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Dagelijks archief 8 juni 2018

Georges Ibrahim Abdallah: “He is part of our struggles and we are part of his fight!”

The following interview was conducted by, written by and published originally in French on the website of the Chronique de Palestine. We thank the editors of Chronique de Palestine for the English translation, which we publish today below. Samidoun encourages all supporters of Palestine and Palestinian political prisoners to join the national demonstration on 23 June in Paris to demand freedom for Georges Abdallah, imprisoned for over 33 years in French prisons.

After briefly presenting Georges Abdallah’s case, The Palestine Chronicle interviews a representative of the Collective for the release of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah (CLGIA).

Who is Georges Ibrahim Abdallah?

Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, a “Lebanese revolutionary,” in the words of his support campaign, has been imprisoned in France for 34 years.

He is now incarcerated in Lannemezan prison. His period of unconditional imprisonment ended in 1999, when he became eligible for release.

Born in a Christian family, this Lebanese from Kobayat, in northern Lebanon, is now 67. In 1979, he co-founded the Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Factions, a small Marxist anti-imperialist group which claimed the execution of an American military attaché, Charles Ray, in Paris, and of an Israeli diplomat, Yacov Barsimentov, in Boulogne-Billancourt while Lebanon was invaded by the Israeli army. He was arrested in Lyon on 24 October 1984 and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1987.

During his trial in Lyon, in 1987, he was found guilty of complicity in these assassinations. The former teacher declared before his judges: “I am a fighter, not a criminal.” “The path I have followed has been imposed on me by the human rights abuses perpetrated against Palestinians”, he added. Abdallah was sentenced in 1987 to life imprisonment during a controversial hearing, viewed a black mark on the French legal system.

The trial suffered from many defects, first being that one of Abdallah’s lawyers served to spy on him. As for the so-called evidence against Abdallah, these were fabricated retroactively by the French, American and Israeli intelligence services.

The aggressive – European in general and Zionist in particular – policies against Lebanon and how France contributed to them gave birth to the “Abdallah phenomenon”, as was the case for many others like him.

These policies contributed to what was called “special operations” in which most Palestinian organizations were involved along with many other national liberation movements. Those who were falsely labeled as “terrorists” acted in accordance with their rights as human beings. Abdallah’s case is one of legitimate national resistance.

Over the years and lawsuits, the US has systematically opposed Georges Ibrahim Abdallah’s release, even his conditional release, invoking “a threat to Lebanon’s stability” (?). Each time, the US obtained satisfaction from the French government.

The latest demand dates back to April 2014, when the US State Department (under President Barack Obama) lobbied the French government to prevent Abdallah’s release and return to Lebanon. Needless to say, Prime Minister Manuel Valls and President François Hollande were eager to comply.

——————————————————————————————————————————-

The Palestine Chronicle: Can you come back to Georges Ibrahim Abdallah’s commitment in his early years? Which Lebanese organization did he become affiliated with and how did the Palestinian resistance affect his political choices?

CLGIA: George grew up at a time when Lebanon was in the middle of a sectarian civil war.
This reality of struggle and resistance has built up his political consciousness and determined his revolutionary commitment. He chose resistance against the mass killings perpetrated by upper class confessionalists from all sides and their Israeli, French and American allies.

His political involvement started within the progressive and pan-Arab Syrian Social Nationalist Party and he participated in the Palestinian resistance by joining the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (a Palestinian Marxist organization). The purposes of the Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Factions (LARF), of which he was a member, were to liberate Lebanon from any foreign presence (France, US, Israel) and to create a Palestinian state.

PC: The 1970s and 1980s saw the assassinations of several Palestinian officials in Europe, including Mahmoud Hamchari in Paris in 1983, killed while representing the Palestine Liberation Organization in France. What role did Israeli Mossad play in this assassination campaign?

CLGIA: Everyone knows that Mossad has been guilty of many assassinations of Palestinian and other militants on French soil. So far, it has never been troubled. There are no legal proceedings against Mossad agents in France. The intelligence services enjoy total impunity.

As for Georges Abdallah, he is a resistance fighter, like our resistance fighters during World War II, who are recognized as heroes…

PC: What is the story behind the intervention of Lebanese and Palestinian resistance organizations on the European ground?

CLGIA: The invasion of Lebanon by the Israeli army in 1982 was undertaken with the complicity of Western powers.
In response to this, Lebanese and Arab fighters went to carry the armed struggle against Zionism and imperialism all over the world. This was the case of the Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Factions, which came into action in Europe.

PC: Georges Abdallah was first sentenced in 1986 and again in 1987 – this time to life imprisonment – as part of police investigations and trials that were tainted with irregularities. Can you come back to this travesty of justice?

CLGIA: Georges Abdallah was first tried on charges of possessing weapons and explosives and sentenced to four years in prison. The US found this sentence too lenient. So President Reagan spoke to French President François Mitterrand.

Then, the French intelligence services conveniently “discovered” weapons that allowed them to open a new trial against Georges Abdallah. And in 1987, the attorney general, who represented the prosecution, required a ten-year sentence.

But this wasn’t enough for the French state and its US and Israeli allies: as a result of heavy pressure, an exceptional court eventually condemned him to life imprisonment.

It was also proven that Georges Abdallah’s first lawyer, Jean-Paul Mazurier, was an agent from the French services. However, the validity of the trial hasn’t been questioned…

PC: Has George Abdallah been recognized in one way or another as a political prisoner?

CLGIA: The status of political prisoner doesn’t exist in France, but he can be viewed as such through the involvement of the US and French governments.

The many trials for his release, which was ultimately never granted as a result of the “pressure” from successive governments, show that this case is of political nature.

At the same time, throughout their detention, political prisoners are treated differently. They are treated like criminals so that their political identity can be erased (consider the mandatory interviews with psychologists in charge of evaluating their dangerousness at the National assessment center [“Centre National d’évaluation”] as part of a request for release).

The authorities also need to transform political prisoners into docile repentant criminals (as showed by the notion of repentance demanded by the judges). Political prisoners are likened to dangerous terrorists in order to erase any revolutionary experience from collective memory.

However, as long as they behave like captive revolutionary militants, the upper-class judiciary will refuse to grant them any sentence reduction.

PC: Taking into account the date of his arrest, in October 1984, after nearly 34 years of incarceration, Georges Abdallah is the French prisoner who spent the most time in prison. Yet there is a law which specifies that a period of unconditional imprisonment cannot exceed 18 years. What about legal recourses and requests for parole?

CLGIA: Georges Abdallah is the most long-standing political prisoner in Europe. The period of unconditional imprisonment attached to his conviction was not indicated during his trial. As a result, it was automatically set to 15 years. He has therefore been eligible for a release since 1999, that is, he has been able to apply for parole since that date. To date, he has been denied freedom 10 times…

The sentence enforcement court ordered his release twice, in 2002 and in 2013, but pressure from the US governments resulted in his continued detention.

This year, Georges Abdallah will have spent more years in captivity than free.

There is much talk about the independence of the judiciary. However, when a release has been ordered by said judiciary and this release is accompanied by a decree of mandatory expulsion that must be signed by the Minister of the Interior – which wasn’t in Abdallah’s case –, what about the separation of powers?

PC: How can you explain the relentlessness of the US State Department, which systematically steps in – successfully – to prevent the release of Georges Abdallah?

CLGIA: Only the US State emerges as a plaintiff in this case, as the Zionist State is largely represented by the successive French and US governments.

Those who were executed were agents from the US (CIA) and Israeli (Mossad) intelligence services. The LARF took on imperialism. Georges Abdallah’s continued imprisonment is a state revenge.

It has also to do with Georges Abdallah’s personality and the nature of his struggle. He is a communist and his main struggle has dealt with the liberation of Palestine. This is a political identity he has claimed relentlessly throughout his 34 years of detention.

The judiciary blames him for not repenting. However, Georges Abdallah is a resistance fighter. He was sentenced at a time when his country was under war and occupation.

PC: What is Georges Abdallah’s political positioning today? Could you tell us about of his political analyzes and reflections?

CLGIA: Georges Abdallah’s political choices haven’t changed. He is still an anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist revolutionary communist, an activist for a free Palestine, and he still shows solidarity with the struggles for the emancipation of peoples. He has no regrets or remorse about the struggle he engaged in and which he is pursuing today for justice, freedom and the emancipation of oppressed peoples.

He repeatedly expressed his support of Palestinian prisoners through statements and hunger strikes.

The many statements he has made since his incarceration reflect his political positioning. They show his determination to restore Palestine’s freedom and dignity. They show his recommendations to support Palestinian prisoners, including children.

They show that while annihilating the Palestinian cause is on the agenda of imperialist forces and their reactionary regional accomplices, the Resistance continues and will continue until the collapse of the Zionist occupation. They show that we will win only if we work together.

PC: What progress has been made by the “Free Georges Abdallah” campaign? In the overly securitarian and repressive environment we know, what are your prospects for action? Is a larger-scale campaign still possible?

CLGIA: Currently, the campaign for the release of Georges Abdallah is trying to intensify and develop its action related to Georges Abdallah’s fight. Support groups, which have been active for more than 18 years, have multiplied domestically and internationally.

Yes, state violence and repression continue to strengthen and are even taking a military form under the guise of a state of emergency, which is being enshrined in the Constitution. Some comrades have already suffered from them. But we won’t give up. Especially as fighting a system which is responsible for wars and the misery of billions of human beings it is a fair and legitimate struggle.

This is why we find ourselves at a crossroads of struggles alongside those who oppose state violence whether on the streets or in working-class neighborhoods, be they political or union activists. This is how we express our solidarity with Georges’ fight. We are accustomed to saying: “He is part of our struggles and we are part of his fight!”

A larger-scale campaign for his release would be possible if progressive and pro-Palestinian forces as well as intellectuals, organizations and political parties included Georges Abdallah’s release in their activist concerns.

The aim is to reverse the balance of power so that the state has a higher price to pay if it keeps GA in prison than if it releases him.

This is why, together with our fellow campaigners, communist and libertarian activists, supporters of the struggle for the liberation of the Palestinian people, Basque activists as well as trade unionists and activists who are engaged internationally for the release of political prisoners, we will continue to use all means to demand the release of our comrade Georges Abdallah.

Interview made on 25 March 2018.

(Source / 08.06.2018)

Israeli drone drops incendiary bombs on Gaza’s Awda camp

Awda camp Gaza

Wildfires broke out after an unmanned Israeli aircraft at daybreak Friday struck the Awda camp, east of Rafah province, in the southern Gaza Strip, with incendiary bombs.

Reporting from the field, a PIC correspondent said an Israeli drone hit the Awda tents with incendiary grenades in an attempt to terrorize protesters gearing up to join Friday’s projected rallies.

Civil defense crews rushed to the scene to extinguish to fires.

Awda camp Gaza1

The National Commission to Follow Up on the Great March of Return and Lift the Siege dubbed the attack “a criminal act” and a proof of Israel’s incessant attempts to quell the one-man million march set to be staged on Friday in solidarity with Occupied Jerusalem.

The commission said the Palestinians will keep up the mass protests, calling for a large-scale participation in the pro-Jerusalem march, slated to kick-start right after Friday’s noon prayers in the Awda camp.

(Source / 08.06.2018)

IOF hands over 3 home-evacuation orders in al-Khalil

Evacuation orders

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Friday handed three Palestinian families orders to evict their homes located in al-Shuhada Street in the Old City of al-Khalil.

Local sources told the PIC reporter that the IOF order stipulates for evicting the three Palestinian homes within four hours. The evacuation order also affects the house which was closed by IOF soldiers earlier on Thursday.

(Source / 08.06.2018)

Three Palestinians Killed on Gaza Border, Over 500 Injured

08 JUN
8:33 PM

Israeli forces, on Friday, shot and killed three Palestinians, including a child, and injured more than 500 others as they descended on the continuing protests at the eastern border of the Gaza Strip, according to the Ministry of Health.

Israeli soldiers shot and killed 15-year-old Haitham al-Jamal while he was partaking in the protests at Gaza-Israel border, to the east of Khan Younes, in southern Gaza Strip.

Prior to this, Ziad Jadallah Bureim was shot dead to the east of Khan Younes, while Imad Nabil Abu Darabi, 26, was killed by the forces at the border to the east of Jabalia town, in northern Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, 92 protesters sustained live fire injuries, including seven critically, as well as 26 children and 14 women.

The remaining of the cases suffocated from teargas inhalation, and most of them were treated at field hospitals that were set up in the five main encampments of the protests at the border, WAFA reports.

The protests were kicked-off in commemoration of the 51st anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai peninsula and the Golan Heights.

(Source / 08.06.2018)

Army Drone Drops Firebombs At Protest Tents In Rafah

08 JUN
11:41 AM

An Israeli army drone dropped, early on Friday morning, firebombs at protest tents, in one of the Great Return protest camps in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

The firebombs caused fire to the tents, and burnt dozens of tires around them which were prepared to be used during the upcoming protest, on Friday afternoon.

The Israeli fire bombs caused fire in several other tents, in the same area; the attack led to property damage, but no injuries.

The Higher Committee for the Great Return March, said the Israeli attacks yet another indication that the Israeli army is desperate due to its failure on stopping the processions despite the use of sniper fire against the unarmed protesters, and the large casualties among the Palestinians.

It added that the Palestinians are demanding their legitimate, internationally guaranteed rights of liberation, independence and the Right of Return of the refugees.

It is worth mentioning that the army has killed 123 Palestinians, including 13 children, in the Gaza Strip, and injured more than 13672 others, including hundreds who suffered serious wounds, mainly after being shot with expanding bullets, since March 30th.

Among the slain Palestinians is a medic, identified as Razan Ashraf Najjar, 22, who was fatally shot after the soldiers targeted her and four other medics providing treatment to wounded Palestinians, in a field hospital in Rafah, in the southern part of the coastal region.

The soldiers also injured 223 medics, including 29 who were shot with live fire or after being targeted by high-velocity gas bombs.

Among the casualties are two journalists, identified as Yasser Mortaja, 31, and Ahmad Abu Hussein, 25, who were killed by Israeli army fire, and 144 others were injured.

(Source / 08.06.2018)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (31 May – 06 June 2018)

08 JUN
4:15 AM

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) for the week of 31 May – 06 June, 2018.

Israeli forces continued to use force against Palestinian peaceful protestors. Two Palestinian civilians, including a female volunteer paramedic; and a third one succumbed to wounds in the Gaza Strip, while 126 Palestinian civilians, including 15 children, a woman, 2 journalists, and 6 paramedics were wounded.

Shooting:

 

Israeli forces continued to use force against Palestinian civilians, who participated in peaceful demonstrations organized within the activities of the “Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” in the Gaza Strip, which witnessed for the 10th week in a row peaceful demonstrations along the eastern and northern Gaza Strip border area. During the reporting period, in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces killed 2 civilians; of them is a female volunteer paramedic while a third civilian succumbed to his wounds.  Moreover, the Israeli forces wounded 126 Palestinian civilians, including 15 children, a woman, 2 journalists, and 6 paramedics; three of the wounded are in serious condition.  In the West Bank, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians and wounded 10 Palestinian civilians.

 

In the Gaza Strip, on 01 June 2018, Israeli forces killed paramedic Razan al-Najjar (21) from Khuza’ah in eastern Khan Younis.  Razan, who was a paramedic volunteering in the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), was killed while wearing her white coat and helping the wounded.  She was shot with a bullet that entered her chest and exited her back when she was around 200 meters away from the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, northwest of the Return Camp, helping a wounded protestor.

 

On 04 June 2018, the Israeli forces stationed along the border fence off the Return Camp, east of Khuza’ah, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at a group of youngsters who approached the fence and attempted to cross.  As a result, Ramzi al-Najjar (30), from Khuza’ah village, was shot with a bullet to the head.  His father said that he was informed by International Committee of the Red Crescent (ICRC) on 05 June 2018 that his son died and his corpse is detained by the Israeli forces.

 

In the same context, on 02 June 2018, the medical sources at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City declared the death of Mohammed Na’im Hamadah from Jabalia refugee camp, due to wounds he sustained during his participation in the Great March of Return on 14 May 2018, east of Talet Abu Safiyah, east of Jabalia.  Hamadah was hit with 2 bullets to the legs, so the main artery in the left leg was cut.

 

During the reporting period, the Israeli forces wounded 126 Palestinian civilians, including 15 children, one woman, 2 journalists and 6 paramedics.  Three of those wounded are in serious condition.

Injuries in the Gaza Strip during this Week

 

Governorate Injuries
Total Children Women Journalists Paramedics Critical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip 20 3 0 0 1 2
Gaza City 40 5 0 1 0 0
Central Gaza Strip 5 1 0 1 0 0
Khan Younis 51 5 1 0 5 0
Rafah 10 1 0 0 0 1
Total 126 15 1 2 6 3

 

As part of the airstrikes, on 02 June 2018, the Israeli warplanes launched 3 missiles at a military site belonging to the Palestinian armed groups, southwest of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.  On 03 June 2018, the Israeli warplanes launched 4 missiles at a military site belonging to the Palestinian armed groups, northeast of al-Nussairat in the central Gaza Strip.  On the same day, the Israeli warplanes launched 4 missiles, 5 minutes later, at the firth, which belongs to the training site of al-Qassam Brigades, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip.  Though no casualties were reported, the airstrike caused damage to the sites and the fishing boats that were in the targeted firth.

 

As part of targeting the border areas, the Israeli forces along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Deir al-Balah, east of Gaza Valley village in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian farmers and shepherds on 02 and 03 June 2018.  No casualties were reported, but they were forced to leave fearing for their lives.

 

As part of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, pointing out to the ongoing Israeli policy of targeting their livelihoods.  During the reporting period, PCHR documented 7 attacks against the fishermen, including 3 attacks in the north-western Beit Lahia, 3 in western Soudaniyah, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, and 1 in western Nusairat in the central Gaza Strip.

 

 

In the West Bank, Israeli forces during the reporting period killed Rami Sabarnah (35) from Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron.  Israeli forces opened fire at him when he was driving a small bulldozer in his work in the sanitation rehabilitation project in Jaber area, east of al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.  The Israeli forces claimed that Sabarnah attempted to run over an Israeli soldier who was stationed at a checkpoint established at the neighbourhood entrance.  According to eyewitnesses’ accounts to PCHR’s fieldworkers, fire was opened at the driver from the left side of the bulldozer that is around 10 meters away from the Israeli forces’ checkpoint and the driver did not pose any threat to the soldiers.

 

In a new crime of wilful killing, on 06 June 2018, the Israeli forces killed ‘Ezz al-Deen al-Tamimi (21) from al-Nabi Saleh, northwest of Ramallah.  He was killed when the Israeli soldiers opened fire at from a very short distance, wounding him with a bullet to the neck.  He was left bleeding to death.

 

During the reporting period, the Israeli forces wounded 10 Palestinian civilians in separate shooting incidents.

Israeli Settlement Activities and Settlers’ Attacks against the Palestinian Civivlians and their Property:

 

As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against the Palestinian civilians and their property, on 02 June 2018, a group of settlers from “Yistsihar” settlement attacked al-Safafir area in the eastern outskirts of ‘Orif village, south of Nablus.  They attacked with sticks and stones Salim Shehadah (65) who was working in his land.  As a result, he sustained bruises throughout his body.

 

On 04 June 2018, a number of settlers living in settlement outposts in eastern Bethlehem opened fire in the air in the vicinity of Beit Ta’mor School known as “Challenge 5” School.  This occurred when a number of Palestinian workers were paving the road in the vicinity of the always-threatened school by the Israeli forces and settlers, who were provoked by this.  As a result, the settlers climbed a hill and opened fire in the air to scare the workers.

Use of Force against Demonstrations in Protest against the U.S. President’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel:

 

Continuing the demonstrations in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy to it, Palestinian civilians organized protests against the decision throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. They further organized peaceful demonstrations where ten thousands of civilians participated, for the tenth Friday in a row, in commemoration of the 42nd Anniversary of the Land Day in the Gaza Strip. The demonstrations were called as “The Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege.” The demonstrations were as follows during the reporting period:

 

Gaza Strip:

 

  • At approximately 15:30 on Friday, 01 June 2018, thousands of Palestinian protestors swarmed to the Return encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return; 350 meters away from the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, east of al-Buraij in the central Gaza Strip. A number of young men approached the border fence, set fire to tires and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind the border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors and the participants’ gathering in the Return encampment. The clashes continued until the evening. As a result, 5 civilians, including a child and a journalist, were hit with live bullets. The wounded were transferred via an ambulance belonging to the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) to al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah. Doctors classified their injuries between minor and moderate.

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on the same Friday, hundreds of civilians, including women and children started swarming into the demonstration yard in the Return encampment, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip to participate in the tenth Friday upon a call by the Supreme National Authority for the March of Return and Breaking the Siege. At approximately 17:00, the numbers of civilians, reaching to thousands, as hundreds of them moved into the northeast of the camp, set fire to tires, chanted national slogans and raised flags. Some of them attempted to approach the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Israeli forces stationed behind hills and sand barriers and in military vehicles along the border fence sporadically opened fire at the protesters and fired tear gas canisters at them and the camp’s yard. The shooting sporadically continued for until approximately 19:45 on the same day resulted in the killing of Razan Ashraf al-Najjar (21), a volunteer paramedic from Khuza’ah in eastern Khan Younis working for the Medical Relief Society after being shot with a bullet that entered her chest and exited her back. at approximately 18:30. She was wounded along with 2 of her colleagues identified as Rami Nahru Mohammed Abu Jazar (29), who was wounded with a bullet to the left leg and shrapnel to the right leg and left hand, and Mahmoud Fathi ‘Abdel ‘Aati (38) who was wounded with shrapnel to the left leg when they all were 100 meters away from the border fence, northwest of the Return camp in eastern Khuza’ah, helping 2 persons wounded. Doctors declared death of Razan at approximately 19:00 after her arrival at the Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis, noting that Razan had been present since the first day of the Return camp opening and worked as a volunteer almost daily evacuating and helping dozens of civilians wounded. Moreover, 38 civilians, including 2 children and 5 paramedics, were wounded. Four of them were hit with live bullets and its shrapnel and 32 were directly hit with tear gas canisters.

 

  • At approximately 17:00 on the same Friday, Israeli forces stationed behind the border fence between the Gaza strip and Israel, east of Abu Safiyah Hill, northeast of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at hundreds of civilians for the tenth Friday within the activities of “The Return March and Breaking Siege” upon a call from the Supreme National Authority. The protestors set fire to tires and threw stones from far distances at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers. The clashes continued until approximately 23:00. As a result, 17 civilians, including 3 children and a paramedic, were wounded. Six of them were hit with live bullets and its shrapnel and 11 civilians were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded civilians were transferred via ambulances belonging to PRCS, Medical Services, Union of Health Work Committees and the Ministry of Health to the Indonesian Hospital. Doctors classified their injuries of 2 civilians as serious while the others’ injuries were between moderate and minor. The paramedic wounded was identified as Ayman Jamal Ahmed Nasser (32), an ambulance officer in the Civil Defense from Beit Lahia housing project was hit with a live bullet shrapnel to the left leg.

 

  • At approximately 17:00, thousands of Palestinian civilians swarmed to the Return encampment established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, east of al-Shwakah village, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. a number of young men approached the border fence, flew paper kites, set fire to tires and threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers along the border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors. The clashes continued until approximately 19:00. As a result, 8 civilians, including a child, were wounded. Seven of them were hit with live bullets shrapnel and one civilian was directly hit with a tear gas canister. The wounded civilians were taken to field hospitals in the camp and their wounds were classified as moderate. They were then transferred to Abu Yusuf al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah city.

 

  • Around the same time, thousands of Palestinian civilians swarmed into the east of Malakah intersection, east of al-Zaytoun neighborhood to participate in the “March of Return and Breaking Siege” activities. The participants chanted national slogans and number of them threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. The Israeli soldiers fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 40 civilians, including 5 children, were wounded, in addition to journalist Mohammed Emad Mohammed al-‘Aloul (22), who was hit with a tear gas canister to the chest.

 

  • At approximately 06:30 on Saturday, 02 June 2018, Israeli soldiers stationed behind the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel adjacent to the Return camp, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis, opened fire at a 17-year-old child from Khan Younis while he was at the vicinity of the Return camp. He was transferred to Gaza European Hospital and doctors classified his injury as moderate.

 

  • At approximately 13:30, Israeli soldiers stationed behind the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Khuza’ah village, opened fire at dozens of civilians who protested in the area. They approached the barbed wire and moved parts of it and attempted to throw stones at Israeli forces. That was following the funeral procession of the volunteer paramedic Razan al-Najjar (21), who was killed after being hit with a live bullet by the Israeli forces in the previous day. As a result, 4 civilians, including a woman and a child, were wounded. Two civilians who were hit with live bullets were seriously injured. The woman and the child were hit with tear gas canisters and doctors classified their injuries as moderate.

 

  • At approximately 17:30 on the same Saturday, Israeli forces stationed behind a sand barrier, 50 meters into the east of the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Abu Safiyah hill, northeast of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip; fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at dozens of civilians who were about 30-150 meters into the west of the border fence between. As a result, a 21-year-old civilian from Jabalia was hit with a live bullet to the left thigh. The child was admitted to the Indonesian Hospital and doctors classified his injury as moderate.

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on Sunday, 03 June 2018, Israeli forces stationed behind a sand barrier, 50 meters into the east of the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Abu Safiyah Hill, northeast of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at dozens of civilians who were about 30-150 meters into the west of the border fence between. As a result, a 23-year-old civilian from Beit Hanoun was hit with a tear gas canister to the left thigh. He was transferred to the Indonesian Hospital and doctors classified his injury as minor.

 

  • At approximately 17:00 on Sunday, 03 June 2018, Israeli forces stationed behind the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, adjacent to the Return camp, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at a group of civilians, who protested near the abovementioned border fence. the shootin sporadically continued for 2 hours. As a result, a 20-year-old civilian was hit with a tear gas canister to the right hand. At approximately 23:00, the Israeli forces fired live bullets at a group of civilians who were in the area. As a result, a 18-year-old civilian was hit with a live bullet shrapnel to the right leg.

 

  • At approximately 11:30 on Monday, 04 June 2018, Israeli forces stationed behind the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, adjacent to the Return camp, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis fired live bullets at a group of Palestinian young men, who approached the border fence and attempted to cross it. As a result, a civilian was hit with a live bullet to the head while the others were able to return. An Israeli force arrive at the area and detained the young man and later announced his death. Israeli forces’ spokesperson Avijaa Adraei said on his Twitter page that “an Israeli force thwarted an infiltration attempt of saboteurs from Gaza Strip, who attempted to cross the border fence into Israel as they approached the fence carrying an axe.” The killed young man was identified as Ramzi Mohammed Salem al-Najjar (30) from Khuza’ah village. Ramzi’s father said to PCHR’s fieldworker that on Tuesday, 05 June 2018, the ICRC informed him of his son’s death and his corpse is detained by the Israeli forces.

 

  • At approximately 17:00 on Tuesday, 05 June 2018, during a memorial service for paramedic Razan Ashraf al-Najjar (21) in the Return camp, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis, Israeli forces stationed behind the border fence with Israel adjacent to the camp, fired live bullet s and tear gas canisters at a group of civilians who protested near the abovementioned border fence. a drone fired tear gas canisters in the center of the camp. The shooting and teargasing sporadically continued for 3 hours. As a result, 6 civilians, including a child, were directly hit with a tear gas canister to their bodies. They received medical treatment in the spot and at the Algerian hospital.

 

  • At approximately 19:45 on Tuesday, 05 June 2018, Israeli forces stationed behind military watchtowers established in the vicinity of the Landfill, north of the Agriculture School, north of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at a group of civilians who were near the border fence. As a result, a 23-year-old civilian from Beit Hanoun was hit with a live bullet to the left leg. He was transferred to the Indonesian Hospital and doctors classified his injury as moderate.

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Wednesday, 06 June 2018, Israeli forces stationed behind the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, fired live bullets at the Return camp, east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. As a result, 2 workers in Rafah Municipality were wounded while they were leaving the camp in a vehicle belonging to the municipality after they carried out maintenance work in the camp. One of them was hit with a live bullet to the abdomen and the other was hit with shrapnel to the lower limbs. The wounded were admitted to Abu Yusuf al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah and then one of them was transferred to Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis due to his serious health condition. Doctors classified the injury of the former as moderate.

 

Civilian Succumbed to his Wounds:

 

  • At approximately 23:50 on Saturday, 02 June 2018 2018, medical sources at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City announced the death of Mohammed Na’im Hasan Hamadah (30) from Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip succumbing to his previous wounds he sustained during his participation in the Great Return March on Monday, 14 May 2018. Hamadah was hit with a live bullet to the legs, causing a cut in the main artery in the left leg. He was admitted to al-Awda Hospital belonging to Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC) in Jabalia and then was referred to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. He stayed at the hospital until his death was announced.

 

 

 

West Bank:

 

  • At approximately 13:30 on Friday, 02 June 2018, a group of Palestinian civilians moved from Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, to the eastern entrance to the village, which has been closed for 15 years in favor of the entrance to “Kedumim” settlement established on the village lands. The protestors chanted national slogans demanding end of occupation, condemning the U.S President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital Israel and condemning the Israeli forces’ crimes against Palestinian protestors along the eastern border of the Gaza Strip within “The Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” activities. The protestors set fire to tires, threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers. The soldiers fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a 25-year-old civilian was hit with a rubber bullet to the abdomen.

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

 

 Israeli settlers’ attacks

 

  • At approximately 17:00 on Saturday, 02 June 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from “Yitzhar“settlement attacked al-Safafeer area in the eastern outskirts of ‘Oreef village, south of Nablus. The Israeli settlers attacked Saleem Jameel ‘Omair Shehadah (65) with stones and sticks while working in his plot of land. As a result, he sustained bruises throughout his body. After that, a number of Palestinian young men headed to the plot of land in order to help Saleem and managed to expel the settlers. The Israeli forces then immediately arrived at the area to protect the settlers and fired live bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the young men. As a result, a civilian was hit with a live bullet to the buttocks and then taken to Rafidia Hospital, where his wounds were classified as moderate.

 

  • At approximately 08:00 on Monday, 04 June 2018, a group of Israeli settlers from settlement outposts established in eastern Bethlehem, opened fire in the air in the vicinity of Beit Ta’mour School. Ahmed Salah, Activist against the Annexation Wall and Settlement, said that the incident occurred while a number of Palestinian workers were paving roads in the vicinity of the school, which have been threatened by the Israeli forces and settlers. The Israeli settlers were provoked by this, topped at a hill and then opened fire in the air in order to intimidate the workers who continued their work. Salah said that the school was attacked several times by the Israeli settlers, upon calls from the Israeli settlers to demolish it. The Israeli authorities responded to the settlers’ demands, but the village residents’ insistence prevented them from demolishing it. The village residents rebuilt the school a year ago, but the school is still under the Israeli authorities’ threats.

 

Recommendations to the International Community

 

PCHR warns of the escalating settlement construction in the West Bank, the attempts to legitimize settlement outposts established on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and the continued summary executions of Palestinian civilians under the pretext that they pose a security threat to the Israeli forces. PCHR reminds the international community that thousands of Palestinian civilians have been rendered homeless and lived in caravans under tragic circumstances due to the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that has been under a tight closure for almost 11 years. PCHR welcomes the UN Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334, which states that settlements are a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions and calls upon Israel to stop them and not to recognize any demographic change in the oPt since 1967.  PCHR hopes this resolution will pave the way for eliminating the settlement crime and bring to justice those responsible for it. PCHR further reiterates that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation in spite of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan of 2005.  PCHR emphasizes that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and international humanitarian law.  Israel is bound to apply international human rights law and the law of war, sometimes reciprocally and other times in parallel, in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for the victims.

  1. PCHR calls upon the international community to respect the Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334 and to ensure that Israel respects it as well, in particular point 5 which obliges Israel not to deal with settlements as if they were part of Israel.
  2. PCHR calls upon the ICC this year to open an investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and the 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip.
  3. PCHR Calls upon the European Union (EU) and all international bodies to boycott settlements and ban working and investing in them in application of their obligations according to international human rights law and international humanitarian law considering settlements as a war crime.
  4. PCHR calls upon the international community to use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.
  5. PCHR calls upon the international community and United Nations to take all necessary measures to stop Israeli policies aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem and at voiding Palestine from its original inhabitants through deportations and house demolitions as a collective punishment, which violates international humanitarian law, amounting to a crime against humanity.
  6. PCHR calls upon the international community to condemn summary executions carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinians and to pressurize Israel to stop them.
  7. PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
  8. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under article (1) of the Convention to ensure respect for the Conventions under all circumstances, and under articles (146) and (147) to search for and prosecute those responsible for committing grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions to ensure justice and remedy for Palestinian victims, especially in light of the almost complete denial of justice for them before the Israeli judiciary.
  9. PCHR calls upon the international community to speed up the reconstruction process necessary because of the destruction inflicted by the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
  10. PCHR calls for a prompt intervention to compel the Israeli authorities to lift the closure that obstructs the freedom of movement of goods and 1.8 million civilians that experience unprecedented economic, social, political and cultural hardships due to collective punishment policies and retaliatory action against civilians.
  11. PCHR calls upon the European Union to apply human rights standards embedded in the EU-Israel Association Agreement and to respect its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when dealing with Israel.
  12. PCHR calls upon the international community, especially states that import Israeli weapons and military services, to meet their moral and legal responsibility not to allow Israel to use the offensive in Gaza to test new weapons and not accept training services based on the field experience in Gaza in order to avoid turning Palestinian civilians in Gaza into testing objects for Israeli weapons and military tactics.
  13. PCHR calls upon the parties to international human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to pressurize Israel to comply with its provisions in the oPt and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the relevant committees.
  14. PCHR calls upon the EU and international human rights bodies to pressurize the Israeli forces to stop their attacks against Palestinian fishermen and farmers, mainly in the border area.

Fully detailed document available at the official website of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

(Source / 08.06.2018)

Israel minister: ‘The only national state that can exist in Israel is the Zionist state’

Israel’s Housing Minister, Yoav Galant

Israeli Housing Minister Yoav Gallant vowed yesterday that “the only national state that can exist in Israel is the Zionist state”.

Gallant, who hails from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party, made the remarks while making a fresh attack against the Palestinian presence in the occupied southern West Bank and Negev.

“Those who want to establish a sub-state – it cannot be in our home,” he said.

“With the support of hostile elements from the southern Hebron hills and the support of Arab MKs, there has been a process of Islamisation that begins from the Judean fortresses through the Bedouin towns to the Dimona crater.”

READ: Israel demolishes Al-Araqeeb for 129th time

Gallant continued: “This reality contradicts the national vision and I am not willing to give up our hold on the land. It cannot be that in the 21st century, only 100,000 Jews will live south of Be’er Sheva”.

Earlier this week, speaking in the Knesset, Gallant made similar remarks, claiming that “the south is under attack not only from Gaza”, citing “the illegal and hostile construction in the rural Bedouin areas in the Negev”, and “the Palestinian Islamist expansion from the Hebron area”.

“The programme to reinforce Jewish settlement in the Negev constitutes a long term and stable solution for a Jewish hold over the region,” the housing and construction minister added.

(Source / 08.06.2018)

IOF attack masses of Palestinians traveling to Al-Aqsa through Qalandia checkpoint

Attack Qalandia

Stun grenades were fired and many denied entry by Israel as thousands gathered at Qalandia checkpoint south of Ramallah, on their way to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque today, the last Friday of Ramadan. 

Palestinians living in the west bank have been temporarily allowed to cross the border during ramadan, an act which Israel has called generous and a sign of their respect for religious freedom. However, for most Palestinians, this is the  last chance to pray at Al-Aqsa until next year. Many under 40 were frustrated as they were still being denied access, and had often been met with violence.

“We want to go to pray at Al-Aqsa and I am sad because they refuse us. We try to climb over the wall but it is dangerous. They have caught me twice today. They could arrest me.” said one young man.

Many had travelled far, only to be not allowed in: “I am from Jordan. I have travelled to pray at Al-Aqsa during Ramadan, and I am sad because they will not let me through. They said I am a terrorist and that they will kick me if I try again. Do you think that all these people here have come just to cause trouble?”

Another man who had travelled from Jenin city, northern West Bank, and been at the border since 4am had similar experiences.

Violence was used against some, who said they had been hit and kicked by Israeli soldiers. Stun grenades were set off in the crowd as the queue got larger, causing people to run.

When asked what they could do about the situation, many were pessimistic.

“We can do nothing about this”, said one man. Another shrugged and said “at the checkpoint they do what they want”.

(Source / 08.06.2018)

Rouhani: liberating Jerusalem is a sacred goal for Iranian people

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attends the extraordinary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at the Lutfi Kirdar International Convention and Exhibition Center in Istanbul, Turkey on 13 December, 2017 [Emrah Yorulmaz/Anadolu Agency]

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Istanbul, Turkey on 13 December, 2017

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called on the Iranian people to participate in the Jerusalem Day Marches, stressing that liberating Jerusalem is till one of the sacred goals for Iranian people and all Muslims.

In a statement yesterday President Rouhani said, “it is not long before Muslims pray in Jerusalem”.

“This year’s Jerusalem Day is characterised by special features. In addition to marking the 70th anniversary of occupying the Palestinian territories, we are witnessing this year the US recognition of Jerusalem, the holy land for all Muslims as the capital of the Zionist entity, in violation of all international rules and laws,” he added.

Read: The world remains silent on Iran’s murder of Ahwazi activists

The Iranian president said the March of Jerusalem comes with the “increasing repression and persecution of the oppressed Palestinians, especially the people of Gaza as well as tours by the Zionist entity leaders to broadcast Iranophobia”.

By participating in the Jerusalem Day rallies Iranian people will send a message to the Zionist entity that it will never forget the land of Palestine and noble Jerusalem, he said.

In 1979 the late Iranian leader Imam Khomeini marked the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan Jerusalem Day.

(Source / 08.06.2018)

49% of Gaza’s drugs have ran out, says ministry

Medication supplies in the Gaza Strip have reached dangerously low levels after the decision was made to stop providing hospital and health centres, on 23 May, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Medication supplies in the Gaza Strip have reached dangerously low levels after the decision was made to stop providing hospital and health centres, on 23 May, 2017

The Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip has warned of a severe shortage in the basic health services provided to Palestinians in the enclave.

“Forty-nine per cent of the essential medicines and 29 per cent of the medical supplies in Gaza have run out,” the ministry’s pharmacy department announced yesterday.

Gaza faces a severe shortage in primary health care services and the availability of drugs for dialysis, heart catheterisation and open heart, the ministry added.

Read: Israel army smears slain medic Razan Al-Najjar with edited video clip

The enclave’s pharmaceutical sector, the ministry pointed out, lacks 53 per cent of its monthly requirement, while the medical tasks sector lacks 21 per cent of its monthly requirement.

The ministry also warned of the occupied city’s poor conditions in the primary care services, which it said currently faces a shortage of over 63 per cent.

(Source / 08.06.2018)