Archive for the 'Gaza' 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.”

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.

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

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 »

UN experts say Gaza health care at “breaking point”

PRESS RELEASE
UN Human Rights Special Procedures

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GENEVA (21 June 2018) – UN human rights experts have backed calls for a large-scale international response to the overwhelming health care needs of people living in Gaza.

They also remind Israel, as the occupying power, of its obligation to protect the population of Gaza, ensure its welfare and wellbeing, and to allow and facilitate access to health care to people in need.

Health care in Gaza – already precarious in the wake of an 11-year blockade by Israel and periods of non-cooperation by the Palestinian Authority – has been further impacted by the high rate of casualties from Israeli military fire on Gazan protesters since late March.

“We are deeply worried by credible reports that treating, and caring for, the thousands of Gazans wounded by Israeli military fire over the past 12 weeks has strained Gaza’s already overloaded health care system to the breaking point,” said the experts. Read more »

560 Palestinian victims of Israeli gunshots are contacting the International Criminal Court

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PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release – 18th May 2018

ENGLISH VERSION – LA VERSION FRANCAISE SUIT

Israeli crimes committed in Gaza
560 Palestinian victims of Israeli gunshots
are contacting the International Criminal Court

On 17 May 2018, a group of 560 Palestinian victims of Israeli live fire during Gaza demonstrations sent Mrs Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, a complaint denouncing these war crimes and requesting that she refer it to the Court’s judges in order to obtain authorisation to open an inquiry.

1. A joint organised task from Palestine

The complaint was announced from Gaza, directly from the victims or a close relative.

It is the result of work carried out by the Independent Palestinian Commission for the Pursuit of Zionist Crimes against the Palestinians (TAWTHEQ) – a public entity created by the Palestinian Legislative Council on 29 October 2010 – together with some 40 lawyers working in Gaza in co-operation with renowned French lawyer Gilles Devers and lawyer Khaled Al-Shouli. The complaint has also been signed by 30 lawyers registering their involvement and solidarity.

This complaint is a continuation of an ongoing effort initiated nearly 10 years ago, the first complaint to the International Criminal Court having been made in January 2009 concerning the Israeli “Cast Lead” military attack. Read more »

Al-Sisi’s Band Aid: Egypt extends Rafah Crossing opening through Thursday.

SOURCE: alnafiza.net

Informed sources said that the Egyptian authorities decided to open the Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip permanently due to the large number of wounded and injured who are scheduled to leave for Egypt to receive treatment, and also within the Egyptian facilities to come to the sector.

The sources confirmed that the crossing from the moment will remain permanently open without closing it completely, pointing out that the Egyptian leadership gave instructions to the competent authorities to keep the Rafah crossing open continuously.

She pointed out that the Egyptian authorities have given instructions to all concerned authorities to start receiving the wounded of the march of return and the millions of people who broke the siege, whose cases require treatment in Egyptian hospitals.

The Egyptian authorities decided to open the Rafah crossing for four days from Saturday to Tuesday evening, but announced the extension of the crossing until Thursday evening.

It is noteworthy that the Rafah crossing is considered the lifeline of the citizens of Gaza, since it connects the sector in Egypt, where the closure of the latter almost completely, since July 2013, and open it at intervals: for the travel of humanitarian cases, students and dependents only.

ENDS

Editorial: Picking Up The Pieces After The Gaza Fence Massacre

By Alastair Thompson
(Co-founder and former editor – Scoop.co.nz)

This video puts the Palestinian Border Protests in full context. And it provides those who haven’t been following recent history closely the background needed to understand why the Gaza Fence Massacre yesterday is so important historically.

Today the Gaza border has been quiet after orders were given to withdraw from the border. Gaza has also been concentrating on burying its dead and treating the thousands of wounded.

The people of Gaza have experienced yet another great trauma, on top of a mountain of traumas experienced in their open air prison – and live fire military technology proving ground. And they have done so with great dignity. The fact that this protest did not turn into yet another missile barrage shows that there is a new understanding in the Gaza Strip – among its leaders i.e. Hamas – that a military confrontation with Israel will never deliver them justice and freedom.

Israel did exactly what they said they would do. Impose significant casualties on the protesters with the clear intention of provoking a military response which they would then be able to use in their communications with the rest of the world – condemning the millions of Gazans as terrorists, wild animals who cannot be trusted and who have no other reflex other than to attack.

This kind of restraint is extraordinary – and it is a turning point for Gaza – even if it takes some time for it to become a turning point in the wider jihad for freedom and justice.

But to pick themselves up from this latest horror, whilst facing further bombing, further provocation, with no means to escape, limited water and electricity, living in ruins and mourning their loved ones will be very hard.

My hope is that the people of Gaza will know that they have in this moment of sacrifice made themselves 100s of millions of friends an sympathisers around the world. And that Israel failed in its diabolical and evil attempt to provoke them into lashing back.

The #GreatReturnMarch may feel like a failure or an exercise in futility on the ground for so many brave souls. But it is not. It is a wonderful victory of peace over violence, and it provides a foundation for a new era in Palestinian/Israeli peace negotiations where the Israeli’s no longer hold all the cards.

ENDS

Gaza: “We eat our bread with blood”

Julie Webb-Pullman

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In Gaza the funeral tents have all come down – although new ones go up almost daily as another victim of Israeli war crimes succumbs to their injuries received in last Friday’s March of Return.

“We eat our bread with blood,” Omar Samour’s mother told me – Omar, the young farmer who was killed by tank fire as he worked in the field scratching out 28 shekels a day to feed his family.

His 25 year-old wife barely has the time to grieve among the demands of a four month old baby and a toddler, let alone figure out how she is now going to raise her kids in a territory under siege, with women’s unemployment at 80%…

Shattered families are slowly putting back the pieces, knowing that this Friday yet another member may well be lost, leaving the crazy jigsaw of their lives with yet another gaping hole to emphasise its terminal incompleteness.

Hospitals and emergency workers are counting their stocks: not enough medicines, not enough hospital beds, not enough petrol to get ambulances to and from the crime scenes.

Not enough specialised surgeons to repair the massive vascular damage created each time an Israeli prohibited weapon tears through the flesh of people whose only sin is to have been born Palestinian.

Not enough international response to the blatant war crimes and crimes against humanity yet again being carried out by the rogue state of Israel against the original – and legitimate – owners of the land: the Palestinians.

Not enough justice: UN Resolution 194, guaranteeing Palestinians the right to return to the homes from which they were expelled in 1948, remains unimplemented and ignored by the international community.

It will NOT be ignored by Palestinians, however many fall each Friday.

Each death is a dragons’ tooth that will rise as an army of warriors until, like the Golden Fleece, Palestine is liberated.

Although Palestinians are being forced to eat their bread with blood, they chew it with the teeth of dragons.

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