Archive for the 'Gaza' Category

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.

To be gassed, or not to be gassed: that is the question

Julie Webb-Pullman

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It is a question that the international community must answer about Friday’s ‘March of Return’ in Palestine.

The stated intention of Israeli authorities to flagrantly breach international law by dropping tear gas from riot control drones inside Gazan territory on this event is deplorable – and preventable.

The ‘March of Return’ sit-in is an entirely non-violent peaceful event being held at several locations along the Gaza border, at a distance of 700 meters from the border fence. Thousands of women and children are participating, along with their menfolk.

Organisers have assured that there will be no weapons or guns used during this civilian protest; even stones will not be allowed to be thrown at Israeli soldiers.

Official statements reported in the Israeli and international media leave little doubt that the presence of law-abiding Palestinian women and children exercising their right to assemble in their own country will be met with a wildly disproportionate – and illegal – response from Israeli authorities.

Snipers, army battalions, and the afore-mentioned drones and tear gas have all been readied, and a practice attack using the drones was conducted by the Israeli Border Police on 09 March, 2018 at Shujeiyeh – an attack which was both indiscriminate in its effect, and conducted well inside the Gaza border in a blatant breach of Palestinian sovereignty.

Who knows what gases are being used in these drones? The effects of Israeli tear gas on Palestinians in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza strongly indicate that they have not merely been using CR, CN, CS and OC gases – what new chemical weapons are being tested on us? And now launched from drones?

Israeli authorities have widely and clearly made known their intention to repeat similar acts and more, in defiance of the prohibition by the traditional Charter system of the use of force in the sovereign territory of another, and in breach of the Geneva and Hague Conventions preventing the use of indiscriminate weapons, particularly against civilians.

These Israeli threats should be condemned by all who uphold the rule of law.

The international community is on notice, and must respond.

Their response must be immediate, and unequivocal: the use of drones to breach sovereignty in order to use indiscriminate weapons which may cause injury to civilians must be soundly, roundly and loudly rejected, and condemned by all with a genuine commitment to international law.

To do otherwise is to invite another holocaust.

The Great March of Return

Issam Edwan

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For the first time since 1948, the year of the Palestinian Nakbah, a massive march is being staged with the participation of huge crowds, as all Palestinian refugees, inside and outside the Palestinian territories, will take part in this event. Therefore, special preparations will be made for this march, as whole Palestinian families, including children, will attend it.

This march, which came 70 years later, is of great significance, and holding it now constitutes an important move in the Palestinian strategy regarding handling the right of return. The Palestinians have waited long for an international recognition of their right of return, but they are fed up with waiting.

Every nation living under occupation has the right to resist and make every effort to stand up and claim its rights. The March of Return, which will be held inside the Palestinian territories and in the world’s capitals, is an important form of resistance and has a great significance not less than the armed resistance, which is the most efficient way of resistance and the shortest way to liberation and achievement of return to our homeland.

The significance of the March of Return lies in the following: Read more »

Euro-Med: Decline of UNRWA services, consequences will be catastrophic

PRESS RELEASE
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor

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Geneva- The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor published a report today detailing the series of measures to reduce relief services and staff by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), investigating the resulting catastrophic impact on Palestinian refugees residing in the agency’s five fields of operations.

The reduction of UNRWA services means depriving more than five million and 800,000 Palestinian refugees of basic services such as education and healthcare. It also means causing a closure of 702 UNRWA schools, depriving more than 500,000 refugee students of access to education and the collective layoff of some 30,000 of the Agency’s staff members, furthering the precarious humanitarian and social situation.

Pierre Krähenbühl, UNRWA’s Commissioner-General, promised that his agency will continue to provide its services to Palestinian refugees, despite the fact that the financial crisis facing the agency as a result of huge US funding cuts and the failure of the international community to take concrete steps to support the agency has started to take its toll.

UNRWA has already started taking effective steps reducing its services provided to refugees and downsizing the organization, according to Euro-Med Monitor’s team, a step that is likely to be followed by others leading to the termination of the agency’s work, which Israel has repeatedly called for. Read more »

Ongoing meetings with Egyptian officials in Cairo

PRESS RELEASE
HAMAS

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On the issue of the ongoing meetings of Hamas’ delegation with the Egyptian officials in Cairo, Member of Hamas Political Bureau Hussam Badran stated the following:

Hamas’ meetings with the Egyptian officials in Cairo are going on positively. As an outcome of the meetings, an Egyptian delegation is to arrive in Gaza on Sunday to follow up the reconciliation.

Hamas’ delegation, headed by Chief of Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh, had a positive response regarding the Egyptian efforts to facilitate the life of the people in Gaza Strip, as well as regarding the reconciliation.

Hamas will make the mission of the Egyptian delegation as easy as possible and will take all the needed measures that guarantee a successful follow up of implementing the reconciliation and reinforcing confidence ahead of achieving the prospected national unity; especially amidst the major challenges facing the Palestinian cause and the dangers posed to the Palestinian rights.

Member of Political Bureau of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas

Hussam Badran

The Great Return March (GRM) – First statement

PRESS STATEMENT
The Coordinating Committee- The Great Return March (GRM)

In the Name Of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful

“Return is the people’s choice”

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With firm faith in Allah and trust in Him, and with belief in the sacred right of the Palestinian refugees to return, we announce the dawn of return to our homeland; a rally that has just been launched and will develop to weave the strands of return from the hopes of our homeless people, the sacrifices of our prisoners and wounded, and the struggles of our people.

It is a continuation of our long struggle that includes the 2011 March of Return and the 2012 Global March to Jerusalem.

The war of 1948 ended 70 years ago and there is absolutely no justification for the refugees to be prevented from returning to their homes.

International resolutions were adopted, notably Resolution 194 calling for the return of the refugees. Now, the decision is in their hands for they have determined to exercise their inalienable right of return peacefully, at a time of their choice.
The Palestinian refugees have never been far removed from their homes; many live just a few hundred meters away, or simply separated from their original homes by barbed-wire fences. The time to return has come. Read more »

Euro-Med warns of distressing humanitarian situation of Palestinians trapped at Gaza-Egypt crossing

PRESS RELEASE
EURO-MED

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Geneva- the distressing situation of Palestinians stuck on both sides of the Rafah border crossing and inside Cairo airport following the Egyptian authorities’ decision to close the crossing for passengers traveling in and out of Gaza, constitutes a tragedy to many of stranded patients and students, warns the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor.

“security personnel at the airport were holding about 100 people, , in one room, without providing them with food, drink or sleeping blankets

The Egyptian authorities have allowed the opening of the Rafah border crossing to secure the travel and return of Palestinian citizens out and to the Gaza Strip after a complete closure that lasted about 50 days. The Palestinian citizens were surprised by the Egyptian authorities’ sudden decision to shut it down, only two days after it was opened. This decision coincided with Egypt’s launch of a military campaign in the Sinai Desert, which led to holding hundreds of passengers returning to the Gaza Strip at Cairo airport, as well as on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing.

The Egyptian authorities allowed only 650 stranded passengers to head to the Gaza Strip to cross during the opening of the border crossing. Hundreds of other Palestinian citizens are still stranded and held on the Egyptian side of the crossing. Further, the Egyptian authorities have ordered the return of more than 44 vehicles loaded with Palestinians to Cairo Airport again, and refused to let them in. Read more »

Hamas’ military wing raises level of alert to defend Palestinians

HAMAS

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Hamas’ military wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, announced on Saturday evening rising level of alert to defend the Palestinian people from any Israeli aggression.

On his twitter account, Al-Qassam Spokesman, Abu-Obeida, said: “The Brigades have raised the level of alert to protect our people and respond to any Zionist aggression in the light of the ongoing events taking place in northern occupied Palestine.”

The Israeli occupation army announced early Saturday morning that two Israeli pilots were injured –one of them seriously – after their F-16 fighter jet was shot down by Syrian forces in Galilee.

Commenting on the incident of the Israeli fighter, Hamas Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said: “This is a natural response to the continuous Israeli aggression on the Syrian lands.”

He added: “It is the right for all nations to defend their lands and their own security and stability in case they were targeted by any occupation.”

UNRWA denies strike in Gaza today

PRESS RELEASE
UNRWA

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Contrary to some reports, there was no strike in Gaza today and UNRWA installations across Gaza were not closed because of industrial action.

There was a memorable and peaceful solidarity walk by thousands of UNRWA employees from our office in Gaza City to the UNSCO office to hand over a letter to the President of the General Assembly, expressing concern about funding reductions and their potential impact.

While people stayed away from work for a few hours, UNRWA had a prior deal with the Staff Union that essential services like food distribution would not be disrupted.

Haniyeh calls for new national Palestinian strategy

HAMAS

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The head of Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh called for setting up a national strategy to confront the American and Israeli plans that deliberately target the just Palestinian cause. This came in a speech he delivered on Tuesday in Gaza city.

National Strategy

Haniyeh said that the national strategy should foster Palestinian unity and expedite efforts to achieve reconciliation, noting that adopting resistance as a core pillar for this strategy is very important particularly in light of the utter failure of negotiations.

He added as well that the Palestinian decision should be taken made through national consensus and this entails reconstructing the PLO. Haniyeh hailed the unique Palestinian steadfastness and the Arab and Muslims nations’ reaction in supporting Jerusalem. Read more »

Statement of the UNRWA Commissioner-General

PRESS STATEMENT
UNRWA

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Not for the first time in its proud history, UNRWA faces a formidable challenge in upholding its mandate – an expression of the will of the international community – and preserving key services like education and health care for Palestine Refugees.

Today, the US government has announced a contribution of $60 M, in support of our efforts to keep our schools open, health clinics running, and emergency food and cash distribution systems functioning for some of the world’s most vulnerable refugees. While important, this funding is dramatically below past levels. The total US contribution in 2017 was above $350 M. Read more »

Hamas will not take part in NPC meeting

PRESS RELEASE
HAMAS

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Press release issued by the member at Hamas political bureau, Hussam Badran

Hamas has received an invitation to attend the next meeting of the National Palestinian Council with positivity and appreciation and addressed the matter seriously based on the notion of backing all efforts to unify the Palestinian people in the face of all current thorny challenges.

Hamas sees that the upcoming NPC meeting should be held outside the occupied Palestinian territories to escape from the Israeli pressure and to make way for a real chance for all Palestinian powers to meet and take part in this historical and important phase.

The meeting should be proceeded by a preparatory meeting in which all sides agree upon all the important points to be discussed at the central meeting.

All sides are to participate at the preparatory meeting in order to ensure that the central meeting will take unprecedented decisions that would r rise to the occasion of this historical phase and a firm to stand against the American and Israeli attacks against our Palestinian people.

Devoting its principle of supporting all efforts aimed at unifying the Palestinian people, Hamas held a series of meetings to look into the invitation of the NPC and came up with a result that the current conditions will not pave the way for the NPC to take serious and historical decisions, or to achieve a genuine political review. Therefore, Hamas will not take part in the upcoming meeting.

We will share our thoughts of what is needed from the NPC regarding the current stage in a document that we will be sending later.

In addition, we call upon sides who will take part in the meeting to take decisions that would rise to the occasion.

Hamas rejects Mladenov’s description of Palestinian resistance as terrorism

PRESS STATEMENT
HAMAS

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The Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas” rejects the statement that the peace envoy in the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov made and in which he described the Palestinian resistance as being “terrorist”. Mladenov knows precisely that under international law, the real terrorist is the Israeli occupation who kills children, violates sanctities and commits massacres. Hamas also asserts that Mladenov is well-aware that resistance is a legitimate right for any people who live under occupation and the Palestinian resistance came to be because of the occupation, and that its primary role is to restore the stolen rights of the Palestinian people.

The Islamic Resistance Movement “ Hamas”

10th of January ,2017

Al Arouri: Likud’s decision is as dangerous as Trump’s

HAMAS

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The deputy head of the Politburo of Hamas, Saleh Al Arouri warned of Likud’s decision to annex the West Bank and Jerusalem to the occupied lands. “It is just as dangerous as Trump’s decision,” he added.

During an interview with Al Jazeera Channel, Arouri stated, “We, along with our people, will not succumb to the American decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of the occupation.”

He pointed out that Likud’s decision unleashes settlement construction in the West Bank relentlessly which means eliminating any opportunity for the so-called negotiations based on the international laws to resolve the Palestinian cause.

Al Arouri praised all regional and international efforts rejecting Trump’s decision assuring that any way of resistance will have an impact.

He added: “We expected more effective and practical measures from the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation( OIC) meeting.” Read more »

UN rights chief denounces Israeli forces’ shooting of man in wheelchair

PRESS RELEASE
Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Photo: Irish Friends of Gaza

Photo: Irish Friends of Gaza

GENEVA (19 December 2017) — The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said Tuesday he was “truly shocked” at the killing of a wheelchair-bound amputee by Israeli Security Forces close to the fence between Gaza and Israel last Friday.

Ibrahim Nayef Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh, a 29-year-old man from Gaza who reportedly had both legs amputated after an Israeli attack on Gaza in 2008, was among hundreds of Palestinians who were marching across farmland towards the fence following Friday prayers on 15 December to protest against the United States’ decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. He appears to have been killed by a bullet to the head when he was approximately 20 meters from the fence.

“The facts gathered so far by my staff in Gaza strongly suggest that the force used against Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh was excessive,” Zeid said. “International human rights law strictly regulates the use of force in the context of protests and demonstrations. The lethal use of firearms should only be employed as the last resort, when strictly unavoidable, in order to protect life. However, as far as we can see, there is nothing whatsoever to suggest that Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh was posing an imminent threat of death or serious injury when he was killed. Given his severe disability, which must have been clearly visible to those who shot him, his killing is incomprehensible – a truly shocking and wanton act.” Read more »

Song of Martyrdom: For Ibrahim Abu Thurayya

Dr Haidar Eid
Palestine Chronicle

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In 2009, 21-year-old Ibrahim Abu Thurayya, together with some other youngsters, was targeted by an Israeli F16. He lost both legs. On December 15, 2017, Ibrahim was killed by an Israeli sniper on the eastern borders of Gaza while carrying a Palestinian flag and peacefully protesting against American president’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Ibrahim was a wheelchair-bound double amputee!

What is the message that apartheid Israel wanted to send to us, Palestinian, by brutally killing Ibrahim in broad day light? Read more »

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