors) injured by live ammunition. All of these fatalities occurred in the context of ISF operations in and around the camps. In Deheisheh alone since the beginning of 2017, three Palestine refugees have been killed and 55 (including 13 children) injured by live ammunition. Read more »

ESCWA Report on Israel’s Apartheid policies and practices

Press Release – Euro-Med Monitor

Euro-Med Monitor to issue Arabic translation of ESCWA report on Israel’s Apartheid policies and practices Geneva – The Arabic version of the report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) will be published at the … Read more »

End of mission statement of the UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices

PRESS STATEMENT
United Nations Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories

Life without light in Jabalia

Life without light in Jabalia

GENEVA/AMMAN (23 July 2018) – The United Nations Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories has heard grave concerns about the deteriorating situation of human rights, during its annual visit to Jordan.

The Committee’s three-member delegation was told that discriminatory measures against the Palestinians were on the rise in a climate of impunity, with the continuation by the occupying power, Israel, of its deliberate and unlawful policies and practices.

The delegation also heard testimony on a range of human rights issues, including arrests and detentions, the restriction of movement, destruction and confiscation of property, expansion of settlements, and poor detention conditions, as well as the excessive use of force by Israeli security forces and an overarching lack of accountability. Read more »

Hamas asserts right to retaliate to Israeli aggression

Press Statement
HAMAS

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The Israeli Occupation will have to face the repercussions after choosing to bomb Gaza and its people, and target unarmed protesters taking part in the Great March of Return.

The Palestinian resistance’s right to retaliation is internationally guaranteed and is carried out for only one purpose: to defend the people of Gaza.

It is also the resistance’s national duty to deter the Israeli Occupation from imposing its own rules of engagement upon innocent civilians.

The resistance will continue to uphold this equation no matter the sacrifices made because the people of Palestine fully support for their resistance.

Palestinians have the right to live in freedom and dignity, and international and regional leaders must work to end the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, end its siege and support the just Palestinian cause.

Fawzi Barhoum, spokesperson
Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas,

20 July 2018

We are sailing, we are sailing…

Article – Lois Griffiths

Once again, a small number of individuals from several countries are going to try to break the illegal siege imposed on the people of Gaza by sailing from Europe to Gaza on four small Scandinavian boats: Al Awda (The Return ), Fr eedom , Falestine … Read more »

With Jewish Nation-State law, Israel is legalizing apartheid

Press Release – PLO

PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi strongly denounced the Knessets adoption of the Jewish Nation-State Bill: Read more »

Palestinian Authority must be held accountable for brutal repression

PRESS RELEASE
FREE PALESTINE MOVEMENT

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The Free Palestine Movement condemns the brutal force used by the security forces of the Palestinian Authority (PA) on June 13, 2018 to stop Palestinian citizens, from peacefully demonstrating against PA sanctions on Gaza. These are in violation of Palestinian constitutional rights (the Palestinian Basic Law) and international treaties to which Palestine is a signatory.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the directors of the security forces and their operatives must be held accountable for these illegal actions, including assault on Palestinian citizens and the illegal arrest of dozens of civil protesters, including Ms. Amal Wahdan, a member of the Steering Committee of the Free Palestine Movement, without due process.

The Free Palestine Movement also expresses its support for the demands of the protesters themselves – that is, lifting the PA sanctions on Gaza. These sanctions operate hand in hand with the Israeli siege on the Strip that is supported by Arab regimes, the European Union and the United States. The “Lift the Sanctions” movement is continuing with marches and rallies on a daily basis, and we stand with that campaign and support its demands. Read more »

Israel bans Hamas-affiliated Palestinian station Al-Quds TV

PRESS RELEASE
Committee to Protect Journalists

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Beirut, July 17, 2018–The Committee to Protect Journalists today urged the Israeli authorities to lift a ban on the Palestinian broadcaster Al-Quds TV.

In an order issued under Israel’s counter-terrorism law on July 3, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman declared the Hamas-affiliated broadcaster a terrorist organization and banned its activities in Israel and the Palestinian territories, according to news reports, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, and the Palestinian press freedom group MADA Center for Development and Media Freedom.

The reports did not specify what the ban would entail or how Israel intends to implement it. Attempts by CPJ to determine whether broadcasts are still accessible were not immediately successful. Read more »

In Gaza, UN envoy urges factions to step back from war

Press Release – United Nations

In Gaza, UN envoy urges Israel, Palestinian factions to step back from brink of a war that everybody will lose With a ceasefire largely holding after a day-long flare-up in fighting between Israel and Gaza militants, the United Nation envoy on … Read more »

Closure of Gaza commercial crossing: UN expert calls on Israel to reverse decision

PRESS RELEASE
Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967

(Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

(Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

GENEVA (13 July 2018) – A UN human rights expert has called on Israel to reverse its decision to close the Kerem Shalom/Karm Abu Salem commercial crossing into Gaza.

The Israeli decision, announced on 9 July, prohibits the import of everything but food, animal fodder, livestock, fuels and medical supplies into Gaza, and bans all export from Gaza. Israel imposed these new restrictions in response to burning kites being sent by Palestinians into southern Israel from Gaza.

“This further tightening of an already-punitive and comprehensive blockade on Gaza will only worsen its dire humanitarian crisis,” said Michael Lynk, the UN Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967.

“Gaza survives with four to six hours of daily electrical power, its drinkable water is almost exhausted, it endures the highest unemployment rates in the world, and its anaemic economy is already flat on its back.”

“Israel’s 11-year-old air, sea and land blockade has driven Gaza’s social and economic conditions steadily backwards. This amounts to the collective punishment of the two million residents of Gaza, which is strictly prohibited under the Fourth Geneva Convention.” Read more »

Press statement from Kia Ora Gaza

Press Release – Kia Ora Gaza

Kia Ora Gaza has sent a letter to our NZ Foreign Minister, Rt Hon Winston Peters, on 5 July asking him to demand that Israel end the 11-year inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip and the allow safe and unhindered passage for the four-boat Freedom … Read more »

Hamas decries latest Israeli measures imposed on Gaza Strip

Press Statement
HAMAS

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Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas, said:

Benajmin Netanyahu’s approval of additional measures imposed on the Gaza Strip to further tighten the siege and prevent the entry of goods into the already crippled coastal enclave is a new crime against humanity added to the record of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people.

The regional and international silence on the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip for more than twelve years has encouraged the Israeli Occupation to continue its criminal actions in clear violation of human rights and international law, and therefore Hamas calls on the international community to act immediately to prevent this crime and its grave consequences, end the siege of Gaza and stop the crimes of the Occupation and its violations against the civilian population of the Strip and bear all the consequences of these arbitrary policies.

The Palestinian Resistance Movement “Hamas”

Fawzi Barhoum

9 July 2018

UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl visited Yarmouk today, in first camp access in years for a senior UN official

PRESS RELEASE
UNRWA

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UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl visited Yarmouk today, the first senior UN official in years to access the camp, which remains an enduring symbol of the Palestine Refugee diaspora, and of the extreme human costs of the devastating conflict in the country. Mr. Krähenbühl said “The scale of the destruction in Yarmouk compares to very little else that I have seen in many years of humanitarian work in conflict zones”.

Once a proud neighborhood home to some 160’000 Palestine refugees, the camp now lies in utter ruin. Wherever one looks, the horror experienced by inhabitants of Yarmouk is all too evident. Yet again, Palestine refugees were exposed to the trauma of displacement, loss of relatives, homes and livelihoods. “In every visit to Syria over the past years – and again during this visit – Palestine refugees have spoken of the pride of what Yarmouk represents in the history of the community”, the Commissioner-General underlined, adding “Today, they express deep anxieties about what the immediate and longer-term future holds and about the prospect of return and reconstruction”.

Carrying out a three-day mission to Syria from 1 to 3 July 2018, the Commissioner-General also met with Palestine Refugees, UNRWA students and staff, as well as with senior government officials and diplomats. Read more »