Seeking ‘humanity’ in the Gaza truce agreement

By Dr Essam Yousef

Once again, the dust of fruitless political thinking and the “demagoguery” that plagued the Palestinian cause from the very beginning have surfaced to deny Gaza the right to get a fresh start and revert to life, after it was transformed into a body suffering as a result of the suffocating siege imposed for more than 11 years.

Who would believe that a truce agreement between the factions of the resistance in Gaza and the Israeli occupation, regardless of its content, would lift the siege on Gaza or alleviate it, or be met with fierce opposition from certain political parties under the pretext of the so-called “Deal of the Century”, or any plans aimed at separating the Strip from the West Bank?

The “micro” vision, through which they approach the agreement, is overlooking a lot of details about the political and humanitarian scene related to it, in addition to the facts related to the nature of the “geopolitical” aspect and the political aspects of the agreement (under consideration) being based upon the illusion of a sense of sovereignty. However, the situation is reined by the reduction of the mentality of hegemony and the acquisition of the entire Palestinian political spectrum and struggle under different pretexts.

One of the most important overlooked or rather “excluded” aspects is the exceptional humanitarian situation in which Gazans are living and suffering because of the unjust siege that has been ongoing for 11 years. During this period of time Gazans have witnessed the suffering of their children and patients, who have no access to medication, as well as the ongoing frustration and despair among its unemployed  youth, poor, orphans and elderly, who are still holding on to the last strings of life.

When Israel starts looking like Azerbaijan, there’s a problem

Opponents of the agreement did not pay attention to the sick and hungry people in Gaza. They chose to get involved into the deep but ​​deaf political dialectics, and go on with the path of political conflict and so on, regardless of the Gazans’ deep wounds and their ongoing suffering. As a result, the residents of the Gaza Strip have developed convictions which proved to them that they are destined to pay the exorbitant price and are caught in the spiral of efforts to liquidate their cause powered by internal political calculations, and that their land, although small, is being one used as one of the hotbeds of conflicts between regional and international forces.

There is an internal political discourse that wants the Gazan to blame himself when wishing to live freely just like any other person, without siege or fear from the unknown.

Palestinians search the debris of their houses, which had been destroyed by Israeli airstrikes, for their belongings in Shujaiya, eastern neighborhood of Gaza City, Gaza on October 23, 2014

Gaza has the right to be baffled by the pattern of “heroic” discourse, which undoubtedly includes establishing racial differences among the components of the same population. These people  would suffer when they do not conform to the abnormal political behaviour that has formed an important link in the series of taking the Palestinian issue to the brink. These include goals such as “security coordination with the occupation“, “depriving the prisoners of their financial allocations“, “cutting the salaries of some of Gaza’s employees“, punishing the sector through reprisals and attempting to impose hegemony over the political decision to the point of “isolation”.

The Israelis do not abide by agreements, understandings or charters

Gaza has been struggling with the rest of its occupied territories, and making sacrifices during difficult years to stay within the struggle of one nation with one countrymen, in order to remain a dam immune to the attempts of the occupier to tear the Palestinian land and separate parts from each other, and prevent the establishment of the Israeli state as well as the denial of Palestinians’ rights to self-determination and the right of the return.

Gaza wanted to express its humanity only and to breathe a sigh of relief after a long siege that did not have mercy on any living or non-living creature. Isn’t it entitled to do so? Why would it not enjoy some aspects of normal life, such as the opening of the crossings, reconstructing what was destroyed during the hard years of the siege, rebuilding infrastructure, establishing desalination stations and electricity networks operating normally to light the homes of Gazans throughout the day without being cut?

The restoration of the normal life of Gaza, within the framework of the truce agreement, is a necessity and a top priority. This does not mean in any way ending its struggle against the occupation and ignoring it in order to build an independent state. Gaza – along with all the components of the Palestinian homeland whether geographical, political or social – is a difficult number in the equation of the Zionist occupation, and is the stumbling block which will always stand in the way of the implementation of its plans.

(Source / 19.05.2018)

Palestinian president vows to appeal Israel’s law at UN

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas participates in the Palestinian Central Council meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)'s National Council in the West Bank city of Ramallah [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he rejects US mediation for Palestine-Israel peace talks

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday vowed to appeal Israel’s controversial law of Jewish nation-state at the UN.

Speaking in a televised program, Abbas said he rejects the US mediation for Palestine-Israel peace talks and emphasised that there would no meeting with the U.S. until it reverts its decision to recognise Jewish settlements and Jerusalem as an Israeli capital.

Underlining that the Oslo Accords would not continue if the current situation persists, he called on Hamas to allow the national unity government of Palestine to carry out its activities in the Gaza Strip.

The Jewish nation-state Law defines Israel as a Jewish state with a “united Jerusalem” as its capital. It has also promoted Hebrew as the only official language, stripping Arabic as an official language while recognising its “special status”.

(Source / 19.08.2018)

Army Invades Hebron, Abducts A Palestinian Near Nablus

19 AUG
10:13 AM

Israeli soldiers invaded, Sunday, Hebron city and Ethna town, west of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, and searched many homes. on Saturday at night, the soldiers abducted a Palestinian near Nablus.

Media sources in Hebron said the soldiers invaded many neighborhoods in the city, and searched them, causing damage.

They added that the soldiers also invaded homes in Ethna town, and searched them using k9 units.

In addition, the soldiers installed several roadblocks at the entrances of a number of villages, towns and refugee camps in Hebron, stopped and searched dozens of cars and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

On Saturday at night, the soldiers abducted Fadi Roshdi Hamdan, from Arraba town, south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, while crossing Za’tara military roadblock, south of Nablus.

(Source / 19.08.2018)

Norwegian Activist Shot as Israeli Forces Subdue Protest East of Qalqilia

18 AUG
7:49 PM

A Norwegian activist, Saturday, was shot and injured with a rubber-coated steel bullet as Israeli forces quelled the weekly and peaceful anti-settlement demonstration in the village of Kufr Qaddoum, to the east of Qalqilia, said WAFA correspondence.

Confrontations reportedly broke out between demonstrators who also rallied to protest Israel’s closure of the main road that connects the village of Kufr Qaddoum with the city of Nablus, since 2003. Subsequently, Israeli forces cracked down on the peaceful rally, using excessive force against demonstrators.

A forty five-year-old Norwegian activist was struck in the abdomen area with a rubber-coated steel bullet. Her medical status remains unknown until the moment.

No other injuries or arrests were reported.

“Before 2003, the residents of Kufr Qaddoum would use a shorter road to the east in order to come and go to nearby cities and villages. However, as the settlements expanded so that they overwhelmed the road, it became closed for Palestinian use, said Addameer Human rights Association.

The only alternative road is roughly six times longer than the previous route, disrupting the villagers’ ability to attend university, their jobs, and other vital aspects of their economic and social well being, noted Addameer.

“Three Palestinian deaths relating to the road’s closure occurred between 2004 and 2005,” it said. Although Kufr Qaddum’s Popular Resistance Committee took their case to the Israeli High Court in 2003, the legal status of the road remains unchanged, stressed Addameer.

After all legal appeals failed, villagers decided to organize weekly demonstrations in July 2011, a step that was met with violent suppression by Israeli forces.

(Source / 19.08.2018)

Two Palestinians detained by IOF in West Bank

WEST BANK, PALESTINOW.COM — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Sunday arrested two Palestinian citizens during raid campaigns launched in the West Bank.

An Israeli army spokesman said in a statement that the IOF arrested two Palestinians involved in “terrorist attacks” against Israeli targets.

Quds Press reported that the IOF at daybreak raided Palestinian villages in Bethlehem, searched some houses, and handed interrogation summonses to three Palestinian boys in Tuqu’ village.

Local sources said that the IOF kidnapped Murshid Sawarka after breaking into his house in Fasayel village, north of Jericho.

The same sources added that the IOF raided several neighborhoods in al-Khalil city and searched Palestinian citizens’ houses using police dogs.

(Source / 19.08.2018)

“Burning balloon” causes fire at Erez Crossing

Burning balloon

A large fire broke out Sunday morning near the Erez Crossing, caused by a burning balloon fired from the Gaza Strip.

Israeli media reported that the balloon was fired by youths early this morning.

Since the beginning of the Great March of Return, starting on March 30, Palestinian youths have utilized kites and balloons as incendiary devices that they launch towards the occupied Palestinian territories adjacent to the Gaza Strip.

(Source / 19.08.2018)

“Price Tag” settlers vandalize property in East Jerusalem

Price tag settlers

PNN/ Jerusalem/

Settlers from the “Price Tag” groups on Sunday overnight sprayed racist slogans on vehicles and walls of a house in the Al-Issawiya neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem.

According to a follow-up committee in the town of Issawiya, settlers also damaged the tires of dozens of vehicles in the neighborhood.

It is worth mentioning that the Jewish “Price Tag” gangs have long attacked citizens’ property and sanctities in and outside of Jerusalem without the pursuit of occupation forces, even though all the areas in Jerusalem are equipped with hundreds of surveillance cameras.

(Source / 19.08.2018)

Palestinian father, 2 children injured after Israeli settler attack

Settler attack Nablus 2 kids

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers on Sunday attacked a Palestinian-owned vehicle in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, injuring three Palestinians, including two children.A Ma’an reporter said that Israeli settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar, attacked a vehicle with stones as it passed on the main road, south of Nablus.The attacked vehicle belonged to Palestinian resident, Munther Abdelhafez Mousa, 43, who was driving it at the time of the attack, with his two children in the back seat.Mousa told Ma’an “When I was returning from Ramallah towards Tulkarem, my two children and I were attacked by at least 15 masked Israeli settlers, who blocked the road in front of us and surrounded the vehicle, which prevented us from moving.”Mousa said that Israeli settlers began throwing stones and empty glass bottles at the vehicle, which led to his injury and to the injuries of his two children, before being able to leave the area with great difficulty.Mousa’s son, Tareq, 13, was hit by a large stone, while his 4-year-old son, Muhammad, was injured due to shrapnel from the glass bottles.All of them were taken to the Rafidia Governmental Hospital near Nablus to receive necessary medical treatment.The incident comes after several attacks that occurred since Thursday night during which Israeli settlers, from the same illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar, attacked a Palestinian home in attempt to set it on fire, punctured tires and damaged 40 vehicles, as well as burned down a Palestinian-owned excavator, and blocked several main Nablus-area roads used by Palestinian residents.Better known as “price tag” attacks, extremist Israeli settlers use violent acts of retribution on Palestinians and their property to demonstrate their opposition to Israeli restrictions on settlements and their outposts in the occupied West Bank.

Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law, with recent announcements of settlement expansion provoking condemnation from the international community.
(Source / 19.08.2018)

Israel closes Gaza crossing ahead of Eid holiday

Closure could leave Palestinians trying to travel for festival stuck, with Lieberman citing Friday’s protest as the reason

Israel has closed its only crossing for Palestinians trying to leave Gaza

Israel on Sunday closed its only crossing for Palestinians trying to leave the Gaza Strip, tightening restrictions on the blockaded enclave ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.

At a time when the limited number of Palestinians from Gaza granted permits would travel for the celebrations, the new restrictions could prevent them leaving the strip, though Israeli officials did not confirm how long the closure would last.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement the closure was due to “violent incidents on the border last Friday,” when Palestinians gathered for weekly protests against the Israeli blockade. Two Palestinian were killed by Israeli gunfire.

Israel’s army said firebombs and improvised explosive devices were also hurled at the border fence, while a number of Palestinians briefly crossed into Israeli territory. No Israelis were reported wounded.

Read More ►

EXCLUSIVE: Israel offers Gaza a sea passage if border attacks stop

The closure and border incidents occurred despite attempts by Egypt and United Nations officials to reach a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas, the movement that runs the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Middle East Eye reported last week that, according to a Hamas official, the talks involve Israel allowing a sea passage between Gaza and Cyprus as well as the opening of all crossings into the enclave.

The Palestinian Authority civilian affairs office in Gaza also confirmed the closure except for medical cases and Palestinians seeking to cross back into the strip.

Israel has enforced an air, land and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip for more than a decade and grants permits a limited number of permits for medical and other purposes, including a small number to the elderly during religious festivals.

Israeli freedom of movement advocate Gisha said in August that Israel has increasingly denied exit permits for political reasons, with 833 applications denied in 2018 because the applicant was related to a Hamas member, compared with 21 the year before.

Israel had just last week reopened its only goods crossing with Gaza after closing it to most deliveries for more than a month over border tensions.

Gaza’s only other border is with Egypt, where the Rafah crossing has largely been kept closed in recent years but has mostly remained open since mid-May.

(Source / 19.08.2018)

Israel slams UN chief’s calls to boost protection of Palestinians

Israeli regime's UN ambassador Danny Danon (Photo by AFP)

Israeli regime’s UN ambassador Danny Danon

The Israeli regime has rejected calls by the United Nations chief to  boost protection of Palestinians against persisting Israeli atrocities on protesting civilians in Gaza Strip and the occupied territories, demanding action against Palestinian leaders instead.

“Instead of delusional suggestions on how to protect the Palestinian people from Israel, the UN should hold the Palestinian leadership accountable for the harm caused to its own people,” said the Israeli UN envoy Danny Danon in a statement issued on Saturday in response to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ proposed measures to better protect the Palestinians.

“The only protection the Palestinian people need is from their own leadership,” Danon further claimed in his statement, blaming the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority for inciting “its people to demonize and attack Jews,” as well as the Gaza-based Hamas resistance movement for using “the people in Gaza as hostages.”

In his 14-page report, which came after Israeli regime forces killed two more Palestinians in Gaza on Friday, the UN chief laid out four options — from increasing aid to the Palestinians, sending UN rights monitors and unarmed observers to deploying a military or police force under a UN mandate.

“The combination of prolonged military occupation, constant security threats, weak political institutions, and a deadlocked peace process provides for a protection challenge that is highly complex politically, legally and practically,” Guterres said. “The targeting of civilians, particularly children, is unacceptable… those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law must be held accountable.”

Israel, however, has defended its use of live ammunition against Palestinian protesters in Gaza by invoking what it claims as its “right to self-defense.”

The report by Guterres was requested by the UN General Assembly in response to persisting violence employed by the Tel Aviv regime in the besieged Gaza, where 171 Palestinians have so far been killed by Israeli forces since late March.

A relative of Karim Abu Fatayer, a 30-year-old  Palestinian shot dead by Israeli regime forces while demonstrating near the Gaza border with Israel, tries to reach out to his body as she mourns during his funeral in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip on August 18, 2018 

The UN chief further stated that the world body was already undertaking many protection initiatives but that “these measures fall short” of the concerns raised in the UN General Assembly resolution.

The resolution garnered a strong majority of 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with 8 votes against and 45 abstentions. It was put forward by Algeria, Turkey and Palestine after Washington vetoed a similar resolution in the UN Security Council (UNSC) earlier.

The Israeli ambassador further claimed that the options recommended by Guterres “would only bring about continued Palestinian suffering at the hands of their leaders,” and “will only enable the Palestinians’ continued rejectionism.”

A picture taken on August 17, 2018 shows tear gas canisters, thrown by Israeli forces, falling onto Palestinian protesters during a demonstration along the border of the Gaza Strip, east of Gaza City 

This is while a UN mandate for a protection force in the occupied territories and Gaza would require a decision from the UNSC, where the US is widely expected to once again wield its veto power to block a measure opposed by Tel Aviv.

A small European-staffed observer mission was deployed in the West Bank city of Hebron in 1994, but the Israeli regime has since rejected calls for an international presence in flashpoint Palestinian areas.

(Source / 19.08.2018)