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Maandelijks archief juni 2017

Cancer-stricken Gazan pronounced dead after PA denies him treatment

Bassam al-Attar

A Gazan patient was pronounced day at noontime Friday at al-Rantisi Hospital in Gaza after he had been denied treatment abroad for over 50 days.

The Gaza-based Palestinian Health Ministry said 20-year-old Bassam al-Attar died of a cancer affecting his lymph nodes. Medics’ appeals to transfer the casualty to equipped hospitals outside of Gaza had gone unheeded for 50 days, until the patient ultimately breathed his last.

The health of dozens of sick patients, preterm children, and cancer-stricken civilians in Gaza  is in danger after the Palestinian Authority (PA), chaired by Mahmoud Abbas, denied them treatment abroad.

The Health Ministry said it is deeply concerned over the health of dozens of cancer-stricken patients who have been prevented from receiving life-saving therapy outside Gaza.

The ministry called on all concerned parties to pressure the PA to supply the besieged enclave with much-needed medicines, most notably chemical doses and immunity-boosting drugs, and to immediately transfer emergency cases to hospitals outside Gaza before it is too late.

The ministry further urged Egypt to unblock the Rafah border crossing with Gaza so as to allow hundreds of stranded humanitarian cases to undergo therapy abroad.

It further appealed to the international humanitarian institutions to step up pressure on the Israeli occupation so as to force it to cease its racist and immoral practices against sick Palestinians and to observe international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, which grant sick patients the right to free and safe transfers.

(Source / 30.06.2017)

Qatar: Arab boycott is a ‘declaration of war’

Image of Khaled Al-Attiyah, Qatari Image of Khaled Al-Attiyah, Qatari Minister of State for Defence [US Department of State/Flickr]

Image of Khaled Al-Attiyah, Qatari Minister of State for Defence

A “declaration of war without blood” has been made against Qatar by the countries which have imposed a siege on the Gulf state, Minister of State for Defence, Khaled Al-Attiyah, said yesterday.

“What can the closure of the land, sea and air borders to harm the citizens and hit the social fabric among the Gulf countries be described as?” he asked in an interview with Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

“What Qatar is being subjected to is a campaign and siege which is a declaration of war without blood.”Speaking ahead of his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, due to take place in Ankara today, Al-Attiyah said: “Qatar and Turkey have historical and continuing ties, and my visit comes in the context of strengthening defence cooperation between the two countries.”

Read: Qatar says it will not negotiate unless neighbours lift ‘blockade’

Adding that the Turkish military base in Qatar would be discussed during the meeting.

Reagarding Doha’s relationship with America, Al-Attiyah said: “Qatar’s relationship with the United States is a strategic one, especially in the fight against terrorism.”

The closure of the American military base in Qatar is absolutely out of the question.

“Qatar is working to help the Syrian people through its international partners, the group of friends of Syria, headed by the United States, so all that is said about financing terrorist groups is totally shameful, and it means the demonisation of Qatar,” he said.

(Source / 30.06.2017)

Israel suspends family visits for detainees from Gaza

Israeli security forces intervene a demonstration in support of hunger striker Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails on May 19, 2017 [Nedal Eshtayah/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli security forces intervene a demonstration in support of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails on 19 May 2017

Israel has officially informed the International Committee of the Red Cross that there will be no family visits to a number of detainees from the Gaza Strip, without specifying their names.

ICRC spokeswoman in Gaza, Suheir Zaqout, told Quds Press that the organisation is in constant contact with Israeli authorities to remind them of their obligations to facilitate family visits to all Palestinian detainees.

“Family visits are a right enshrined in Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. This right can only be disabled on security grounds and for individual cases. It is highly humanitarian, not only for the detainee but also for their family,” she said.

Read: PA reducing funds for Gazan to access medical care

Zaqout pointed out that the Red Cross is “concerned” about the Israeli decision and understands the concern and frustration of the detainees’ families.

Director of a Palestinian prisoner rights group the Asra Media Office, Abdel Rahman Shedid, said the decision aims to pressure Hamas to response to calls by the families of the captured Israeli soldiers by punishing the detainees with links to the movement.

Shedid said in a statement that the decision “is the first in a series of punishments imposed by Israeli occupation prisons against Hamas detainees during the coming period.”

#GazaSiege

He held the Israeli government and the prison administration full responsibility for any possible deterioration or escalation in the coming period.

Israel suspended family visits for families of detainees from the Gaza Strip after its aggression on the enclave in July 2014 then resumed them in early October of the same year.

Some 370 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip are held in Israeli prisons.

(Source / 30.06.2017)

‘Israel responsible for patients’ deaths in Gaza’

Newborn babies at the intensive care unit are seen at the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on 27 June, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Newborn babies at the intensive care unit are seen at the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on 27 June, 2017

Israel must immediately lift the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip and refrain from politicising the lives of civilians, a statement released by the organisations working for Palestine in Europe urged yesterday.

This comes after news that a number of children have died as a result of the siege on Gaza and due to the lack of access to medical care outside of the beleaguered Strip. Israel is said to be ignoring or hindering requests made by patients to leave the Strip in order to obtain the medical care they need.

Read: Ministry of Health in Gaza warns of increase in mortality rate

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, 11 patients in the Gaza Strip have recently passed away after being prevented by central authorities from travelling abroad for treatment.

A copy of the joint letter can be found below:

We, the Undersigned, representatives of organisations that work for Palestine in Europe, condemn in absolute terms the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip by Israel, and the deprivation of Gazan children who are in desperate need of medical attention to receive the medical care they need whether within Gaza or abroad, and hold Israel entirely responsible for the lives and welfare of all patients.

The prevention of children and civilians from receiving much needed health care is an obscene crime against humanity which exposes to the entire world the repugnant reality of the Occupation which constantly, consistently and repeatedly violates international treaties and laws, and violates basic human rights protected by international law.

Meanwhile, we denounce the deafening and inexplicable silence displayed by the Arab and international communities in respect to these crimes being committed against more than 2 million Palestinians living under siege since 2006 in the aftermath of the first and only free, fair and democratic elections ever held in Palestine.

Therefore, we call on the international community and all international, legal, humanitarian, medical and relief organisations to move to see this horrific siege against Gaza lifted immediately. The Gaza Strip is presently enduring one of its most difficult times since Israel imposed the siege 11 years ago, due to consistent and complex unprecedented crisis striking at all levels of daily life.

This includes acute shortage of medical equipment and medication, along with shortages in fuel and power which, coupled with the restriction on travel and movement, have led to the deaths of several patients including children, who were prevented from traveling outside Gaza to receive desperately needed medical treatment and care.

As such, we call on the leadership of the PLO, as the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and stemming from the unity of the Palestinian issue and the Palestinian people, to work effortlessly towards lifting the siege imposed on Gaza, and away from any politicking or political point-scoring.

This falls squarely within the responsibilities of the PLO, as the acute human crisis does not allow for any time wasting on political bickering.

We also call on the Palestinian Authority to retract the irresponsible decisions it took which led to the stop on salaries of hundreds of government employees as well as the interruption of the main Power Generator in Gaza.

We stress that we shall not spare any effort in working towards lifting the siege on Gaza through all legal means available, and we stress too that standing by and supporting besieged civilians is a basic human instinct within whomsoever has any inclination towards human rights anywhere around the world.

Indeed, the siege imposed against civilians, including children and the elderly, is a stain that will forever taint all those who actively imposed it, supported it or contributed towards it.

(Source / 30.06.2017)

Seif Calls for Supporting Coalition & Its Institutions to Administer Liberated Areas

President of the Syrian Coalition Riad Seif called on the friendly countries to support efforts by the Coalition and its institutions to fill the power vacuum in and govern the liberated areas.

Seif was speaking at a meeting with the British envoy to Syria Gareth Bayley and Danish envoy Ivan Nelson on Thursday.

Seif said that the work of the Coalition and its institutions, especially the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) and Assistance Coordination Unit (ACU) as well as the local councils and the credit fund will bring considerable benefits to the Syrian people, especially those who are suffering in the liberated areas after the Assad regime destroyed all forms of life in these areas.

Saif pointed out that support from and solidarity shown by friendly countries “gives us hope that the Syrian people will be able to govern themselves.”

For their parts, the British and Danish envoys praised efforts being made by the Coalition and SIG and welcomed the paper laid out during a panel discussion the Coalition has organized on Raqqa. It was agreed a meeting between the Coalition and donors will be held to establish joint working mechanisms.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 30.06.2017)

Palestinian fires at Israeli soldiers during Jenin raid to remove memorial

Jenin clash

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An armed Palestinian opened fire on Israeli forces carrying out a raid in the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Friday, causing no injuries.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a Palestinian shot towards Israeli soldiers during a dawn raid in Jenin, before dropping his weapon and fleeing.
No Israelis were injured in the incident, the spokesperson said, adding that the army recovered the weapon on the scene.
The spokesperson added that the soldiers were targeted as they were undertaking an operation to remove a memorial stone commemorating Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) leader Khalid Nazzal.
Nazzal, who was assassinated by Israeli intelligence in 1986, was a leader in a deadly hostage operation in the northern Israeli town of Tarshiha-Maalot in 1974, during which some 29 people were killed.
The Jenin municipality had removed the memorial a week earlier, but placed it back a day later following local uproar, as Palestinian residents perceived the removal as capitulation to Israeli accusations that the monument would incite to anti-Israeli violence.
Following the restitution of the plaque, the Israeli army informed the Palestinian Authority (PA) that it would carry out a raid to remove the stone once again.
While Israeli authorities have claimed that a wave of violence that first erupted in October 2015 was caused largely by “incitement” among Palestinians, Palestinians have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel’s 50-year military occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as the absence of a political horizon, as reasons for the outbreak of violence.
Many Palestinians have also pointed out that Israeli violence has continued to shape everyday life in the occupied territory, regardless of any recent “upticks” in clashes or attacks.
(Source / 30.06.2017)

Video: Mob of Jewish extremists beat Palestinians in Jerusalem

Extremists Jew

Screenshot of video showing a mob of Jewish extremists attacking Palestinians in Jerusalem

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A video was released on Thursday showing dozens of far-right Israelis attacking three Palestinians in Jerusalem a week earlier, as Israeli police reportedly failed to respond and prevent the assault.

Israeli daily Haaretz obtained the video, in which some 30 members of the Jewish extremist group Lehava are shown purportedly assaulting three Palestinians during a march organized by the group in downtown Jerusalem last Thursday.
At one point in the shaky video, the Palestinians, who are reportedly all residents of occupied East Jerusalem, run into an Israeli police officer, who blocked the group of Israelis from approaching the Palestinians, and told the Jewish youths to leave. The youths refused and continued to hurl insults at the Palestinians.
The video then cuts to the Jewish youths chasing the Palestinians down a street in Jerusalem.
Haaretz reported that a witness said that the police officer eventually stopped trying to deter the assault, leaving the Palestinians to fend for themselves.
“The officer asked for our ID cards, but he didn’t help us or do anything, they continued to beat us right next to the cop. So we fled,” Majdi Abu Taya, 19, from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, told Haaretz.
Other witnesses told Haaretz that the police did not even attempt to prevent the assault, and refused to call in backup.
When the Palestinians fled the scene, the mob of Jewish youths followed them. Abu Taya was beaten by the Israelis when attempting to flee, according to Haaretz, while the two others were able to hide in a construction site and pelt rocks at the Jewish youths in an attempt to push them out of the area.
Haaretz also reported that while Israeli police had said they would open up an investigation into the incident, when a high school student who had witnessed the assault attempted to file a complaint, he was told that they had no record of such an incident occurring.
Another anonymous witness told Haaretz that it was not the first time he had seen Israeli extremists assaulting Palestinians, saying that “It’s systematic. They engage in provocations to get the victims to react, and then they’ll say it’s self-defense.”
According to Haaretz, one of the Palestinians was hospitalized with mild injuries from the incident.
An Israeli police spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
Haaretz added that while most members of Lehava “merely hand out promotional material” during their marches, “others actively look for Palestinians and try to attack them.”
“Despite this, there have been almost no police investigations, much less indictments, on account of such mob attacks in recent years.”
Meanwhile, Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem routinely report mistreatment by Israeli police themselves, while Palestinians have often accused Israeli forces of detaining Palestinian youths without any evidence of wrongdoing and assaulting them in the process.
In May, a video emerged of Israeli police forces detaining a family of Palestinian street vendors after assaulting them in East Jerusalem.
In another incident In March, an Israeli police officer was caught on camera headbutting, slapping, punching, kicking, and kneeing a Palestinian in the lower abdomen in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz.
Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri claimed at the time that the video showed “dangerous and unordinary individual behavior” that did not reflect the usual conduct of Israeli police forces.
However, Palestinians have long claimed that Israeli forces abuse their position of power to verbally and physically humiliate and assault Palestinians on a regular basis.
Rights groups have also warned that the failure of the Israeli police and army to adequately respond to Israeli violence on Palestinians emboldens Jewish extremists to openly assault or attack Palestinian residents in the presence of Israeli forces in both the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
(Source / 30.06.2017)

IOF delivers stop-work order against Palestinian home

Stop work order

The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) delivered Thursday evening a stop-work order in the village of Idhna in the southern West Bank district of al-Khalil.

Local sources told the PIC reporter that IOF delivered the notice to Sharif al-Jiawi against a one-story home in the al-Ras area of western Idhna in which six family members are currently residing.

(Source / 30.06.2017)

The War in June 1967

The June 1967 Arab-Israeli war lasted only six days but its consequences are still felt across the Middle East today.

02 Jun 2017

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/specialseries/2017/05/war-june-1967-170529070920911.html

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor war 1967

On June 5, 1967, just three weeks after it marked the 19th anniversary of its founding, the state of Israel went to war with the armies of neighbouring Egypt, Syria and Jordan. What would come to be known to Israelis as the Six-Day War and to Arabs as the June War, saw the defeat of three of the mightiest armies in the region, in a total victory for Israel.

The Six-Day War, which was considered an enormous military achievement in military history, wasn’t even a real war. It was just a chase with live fire against an escaping enemy.

Uri Milstein, Israeli military historian

The outcome of the war altered the map of the Middle East for the forseeable future – a result with consequences that blocked the path to peace between Israel and Palestine until this day. It re-drew the landscape of the conflict, expanded Israel’s territorial claims and confirmed its military dominance in the region.

The war, also known as the Naksa, the setback, came just two decades after the events of 1948 when the state of Israel was established and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled.

It was in ’48 that five Arab armies had previously tried to put an end to the impending threat of an Israeli state, with the addition of the Lebanese and Iraq armies.

United Nations (UN) interventions relieved pressure on the Israeli army and created an opportunity for negotiations: first between Egypt and a young general, Gamal Abdul-Nasser, establishing an armistice agreement, and then with Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

In 1956, however, an empowered Abdul-Nasser sought to reclaim power in the region by signing huge arms deals with Czechoslovakia that would then back the nationalisation of the Suez Canal.

With Britain and France, owners of the international Canal company, looking for a pretext to act against Nasser’s canal grab, war with Israel is suggested as the perfect conclusion.

Israeli forces crossed Egypt’s borders and into the Sinai in a matter of months but were forced to withdraw after universal condemnation. What this did achieve for Israel was a period of unplanned peace as UN troops were stationed along the Egypt-Israel borders for a decade.

Egypt requested the UN withdraw its peace-keeping troops from Sinai on May 16, 1967. Less than a month later, Israel launched “Operation Focus” – an aerial strike that eventually led to the humiliating defeat of its neighbouring Arab armies.

The War In June looks back to the events around 1948, as well as the Suez Crisis in 1956, to understand the roots of the 1967 war. It explores the actual six days of battle in detail and then looks at the profound long-term consequences of this war. Those six days of fighting resonate around the Middle East today, on the 50th anniversary of this battle.

(Source / 30.06.2017)

PRC addresses UN bodies over tragic situation in blockaded Gaza

PRC and Gaza

The London-based Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) on Thursday called on UN-run bodies to take urgent action vis-à-vis the calamitous state of affairs in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Speaking in memorandums sent to the Member-States of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), UNRWA Commissioner-General, Pierre Krähenbühl, and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, Michael Lynk, PRC staff members said they are deeply concerned over the exacerbated situation in Gaza.

PRC sounded the alarm over the tragic health situation, itself exacerbated by the acute power crisis and the inability of sick civilians to receive treatment abroad. Over recent days, four babies were pronounced dead in the besieged enclave as a result of the crisis. The list of casualties included toddlers Mus’ab Ar’ir and Baraa, who breathed their last at the Under-equipped al-Shifaa Hospital.

PRC held Israel, as an occupying power under international law, responsible for the dire situation endured by two million people in Gaza. The situation has gone far worse due to the decade-long siege imposed on the enclave as part of a larger tactic of collective punishment against the Palestinians in Gaza.

PRC condemned an Israeli decision to cut back power supplies to Gaza at the request of the Palestinian Authority (PA), run by Mahmoud Abbas. PRC said it believes the move, implemented in contravention of common sense and law, has terrifically affected the health situation in the strip.

PRC urged the PA and the Israeli occupation authorities to immediately backtrack on the decision and lift the noose around Gaza’s neck.

PRC leveled heavy criticism at the PA and the Israeli authorities for preventing sick toddlers from receiving life-saving treatment outside of Gaza.

PRC is a London-headquartered organization that advocates Palestinians’ infringed rights. It is in Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council since 2015

(Source / 30.06.2017)