Article asked on this date

You have found the article

Dagelijks archief 14 juli 2017

As Gaza’s sole power plant shuts down, groups warn of devastating consequences

Gaza's power crisis

GAZA (Ma’an) — Gaza’s months-long power crisis once again took a turn for the worst on Wednesday night, when the besieged territory’s sole power plant shut down, further straining the dire humanitarian situation for Gaza’s two million residents.

Israeli NGO Gisha released a statement on Thursday, stating that the power plant had shut down owing to lack of fuel and that the lives of residents have been “disrupted, entire hospital wards are shut down, untreated sewage is spilling to the sea in heretofore-unseen quantities and beaches are becoming more dangerous for swimming.”
Head of Public Relations for Gaza’s electricity company Muhammad Thabet also released a statement warning of the devastating consequences that would affect every aspect of life in the Gaza Strip if the electricity supply continued to dwindle.
The besieged Gaza Strip only has a supply of 70 megawatts of electricity available, after Israel reduced electricity supply to the besieged territory from 120 megawatts upon request of the Palestinian Authority (PA) three weeks ago, he pointed out.
The import of Egyptian fuel into the territory in recent weeks allowed Gaza’s power plant to resume operations following Israel’s gradual reduction of the impoverished enclave’s electricity supply and temporarily averted a full humanitarean collapse in the territory.
However, the territory is facing a shortage of 600 megawatts, leaving most residents with only two to three hours of electricity per day, followed by 24 hours of blackouts, Thabet said.
Thabet added that the Egyptian lines, feeding the southern Gaza Strip, have been inoperable since last week.
Gisha pointed out that the 70 megawatts currently available to residents in Gaza falls far short of “what would be needed for basic, normal functioning of a 21st century society.”
Generators, which at this point have become vastly overused, are not able to compensate for the power shortages, but are “the only thing keeping Gaza hanging by a thread in the face of a full-on humanitarian disaster,” the group said.
Gisha added that Gaza’s energy crisis is “not the result of a natural disaster,” but has been man-made, a result of cynical political decisions,” and demanded that the PA, Hamas, Egypt, and Israel “end the political games they’re playing at the expense of Gaza’s residents.”
“They must restore maximum power supply and take action toward medium and long-term solutions to meet demand. We stress once more that Israel, given its ongoing control over the Gaza Strip, has a responsibility to enable normal life in Gaza,” Gisha stated.
On Thursday, envoys from the Russian Federation, the United States, and European Union of the Middle East Quartet met in Jerusalem where the leaders expressed “serious concern over the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza” and discussed ways to resolve the longstanding crisis, originating from Israel’s decade-long siege on the territory.
Human rights groups and the United Nations have also continued to express their grave concern over the worsening crisis in Gaza.
“Families are struggling to safely store and prepare food without refrigeration — a recipe for disaster when combined with the weakened health services. Cooking, heating, and lighting, and other fundamentals of the right to housing are jeopardized. People with disabilities, older people, and women are being hit especially hard,” the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner said in a statement Wednesday
“The agricultural sector is also suffering severely limited irrigation, which will worsen widespread food insecurity if the situation continues,” experts cited in the report noted.
“Many operating rooms have now been shut down, basic health services have been drastically cut and complex diagnostic equipment and interventions are available only intermittently,” they said.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) also released a statement Monday, following up on the decrease in medical referrals for treatment abroad being issued by the PA Health Ministry, which came without explanation and amid a healthcare crisis that has been compounded by life-saving equipment being made inoperable due to the electricity shortages.
Data collected by PCHR showed medical referrals issued for the Gaza Strip patients reached 2,190 referrals in March, declining to 1,756 in April at a rate of 19.8 percent, to 1,484 at a rate of 32.2 percent, and to a paltry 500 in June at a rate of over 75 percent.
According to the statement, of over 2,500 patients suffering from serious diseases who have already been approved by the Higher Medical Committee in June for treatment abroad, just 400 have been approved for financial coverage.
The statement warned that “a number of these patients were admitted to the intensive care unit in Gaza following their health status deterioration,” and that “hundreds of patients have been expecting death in the Gaza Strip hospitals in light of the absence of any opportunity to receive treatment abroad.”

(Source / 14.07.2017)

For 1st time since 1969, Israeli authorities ban prayer at al-Aqsa

Ban prayer al-Aqsa

The Israeli occupation authorities declared that Friday’s Muslim prayer will not be held at the third holiest site in Islam—al-Aqsa Mosque—after two Israeli soldiers were fatally gunned down in an anti-occupation shooting attack.

According to local sources, the Israeli police forces shut the gates of al-Aqsa Mosque and prevented worshipers from entering the site.

The Israeli policemen also sealed off the main entrances to the Old City.

The ban is the first issued since 1969, in a flagrant violation of Muslims’ freedom of worship.

At the same time, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued instructions to ban Friday prayer at al-Aqsa and to completely close the site before worshipers.

Reporting from the scene, a PIC news correspondent said the Israeli policemen have come down heavily on al-Aqsa’s supervision staff and subjected them to aggressive beating.

Ban prayer al-Aqsa1

The Israeli policemen prevented Jerusalem’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, and the head of the Islamic Awqaf (Endowment) Council, along with the director of Jerusalem’s Awqaf Department, from entering the site.

The Grand Mufti called for intensifying presence around al-Aqsa and at nearby Israeli checkpoints so as to hold the Friday prayer at the holy site in defiance of the Israeli ban.

Israeli fanatic groups also incited for escalated aggression on al-Aqsa Mosque and crackdowns against the Muslim congregation.

Three Palestinian young men were killed on Friday morning in a shootout with Israeli police officers at the Aqsa Mosque in Occupied Jerusalem. Two Israeli police officers were pronounced dead.

(Source / 14.07.2017)

One Palestinian killed, two wounded by IOF in Deheisheh camp

Baraa al-Hamameda

A Palestinian teenager was killed and two other young men suffered bullet injuries as Israeli troops opened fire at unarmed citizens after they stormed al- Deheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian health ministry affirmed that 18-year-old Baraa al-Hamameda died of a bullet injury in the chest he sustained during the skirmishes that broke out between local young men and Israeli soldiers in Deheisheh camp.

Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that two other young men suffered bullet injuries and two others were arrested by soldiers in the same events.

(Source / 14.07.2017)

Three Palestinians killed in police shooting at Aqsa Mosque

3 Palestinians killed al-Aqsa

Two Israeli policemen were proclaimed dead

Three Palestinian young men were killed on Friday morning in a shootout with Israeli police officers at the Aqsa Mosque in Occupied Jerusalem.

Eyewitnesses reported that the three young men traded fire with police officers at one of the Mosque’s gate before they rushed to the plateau of the Dome of the Rock, where they were shot dead.

The Mosque’s management, however, said the bodies of two Palestinians were in a courtyard of the Islamic holy site

According to a Palestinian Information Center (PIC) reporter in the city, the shooting happened in the morning at al-Sahira Gate of the Mosque.

A spokeswoman for the police claimed that three officers were wounded in the gunfight, two of them seriously.

Later, Israeli medical sources announced that two police officers succumbed to their injuries and died.

The three young men were identified as residents of Umm al-Fahm city in Haifa from the family of Jabbarin. All of them bore the same name, Mohamed.

Consequently, the Israeli police ordered the closure of the Aqsa Mosque compound, saying there would be no prayers for Muslims at the holy site on Friday.

(Source / 14.07.2017)

Clashes rock Tekou’ as Israeli soldiers fire gunshots at Palestinians

Violent clashes Tekou'

Violent clashes broke out on Thursday evening after the Israeli occupation forces attacked Palestinians in Bethlehem’s eastern town of Tekou’, in the southern West Bank, with gunfire.

According to eye-witnesses, Israeli army troops deployed at a military watchtower near the main entrance to Tekou’ targeted Palestinian anti-occupation youth with randomly-shot spates of bullet fire and teargas canisters. Several Palestinians were left injured in the attack.

At the same time, the Israeli occupation soldiers on Thursday evening sealed off the main entrance to the nearby Janata town with a military checkpoint, where Palestinian vehicles and passengers were subjected to intensive inspection.

(Source / 14.07.2017)

Anti-siege rallies to sweep blockaded Gaza Strip

Anti siege rallies

Gaza’s Anti-Siege Youth Movement announced the launch of a series of protests on Friday to push the Israeli occupation and the Palestinian Authority (PA), chaired by Mahmoud Abbas, to lift the noose tightened around Gazans’ neck.

The Youth Movement called on the Palestinian masses, during a press release at Gaza’s seaport, to join the rallies set to be staged at 08:00 p.m. on Friday to press for lifting the Israeli-PA blockade.

The Movement’s spokesman Mahmoud al-Ila said: “We’ve run out of patience. We’ve been deprived of power, free movement, and labor.”

“It is high time we stood up against the siege and took a firm stance against the Israeli occupation, the PA, and any other party responsible for the blockade slapped on Gaza,” he said.

Quoting Nelson Mandela, al-Ila added that “freedom cannot be given in doses. Either you live free or get kicked out by darkness until you die in the ark of forgetfulness.”

(Source / 14.07.2017)

Electricity feed to Gaza reduced to two hours a day

Two hours electricity a day

Two million Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave of Gaza are left with only two hours of electricity a day after Israel and Egypt trimmed down their power supplies to the enclave.

Gaza’s Power Distribution Company said that deficit rate has gone up to 85% and that 70 megawatts only are available, out of 600 megawatts needed by the enclave.

The company added that an emergency distribution program has been opted for to monitor power consumption in Gaza which has been reduced to as little as two hours a day.

The company raised concerns of rising tensions and a collapse of vital services in an impoverished and overcrowded territory that has been devastated by three Israeli offensives since 2008. It further warned of the ecological and humanitarian upshots of the crisis.

The company urged the international communities and the UN bodies, among all other concerned institutions, to take urgent action regarding the crisis and to immediately work on providing the enclave with the energy supplies necessary for the survival of two million residents.

(Source / 14.07.2017)

Prisoner Shireen Issawi isolated in Israeli jail

Shireen Tareq al-Issawi isolated cell

Jerusalemite lawyer Shireen Tareq al-Issawi, serving four years in Israeli jails, has been held in an isolated cell in Jalama prison since June 6, 2017, a lawyer reported on Thursday.

Lawyer Hanan al-Khatib, from the Prisoners’ Committee, said Shireen had been subjected to aggressive beating by the Damon prison authorities and sustained severe bruises and a hemorrhage before she was sent to an isolated cell in Jalama lock-up.

Other prisoners, including Ataya Abu Eisha, Sabah Fera’wn and Dalal Abu al-Hawa, among others, had also been beaten with metal chains. A number of detainees had been subjected to visit bans and forced to pay steep fines.

The Israeli prison authorities ruled that Issawi pay 700 shekels, be isolated for seven days, and be banned from family visits and the canteen for one month.

Issawi sounded distress signals over the abject detention conditions she has been made to endure in the isolated cell, inside which four cameras are installed, including one in the bathroom, violating prisoners’ privacy.

Issawi was further quoted as saying that the cell lacks ventilation and electricity kit and that the prison wardens have been mistreating her and shouting nonstop.

The detainee vowed to start an open-ended hunger strike in case the Israeli prison authorities do not meet her demands.

Issawi has been sentenced to solitary confinement five times since the start of 2017.

(Source / 14.07.2017)

Female Palestinian journalist summoned to questioning by PA forces

Naela Khalil journalist

The Palestinian Authority (PA) preventive forces on Thursday summoned the Palestinian journalist and rights activist Naela Khalil to questioning.

Journalist al-Khalil, working for the New Arab daily, said on Facebook that she received an interrogation writ by the Ramallah-based PA forces.

In case the journalist does not show up at the PA intelligence office in Beitunia she is very likely to be chased down and arrested.

Journalist Khalil is known for her advocacy of the freedom of the press and activism against the violations perpetrated against journalists and human rights campaigners.

(Source / 14.07.2017)

Gazan toddler dies after failure to get medical referral from PA

Yara Bakhit died no medical materials

The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza on Thursday announced the death of a girl child following failed attempts to obtain a medical referral from the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah for her treatment in a hospital outside the besieged enclave.

A spokesman for the ministry said that three-year-old Yara Bakhit was suffering from a medical problem in the heart.

He said the child was a victim of the PA’s recent decision to deprive Gaza patients of medical referrals, noting that this measure already led to the death of 15 patients since the start of 2017.

A few days ago, the health ministry in Gaza warned that more citizens with serious medical problems could die after the PA decided to stop giving medical referrals for patients from the impoverished and beleaguered territory.

(Source / 14.07.2017)