Archive for the 'Frontpage' Category

Hamas responds to Israeli threats against its leaders

PRESS STATEMENT
HAMAS

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Member of Hamas Political Bureau Husam Badran responded on Sunday to Israeli threats of assassinating the Movement’s leaders.

In a press release on Sunday, Badran said that the Israeli threats against Hamas leaders “reflect the state of confusion and hysteria the Israeli Occupation is going through.”

Badran added that such threats “don’t frighten the Palestinian resistance’s leaders” who will continue to carry out their national duty towards their people.

The Hamas leader confirmed that the Palestinian resistance will respond to any Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people.

Hamas: Siege on Gaza is part of Deal of the Century

HAMAS

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Member of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Khalil al-Hayya, said that the Israeli-imposed siege on the Gaza Strip is part of the “Deal of the Century”.

During a televised interview with Al Jazeera Wednesday afternoon, al-Hayya added: “The sanctions imposed by Abbas upon Gaza must be lifted before taking any steps forward to achieve the internal reconciliation based on partnership.”

Gaza Siege

On the international efforts to ease the siege on the Gaza Strip, Al-Hayya said that Middle East Peace Envoy, Nickolay Mladenov, provided the general guidelines regarding the Gaza siege and is now in its advanced stages led by the United Nations and Egypt and with the participation of Qatar.

He explained that the vision is the implementation of projects prepared by the international community in various areas: electricity, water, infrastructure and employment of workers and graduates.

The member of the Political Bureau pointed out that this vision was in exchange for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, indicating that no one asked the Movement to halt the Great March of Return.

He stressed the need to find a clear and comprehensive solution, which will permit Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza a safe passage to the outside world without the restrictions of the Israeli Occupation, noting that there is no objection to the fulfillment of all international conditions.

Al-Hayya noted that the ongoing siege on the Gaza Strip must be lifted and the basic necessities of life for our Palestinian people be fulfilled like the rest of the world.

Israeli Escalation

The Hamas leader accused the Israeli occupation of violating the cease-fire agreement signed in 2014 in recent weeks.

He noted that Hamas and the factions will not allow the occupation to impose new equations or rules of engagement on the ground.

Al-Hayya considered the position of the PA to cut the salaries of the prisoners and their families in a manner that is regrettable and consistent with the Israeli-American plans, saying: “We condemn this behavior and stand by our prisoners in their hunger strike.”

Prisoner Deal

On the file of prisoner exchange deal, al-Hayya said that the Israeli Occupation is constantly deceiving its public that they have exerted effort in ending this file.

He stressed said that the movement is ready negotiate a prisoner exchange deal, calling on the Israeli occupation to respect the agreement of the 2011 deal before negotiating a new one.

“If the occupation is ready to pay the price, we are ready to complete a prisoner exchange deal.”

Israeli forces arrest at least 7 Palestinian journalists in West Bank

PRESS RELEASE
Committee to Protect Journalists – MENA

Israeli forces stand guard as Palestinians sit outside shops in Hebron, in the West Bank on April 3, 2018.  (Reuters/Mussa Qawasma)

Israeli forces stand guard as Palestinians sit outside shops in Hebron, in the West Bank on April 3, 2018. (Reuters/Mussa Qawasma)

Beirut, August 7, 2018–The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemned the arrest of at least seven Palestinian journalists in the West Bank since July 30 and called on Israeli authorities to immediately disclose charges against them or set them free.

The early morning arrests occurred after Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman declared the Hamas-affiliated broadcaster Al-Quds TV a terrorist organization and banned its activities in Israel and the Palestinian territories, as CPJ documented. Lieberman’s order was issued on July 3 under Israel’s counter-terrorism law, according to news reports from the time.

“Israel has been relentless in its assault on the Palestinian press. Declaring a media outlet a terrorist organization set the tone for the country’s latest crackdown on Palestinian journalists,” said CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, Sherif Mansour, from Washington, D.C. “We call on Israeli authorities to disclose charges against the seven journalists arrested over the past week or release them and allow them to work freely.”

Details of the arrests are below: Read more »

Hamas briefs Palestinian factions on Cairo visit outcomes

HAMAS

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Hamas held a meeting with the Palestinian factions in Gaza to discuss the latest developments of the Palestinian cause and briefed them on the outcome of its meeting with the Egyptian officials in Cairo.

The member of Hamas Political Bureau Husam Badran said that the meeting came after Hamas’ visit to Cairo and its Politburo’s arrival in Gaza to discuss the latest updates concerning the national reconciliation, ceasefire with the Israeli Occupation, and the process of ending the siege on Gaza.

Badran noted that the Palestinian people have the final word to decide on their future.

He reiterated the necessity to take the Palestinians’ stances towards the ceasefire with the Israeli Occupation and their demands into consideration when discussing the proposals to ease the siege on Gaza.

Badran stressed that all the people of Palestine are united in the face of the Israeli Occupation and will not waive their rights under any pressure. Read more »

Hamas strives for reconciliation to serve Palestinian interests

Press Release
HAMAS

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Hamas leader Rafat Morra reiterated his Movement’s willingness to resume dialogue and achieve the national reconciliation as part of its bid to best serve the Palestinian people’s interests and manage the Palestinian situation based on national partnership.

In a press release on Thursday, Morra noted that the visit of Hamas’ delegation to Gaza on Thursday proves its willingness to end the internal Palestinian rift and resume reconciliation talks with Fatah.

“Hamas prioritises the Palestinian people’s interests as part of its overall vision for defending the Palestinian people, their land, and their cause,” Morra stressed.

He confirmed that his Movement is keen on thwarting all Israeli plans that aim at judaizing Jerusalem, isolating the West Bank from the Gaza Strip, and abolishing the Palestinian people’s rights, the foremost among them is their right to return to their homeland.

Hamas: Gaza siege must be lifted immediately and unconditionally

Press Release
HAMAS

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“The Palestinian people want the siege imposed on Gaza to be broken immediately and unconditionally,” the member of Hamas Political Bureau Husam Badran said.

During his participation in the Great March of Return on Friday, Badran confirmed that his Movement, alongside the concerned parties, will exert great effort to achieve the Palestinian people’s demands, the foremost among them is the siege imposed by the Israeli Occupation on Gaza to be lifted at any cost.

He restated that the Palestinians will continue their struggle against the Israeli occupation until their demands are met.

“The Palestinian people are united behind one goal; to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine and return to their homeland,” Badran concluded.

Dr Swee Ang recounts events when Al Awda was seized by Israeli military

Dr Swee Ang
Medical doctor on board the al-Awda, 4 August 2018

Al Awda in  Chalutiers, France en route to Gaza. Photo: Romuald AUGE

Al Awda in Chalutiers, France en route to Gaza. Photo: Romuald AUGE

The last leg of the journey of al-Awda (the boat of return) was scheduled to reach Gaza on 29 July 2018. We were on target to reach Gaza that evening. There are 22 on board including crew with USD 15,000 of antibiotics and bandages for Gaza. At 12.31 pm we received a missed call from a number beginning with +81… Mikkel was steering the boat at that time.

The phone rang again with the message that we were trespassing into Israeli waters. Mikkel replied that we were in International waters and had right of innocent passage according to maritime laws. The accusation of trespassing was repeated again and again with Mikkel repeating the message that we were sailing in international waters. This carried on for about half an hour, while Awda was 42 nautical miles from the coast of Gaza.

Prior to the beginning of this last leg, we had spent 2 days learning non-violent actions and had prepared ourselves in anticipation of Israeli invasion of our boat. Vulnerable individuals especially those with medical conditions were to sit at the rear of the top deck with their hands on the deck table. The leader of this group was Gerd, a 75 year old elite Norwegian athlete and she had the help of Lucia a Spanish nurse in her group. Read more »

Hamas delegation reveals outcome of reconciliation talks in Egypt

PRESS RELEASE
HAMAS

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Member of Hamas political bureau Mousa Abu Marzouq revealed the outcome of the meeting with Egyptian officials.

“The talks between the Hamas delegation and the Egyptian officials focused on the current crisis in Gaza, the mutual relations between the two sides and the Palestinian national reconciliation,” Abu Marzouq said.

He noted that the Egyptian officials briefed the Hamas delegation on Fatah’s response to Egypt’s proposal regarding the internal reconcilliation.

Abu Marzouq confirmed that his Movement will facilitate the transfer of absolute power over the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority.

He also described his Movement’s talks with the Egyptian officials as “positive”.

The Hamas delegation will head back to Gaza on Thursday and meet the head of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh.

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 »

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

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 »

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 »

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 »

One Question Gaza

Cihan Aksan and Jon Bailes
Source: State of Nature

One Question is a monthly series in which we ask leading thinkers to give a brief answer to a single question.

This month, we ask:

What is the future of Gaza?

With responses from: Ramzy Baroud; Richard Falk; Sara Roy; Abdalhadi Alijla; Norman Finkelstein; Huwaida Arraf; Toufic Haddad; Atef Alshaer; Helga Tawil-Souri; Hagar Kotef; Joel Beinin; Magid Shihade; Ran Greenstein; Richard Hardigan; Salman Abu Sitta.

future-of-gaza-400-x-270 Read more »

Occupied Palestinian Territory: Bleakest picture yet, says UN expert after regional visit

PRESS RELEASE
UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory

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GENEVA (29 June 2018) – A UN expert has expressed alarm about the deterioration of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, saying reports received during his visit to the region this week painted the most dispiriting picture yet of the situation on the ground.

“After years of creeping Israeli de facto annexation of the large swathes of the West Bank through settlement expansion, the creation of closed military zones and other measures, Israel appears to be getting closer to enacting legislation that will formally annex parts of the West Bank,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, Michael Lynk. “This would amount to a profound violation of international law, and the impact of ongoing settlement expansion on human rights must not be ignored.”

Lynk travelled to Amman, Jordan this week to meet with civil society, government officials and UN representatives to collect information for his next report, to be presented to the 73rd session of the General Assembly in October 2018. Israel, the occupying power, has continued to prohibit him from travelling to the OPT.

“This is my third mission to the region since I assumed the mandate in May 2016, and the reports I received this week have painted the bleakest picture yet of the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” he said. Read more »

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