UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices to visit Amman on annual mission

PRESS RELEASE
Office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights

GENEVA (11 July 2017) – A United Nations Special Committee will undertake its annual field visit to Amman from 12 to 14 July 2017 to gather testimonies and to hear briefings on a range of human rights issues of concern in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the occupied Syrian Golan.

The UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories will be meeting with victims, community representatives, witnesses, Israeli and Palestinian non-governmental organizations, officials from Palestine, and UN representatives.

As stipulated in the mandate, the Committee has sought the agreement of the Government of Israel to access the Occupied Territories. However, the Government of Israel maintains its practice of non-cooperation. Read more »

Nearly 200,000 Gaza Children Take Part in UNRWA ‘Summer Fun Weeks’

PRESS RELEASE
UNRWA

UNRWA students during their participation in the opening ceremony performances of the Summer Fun Weeks held in Al-Zaitoun Elementary Girls School, Gaza city. © UNRWA Gaza 2017. Photo by Fadi Thabet

UNRWA students during their participation in the opening ceremony performances of the Summer Fun Weeks held in Al-Zaitoun Elementary Girls School, Gaza city © UNRWA Gaza 2017. Photo by Fadi Thabet

Gaza, 09 July: One hundred and eighty-six thousand children have registered to participate in a month-long programme of summer activities organized by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The ‘Summer Fun Weeks’ (SFWs) will begin on 08 July and culminate in a series of closing ceremonies that end on 5 August.

According to the Director of the Summer Fun Weeks, Yousef Moussa, the event is well-balanced in terms of the gender of the participants: “50.3 per cent of participants will be girls and 49.7 will be boys. There will be football for the boys and basketball for the girls. We have also included mural painting and handicrafts, as well as bouncy castles and trampolines for the younger children.” Read more »

PFLP: Arrests of our leaders will not deter us from continuing resistance

PRESS RELEASE
PFLP

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The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine confirmed that the Zionist occupation forces launched a pre-dawn campaign of raids across the occupied West Bank of Palestine on Sunday, arresting a number of leaders and activists of the Front, led by the Palestinian Legislative Council member Khalida Jarrar, feminist activist Khitam Saafin and former prisoner Ihab Massoud, as well as a number of activists in al-Khalil. The Front declared that these attacks will not stop it from continuing its role in resistance to occupation and confronting the crimes and projects that attempt to liquidate the Palestinian cause.

The Front emphasized that these arrests only underline the futility of the choices of the Palestinian Authority to continue to bet on settlements, “peace process” and security coordination. It also confirms the correctness of the Front’s position and its continuing struggle to build the resistance and the primary contradiction with the occupation as a major feature of its approach and political positions. Read more »

On the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, Addameer highlights systematic abuses by Israeli forces

PRESS RELEASE
ADDAMEER

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On International Day to Support Victims of Torture, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association highlights the continued forms of physical and psychological torture of Palestinian prisoners and detainees by Israeli forces. Occupation authorities practice torture and ill-treatment in a systematic manner, in contravention with international law, which prohibits physical and psychological torture. Human rights conventions, including the Convention Against Torture, to which Israeli is a signatory, as well as the Fourth Geneva Convention, prohibit the use of torture with no exceptions.

On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the Palestinians prisoners’ issue has a special importance. Since 1967, 73 Palestinian prisoners and detainees have died as a result of torture in Israeli detention during interrogation. The latest case is Arafat Jaradat, who died on 23 February 2013 as a result of torture during interrogation. Commissioned Forensic Pathology expert Dr. Sebnem Korur Fincanci, found that “Arafat Jaradat was severely beaten while in detention, resulting in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, which caused his death in Israeli custody on 23 February 2013.”[1] Despite this, up to date, no Israeli official has been charged for Jaradat’s death. Read more »

Hamas condemns the decision of the Attorney General in blocking media sites

PRESS RELEASE
HAMAS

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The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, condemns the decision of the Attorney General of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, Ahmed Barak, to block a number of Palestinian news agency sites as demanded by Mahmoud Abbas.

The Movement’s spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, in a press statement Thursday, regarded the decision as a direct violation of freedom of opinion and expression and one which reflects the dictatorial agenda of Abbas and his authority in dealing with the Palestinian people and the various components of our society

Barhoum called on the Palestinian people to confront this immoral approach and to thwart Abbas’s plans aiming to subdue rights of free expression.

He also called on the human rights and trade union organizations to denounce the actions of Abbas and his authority which suppress the freedom of expression and the destruction of Palestinian society.

PFLP denounces censorship of Palestinian news sites

PRESS RELEASE
PFLP

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The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine condemned the Palestinian Authority’s blocking and censorship of Palestinian news sites in the West Bank since Thursday, June 15.

The Front said that this attack on freedom of expression is a dangerous trend that reflects acquiescence to the dictates of the enemies of the Palestinian people. It works hand in hand with all attempts by the enemy to muzzle the Palestinian voice and strangle and silence the Palestinian people. The Front demanded that this action be overturned immediately and to end the punishment of the steadfast Palestinian people. Read more »

Immediate action needed as Gaza power cuts spark humanitarian crisis, UN expert warns

PRESS RELEASE
UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights

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GENEVA (15 June 2017) – The humanitarian situation in Gaza is deteriorating to unprecedented levels as new reductions in the already extremely limited power supply have been announced, a United Nations expert has warned.

Michael Lynk, Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, said the situation was “extremely distressing” and getting worse with every passing week.

“All the parties with a direct hand in the crisis – Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas – must act immediately with the best interests of the population in Gaza in mind to resolve this human-made problem,” the expert said. Read more »

UNHRC on Qatar diplomatic crisis

PRESS RELEASE
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

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Comment by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on impact on human rights

GENEVA (14 June 2017) – “I am alarmed about the possible impact on many people’s human rights in the wake of the decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain to cut diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar.

It is becoming clear that the measures being adopted are overly broad in scope and implementation, and have the potential to seriously disrupt the lives of thousands of women, children and men, simply because they belong to one of the nationalities involved in the dispute. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have issued directives to address the humanitarian needs of families with joint nationalities, but it appears that these measures are not sufficiently effective to address all cases. Read more »

The Machiavellian Plot to Provoke Saudi Arabia and Qatar into a “Blood Border” War

Andrew Korybko
From 21st Century Wire

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Experts all across the world are trying to figure out what’s really fueling the Qatari-Saudi Cold War, but the answer is simple – the US. As it’s always prone to do, Washington is masterfully playing a game of divide and conquer in the Mideast, doing the same thing to its Gulf allies as it did to its North African ones during the theater-wide “Arab Spring” Color Revolutions, except this time pitting them against one another on a state-to-state level as opposed to an intra-state one between the government and some of its citizenry.

The long-term purpose behind all of this is to usher in Ralph Peters’ 2006 “Blood Borders” blueprint for the “New Middle East”, wherein the Gulf eventually undergoes a geopolitical reengineering just like “Syraq”, Turkey, and the Balkans are slated to do as well. All in all, the fracturing of the region into a myriad of internationally recognized and de-facto statelets is expected to facilitate the prolongation of American hegemony in the broad interconnected space that the late Brzezinski described as the “Eurasian Balkans,” while simultaneously creating major complications for its Russian and especially Chinese rivals’ access to this geostrategic pivot space at the heart of Afro-Eurasia.

That’s a lot to digest all at once, so let’s break everything down piece by piece so that it’s easier to understand.

Source: 21st Century Wire

Source: 21st Century Wire

Read more »

Hamas condemns UNRWA allegations

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In the name of Allah the most Merciful

Press Statement

Fawzi Barhoum, spokesman for the Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas”, stated the following:

The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, strongly condemns the allegations made by UNRWA regarding the “existence of a tunnel under a school in the middle of the Gaza Strip” which will in turn be exploited by the Israeli occupation to justify its crimes and encourage it to target unarmed civilians.

Hamas and all other resistance factions make it clear, that no resistance activities take place in the location mentioned by the UNRWA. Our resistance policy completely respects UNRWA institutions and public institutions; meaning, we and other factions carry on with resistance activities far from residential areas and institutions.

Fawzi Barhoum

Spokesman for the Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas”

09 / June / 2017

UNRWA Condemns Neutrality Violation in Gaza in the Strongest Possible Terms

Statement by Christopher Gunness, UNRWA Spokesperson

On 1 June UNRWA discovered part of a tunnel that passes under two adjacent Agency schools in Maghazi camp in the Gaza Strip, namely the Maghazi Elementary Boys A&B School and the Maghazi Preparatory Boys School. The schools are located on the same premises. The discovery was made during the summer vacation, at a time when the schools are empty, and in the course of work related to the construction of an extension of one of the buildings.

Following a thorough inspection of the site, UNRWA can confirm that the tunnel has no entry or exit points on the premises nor is it connected to the schools or other buildings in any way. Read more »

Die, Suffer, You Kahba

by Gideon Levy
Source: HAARETZ

A horrific incident took place in the occupied territories last Thursday. It was no less despicable than the shooting of an incapacitated terrorist by Elor Azaria. Watching the video clip that documented the event turns one’s stomach. It’s revolting and infuriating, yet no media outlet in Israel paid any attention to it, reflecting the depths of apathy to which we have sunk.

On that day, a group of soldiers stood around a dying Palestinian girl who was writhing in pain, lying bleeding on the road. The soldiers competed with each other to see who could curse her using more vile language. These are your soldiers, Israel, this is their language, these are their values and standards. No one even thought of offering her medical aid, no one thought of silencing the outburst of detestable obscenities flying around the girl who was bleeding to death. This was an apt gift for the jubilee celebrations – from the good-looking paratroopers at the Western Wall to this beastly act at the Mevo Dotan checkpoint. Fifty years of occupation have brought us to this. Read more »

Hamas Press Release concerning Swiss approval to investigate complaint filed against Livni

PRESS RELEASE
HAMAS

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Press Release issued by the spokesperson of the Islamic Resistance Movement ‘Hamas’, Fawzi Barhoum

We, in the Islamic Resistance Movement ‘Hamas’ highly appreciate the approval of the Swiss Attorney General to investigate a complaint filed against the former Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, for committing war crimes during the Israeli aggression in 2008-2009 against Gaza Strip.

We consider it a highly important step towards achieving deterrent punishment against the Israeli Occupation and its leaders for committing crimes and violations against the Palestinian people.

While we stress the need to proceed with practical measures regarding this issue, we also urge other countries to follow suit in the same path.

We express our full readiness to cooperate with any party and to provide it with all evidences needed to indict the Israeli Occupation for war crimes.

Fawzi Barhoum

Spokesperson of the Islamic Resistance Movement

2nd of June, 2017

Jarrar rejects all forms of negotiations with Israeli occupation, demands end to PA security coordination

PRESS RELEASE
PFLP

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Khalida Jarrar, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and a leader in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, emphasized the PFLP’s complete rejection of a return to negotiations with the occupation during the Executive Committee meeting of the PLO that took place on Tuesday, May 30.

The PFLP insisted on the implementation of the resolutions of the PLO Central Council, especially to end security coordination with the Zionist occupation and serious national dialogue to rebuild the Palestinian leadership on the basis of resistance and confrontation of the challenges of today. Read more »

Hamas Office of Refugees demands UNRWA stop threatening its employees

HAMAS

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The Office of Refugee Affairs of the Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas” called upon the UNRWA to halt its systematic threats against UNRWA staff by depriving them from their jobs due to their national and political opinions.

The office stated Wednesday in a press release that UNRWA threatened to fire and take punitive measures against any Palestinian employee who contravene the agency’s impartiality as being staff member of an international body of humanitarian purposes.

The office stated that the threat clearly contradicted the UN’s call in all its covenants of the freedom of expression, the principles of human rights , and political preferences. Read more »

Palestinian prisoners’ victory in Israeli prisons

PRESS RELEASE
HAMAS

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The spokesperson of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, Fawzi Barhoum has stated the following:

The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas hails the incredible steadfastness of the Palestinian prisoners inside the Israeli prisons after claiming victory in a real battle which they had fought to extort their basic rights from their jailers and in which the Israeli Prison Authorities had no choice but to succumb to the prisoners’ just demands.

This victory serves as an evidence that by unity, will, and steadfastness Palestinians can achieve even the impossible missions in their struggle against the unjust occupation.

We as well thank the prisoners’ families, all the Palestinian people, and the free world for devoting the time and effort to keep this humanitarian issue alive. Their efforts and support rallies drew the world’s attention to the prisoners’ ongoing plight, and revealed the ugly face of the Israeli Occupation of being a blatant violator of the Palestinians’ human rights.

We take the opportunity to stress that the prisoners’ issue will remain a core one, and the ultimate goal of setting them free will never be forgotten.

Two Sides of the Palestinian Coin: Hunger Strike/Gaza

OPINION
Richard Falk

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The Palestinian hunger strike protesting Israeli prison conditions was suspended on May 27th after 40 days, at a time when many of the 1000 or so strikers were experiencing serious deteriorations of health, most were by then hospitalized, and the holy period of Ramadan about to commence creating continuity between the daytime fasting of the faithful and the prior desperate protest of the strikers. What was perhaps most notable about this extraordinary gesture of a mass prolonged hunger strike was that it was treated as hardly worthy of notice by the world media or even by the United Nations, which ironically is regularly attacked by diplomats and the media in the West for being overly preoccupied with Israeli wrongdoing.

It needs appreciating that recourse to a collective hunger strike is a most demanding form of political resistance, invariably provoked by prolonged outrage, requiring courage and a willingness to endure hardship by participants, as well subjecting their will to as harsh a test as life offers. To continue foregoing food for 40 days is a life-threatening and heroic, a commitment never lightly undertaken. Read more »

Gazans march to condemn Trump’s description of Hamas as “a terror organization”

Press Statement
HAMAS

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The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, organized a mass rally in northern Gaza Strip condemning statements made by US President, Donald Trump, which described Hamas as a “terror organization”.

Leader of the movement in the northern Gaza Strip, Mohammed Abu Askar, said mockingly that Hamas is described as a “terror organization” simply because it defends the remaining dignity of the Arab nation, and refuses to bow to the dictates of America.

Abu Askar stressed that Hamas will not disregard any of its principles, nor will it give up an inch of Palestine, indicating that those (Fatah) who surrendered 78% of historical Palestine don’t represent the people.

“Trump who described Hamas as a (terror organization) and visited the Western Wall in his first term in office wanted to humiliate the Islamic nations while showing his full support of the Israeli Occupation and giving it the green light to practise more of its terror on the Palestinian people”.

Regarding the on-going mass hunger strike, He said that the prisoners’ strike is a simple mean of resistance, stressing the solidarity of the resistance with the prisoners until their demands are met and their freedom is gained.

He also pointed out that the prisoners will only be released through honourable exchange deals like Wafaa Al-Ahrar deal which took place in 2011.

Abu Askar also weighed on the conspiracies being plotted against Gaza saying, “These plots will only increase the adherence of the Palestinian citizens to the principles of resistance and freedom”.

Hamas on Trump’s speech in Jerusalem

Press Statement
HAMAS

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The spokesperson of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, Fawzi Barhoum has stated the following:

The American president’s speech in Jerusalem is racist par excellence, and aims to lay the foundations for a new Israeli Apartheid regime and to promote hatred against the Palestinian people. Trump’s speech about alleged historical ties between Jews and Jerusalem is a lie and contradicts the UNESCO and ISCWA’s resolutions that both confirmed Palestinians right in Jerusalem and denied any relation between Jews and the holy city.

This biased American policy encourages the Israeli Occupation to further commit crimes and violations against the Palestinian people and its holy shrines, and constitutes danger for our people’s national rights.

This should be confronted by unity around a national strategy in which everyone can defend Palestinians’ rights. It should be crystal clear that relying on the American administration to achieve justice for Palestinian people is a delusional decision.

Mass march in Gaza declares: Donald Trump, US imperialism not welcome in Palestine!

PFLP

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The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine organized a mass march and rally in Gaza City on Tuesday, May 23, from Palestine Square to the prisoners’ support tent for the hunger strike, in rejection of the visit of the war criminal, US President Donald Trump, in our occupied homeland Palestine.

Thousands of comrades, leaders, representatives of national and Islamic forces and of the Front, led by members of the Political Bureau, the cadres of the Progressive Student Labor Front and the Union of Progressive Palestinian Youth, marched, carrying banners and signs in support of prisoners and condemning the visit of Trump to occupied Palestine.

Marchers set photos and an effigy of Trump on fire, challenging U.S. imperialism, and rejecting U.S. attempts to brand resistance as terrorism. Read more »