Archive for the 'Press Releases' Category

PCHR: Serious escalation in use of lethal force against Gaza protestors by Israeli forces

PRESS RELEASE
Palestinian Center for Human Rights

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On Friday afternoon, 12 October 2018, using excessive force against the peaceful protesters in the eastern Gaza Strip for the 29th Friday in a row, Israeli forces killed seven Palestinian civilians, including a child, and wounded 224 others, including 42 children, three women, three journalists, and a paramedic with live bullets and direct tear gas canisters. Sixteen of the wounded sustained serious injuries.

According to PCHR fieldworkers’ observations, the border area witnessed heavy deployment of the Israeli forces this week as the latter heavily fired live bullets, increasing the number of causalities.

The Israeli forces continued to use upon highest military and political echelons excessive force against the peaceful demonstrators who posed no threat or danger to the life of Israeli soldiers in the areas of demonstrations.

Investigations and observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers emphasize that the demonstrations in all areas were as always fully peaceful, and neither weapons nor armed persons were seen. However, the Israeli forces’ snipers continued to position on the hills, behind the sand berms and in military jeeps along the border fence. Read more »

UN expert condemns killing of more Palestinian protesters

PRESS RELEASE
UNHR Special Procedures

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The killing and wounding of more Palestinian protesters at the Gaza fence by the Israeli security forces is an ongoing affront to human rights and human dignity, said a UN human rights expert.

“The deaths of seven more participants in the Gaza demonstrations, and the wounding of more than 200 others, this past Friday indicates that the Israeli security forces are not heeding the international criticism of their use of lethal fire against Palestinian demonstrators, who appear to pose no credible threat to Israeli security forces,” said Michael Lynk, the UN Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Two of the Palestinians killed on Friday were boys aged 11 and 14. One Gaza-based human rights group, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, estimates that 163 of the injured demonstrators were shot with live fire.

Since the start of the Great March of Return on 30 March, more than 150 Palestinians have been killed during demonstrations near the Gaza fence by the Israeli security forces. More than 10,000 demonstrators have been wounded during this period, more than half of them by live fire. A number of the wounded have suffered devastating and life-long injuries.

“International human rights law imposes strict obligations on the use of force by law enforcement officials,” said Lynk. “Lethal force against demonstrators is absolutely forbidden unless strictly unavoidable in the case of an imminent threat to life or threat of serious injury. Many of those killed and wounded appear to have presented no such imminent threat.

“As I have said in previous statements regarding the recent violence at the Gaza fence, the killing and wounding of demonstrators, in the absence of any strictly-measured justification, and within the context of occupation, may amount to willful killing, which is both a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and a war crime. It is also a serious violation of international human rights law and its protections for the rights to freedom of expression and assembly.”

The Special Rapporteur expressed hope that the recently-appointed UN Commission of Inquiry will be able to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the deaths and injuries in Gaza over the past six months. “Accountability is paramount in the global quest to advance human rights and to bring perpetrators to justice in accordance with the rule of law,” Lynk said.

Islamic Jihad announces organisational election results

PRESS RELEASE
Islamic Jihad Movement of Palestine

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Islamic Jihad Movement of Palestine announces the results of the internal elections of the Movement.

Ziad Al-Nakhla is the new Secretary-General of the Islamic Jihad Movement of Palestine (PIJ), replacing Dr. Ramadan Shalah.

Nine members were elected to the political bureau:
1. Akram Ajouri
2. Mohammed Al-Hindi
3. Yousef Al-Hasayneh
4. Walid Al-Qatati
5. Mohammed Hamid
6. Anwar Abu Taha
7. Abdul Aziz Al-Minawi
8. Nafez Azzam
9. Khaled Al-Batsh.

Participation in the vote was 99.3%.

Following announcement of the election results, spokesman for the Islamic Jihad Movement, Daoud Shehab, greeted all martyrs of the cause and martyrs of the return marches and prisoners and leaders of the captive movement.

“We are determined to continue the March of Return until the siege is lifted,” he said.

“Islamic Jihad Movement is still keen to promote the atmosphere of democracy in order to achieve unity.”

The internal election procedures of the Islamic Jihad movement began more than a year ago, under the supervision of the Secretary General Dr Ramadan Abdullah.

Hamas on Abbas’ speech to UNGA

PRESS STATEMENT
HAMAS

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Hamas considers the speech of Mahmoud Abbas to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday evening to have been pointless repetition, thus highlighting the failures of his policies and his inability to predict others’ behavior despite warnings from the Palestinian factions and others.

In his speech, Abbas merely repeated his demands to the international community, complained about the negligence of the U.S. administration and its bias, and expressed his upset over the Israeli Occupation refusal to fulfill its due commitments made through PA-Israeli Occupation agreements, which has led to catastrophic consequences for the Palestinian cause.

Indeed, the Abbas speech is an explicit announcement of both the failure of his policies, and a straightforward confession that the path of ‘negotiations’ will never bring about just solutions or any gains for the Palestinian people.

Regarding the borders of the Israeli Occupation, Abbas should have posed that question before entering into the Oslo Accords and recognizing the Israeli Occupation.

Abbas completely ignored the Great March of Return in his speech, and the great sacrifice the Palestinian people make to resist the occupation. He also excluded the Gaza Strip and its people when uttering his words before the General Assembly.

Accordingly, Abbas deepens the Palestinian split, paves the way for the Israeli Occupation to perpetrate more crimes and killings, and facilitates the implementation of the ‘Deal of the Century.’

In confirming that he is committed to continued negotiations with the Israeli Occupation despite hundreds of unsuccessful rounds and conferences, Mahmoud Abbas is just duplicating failure while the occupation commits land-grabs to expand its settlements and judaizes the Islamic holy sites, and the Palestinian right of return is annihilated through the dismantling of UNRWA.

As all of the above violations continue unabated, Mahmoud Abbas maintains security collaboration with the Israeli occupation, and restricts both the Palestinian resistance and the Palestinian people from expressing their opposition to the Israeli crimes – even through popular and peaceful means.

Calling the Palestinian resistance ‘terrorist militias’ before the UNGA is a stab in the back of the Palestinian people and their long history, steadfast resistance, and numerous martyrs.

Rubbing salt in the wound, Abbas then employed this platform to declare his intention to isolate the Gaza Strip and to threaten its people with new punitive measures, endangering both Palestinian reconciliation on the one hand, and contradicting the valuable efforts exerted by Egypt to reach national unity on the other. Abbas should have supported all these endeavors, and announced a lifting of the PA sanctions imposed on the Gaza Strip. We therefore hold Abbas responsible for any further ramifications resulting from new punitive measures against the Gaza Strip and its people.

Given all of the aforementioned facts and challenges, Hamas believes that it is necessary for Abbas to repudiate the path of Oslo, a path that has proven to have failed and which has inflicted overwhelming repercussions on the Palestinian people.

Abbas should reconsider the unilateralist policy he has adopted.

Abbas needs to listen to the people of Palestine and to the Palestinian factions, and take heed of their desire for reconciliation and for the implementation of agreements in this regard, above all the Cairo Agreement of 2011.

Abbas must reunite the Palestinian people, and reorganise the internal political situation on the basis of partnership and consensus for a national program to restore our rights and maintain the Palestinian constants.

Finally, Abbas must immediately halt security collaboration and all forms of cooperation with the Israeli Occupation.

24th Friday of Great March of Return

PRESS RELEASE
HAMAS

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On the 24th Friday of the Great March of Return, the Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum stated the following:

The mass participation in this week’s Great March of Return proves that the Palestinian people have selected the Palestinian resistance which defends them against the ongoing Israeli aggression to represent them over the Palestinian Authority which is imposing sanctions on Gaza while continuing its security collaboration with the Israeli Occupation.

Fawzi Barhoum

The Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas

07/09/2018

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.

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 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.

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

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