Archive for the 'Gaza' Category

Israel puts Gaza on a diet

Visualizing Palestine

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Since the start of its blockade on Gaza, Israel has been controlling Gazans’ calorie intake, making food essentials such as meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables a luxury.

2017 OCHA estimates found that 40%* of Gazan households suffered from food insecurity, and 80%* of people were reliant on foreign aid for survival.

With the Trump administration’s $200 million* aid cuts to Palestine and Israel’s sanctions on imports and exports, families in Gaza are increasingly at risk of food insecurity.

Our visuals highlight how Israel’s Red Lines Policy, implemented from 2007-2010, collectively punished Gazans by limiting their access to food quantities needed for survival.

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Hamas: We don’t seek war but we are prepared to defend our people

HAMAS

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“We don’t seek war but we are well prepared to defend our people if the Israeli occupation decided to attack them,” Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, Yahyia al-Sinwar, said.

During a press conference with Gaza youth held on Tuesday in Gaza city, al-Sinwar reiterated his Movement’s preparation for any Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip if forced into one.

“During this period we are willing to stabilize the 2014 cease-fire with the Israeli Occupation in return for ending the 12-year-long siege imposed on our people in the coastal encalve,” he stressed.

In an effort to end the crippling siege, Palestinians in Gaza organized the Great March of Return last March where they headed towards the separation fence and demanded for the siege to be lifted and to return to their original homeland. However, they were met with brutal force from Israeli soldiers who killed more than 180 peaceful civilians and wounded thousands of others.

“The Great March of Return brought the Israeli Occupation to the conviction that an inevitable explosion in the Gaza Strip will happen and will affect the Occupation due to this choking siege,” al-Sinwar continued. Read more »

Will Palestinian factions agree to a part of the ceasefire agreement?

Article
HAMAS

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The barriers to signing a ceasefire between the Palestinian resistance and the Israeli Occupation cannot be limited to the great disparity between the terms of the Israeli Occupation and the Palestinian resistance or the Palestinian Authority’s stance towards the ceasefire. Rather, the disparity between the Palestinian factions’ stances towards the ceasefire represents another barrier to reaching such an agreement.

The blackout imposed on the Palestinian factions’ meetings in Cairo and their stances towards the ceasefire cannot conceal the fact that the disparity between the Palestinian factions’ positions hinders reaching a ceasefire with the Israeli Occupation.

Despite the considerable disputes between the leadership of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority (PA), some factions seem enthusiastic about agreeing to any agreement that overcomes the PLO and the PA. Read more »

Palestinian factions call for implementation of reconciliation agreements

PRESS RELEASE
Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestinian Democratic Union (FIDA), the Palestinian People’s Party, the Palestinian National Initiative, the Popular Front– General Command, the Vanguard for the Popular Liberation War (As-Sa’iqa)

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Nine Palestinian factions called for implementation of reconciliation deals and reinforcement of national partnership in order to put the 2011 Cairo deal into force and set up the mechanisms needed for such purpose.

The factions reiterated the necessity to support Egypt’s efforts to achieve the national reconciliation and unity.

In a joint press release, the factions reaffirmed the necessity of ending the war of words which hinders achieving the reconciliation and restoring national unity.

The factions, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestinian Democratic Union (FIDA), the Palestinian People’s Party, the Palestinian National Initiative, the Popular Front– General Command, and the Vanguard for the Popular Liberation War (As-Sa’iqa), called for a meeting for the preparatory committee of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) to be held in order to restructure the council based on the outcomes of the Beirut summit.

The factions noted that holding the PNC meeting will promote national unity and help set a national strategy to thwart all schemes targeting the Palestinian cause, the foremost among them is the ‘deal of the century’.

The factions added that it’s high time for the national rift to be healed and for all sides to hold its moral responsibility towards the Palestinian people who are subjected to all forms of oppression under the Israeli occupation and its 12-year siege on Gaza.

The factions called also for the interim leadership framework of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) to be held in order to achieve the national unity, pressure the Israeli occupation to lift its unjust siege on Gaza, and foil all conspiracies aiming to liquidate the Palestinian cause.

The circumstances that the Palestinian cause is going through and the move of some neighboring countries to normalize ties with the Israeli occupation require us to unite in order to thwart the schemes targeting the Palestinian people and their rights, the factions added.

The factions concluded that the Palestinian cause is exposed to desperate attempts by the U.S. admiration to liquidate it amidst the ongoing Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people and the continued reduction of the services of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to pave the way for the ‘deal of the century’.

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.

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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 »

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