Israel has imposed new restrictions on Jenin businessmen, denying them entry to its territory (the 1948 occupied lands) before they meet certain requirements.
Chamber of commerce chief Ammar Abu Baker described the new restrictions on Jenin traders as a systematic policy aimed at making things more difficult for them.
Abu Baker added that the Israeli army told the chamber of commerce in Jenin that it would not allow the Palestinians holding commercial permits to enter Israel unless they provide certain documents, including a financial statement of eight to ten thousand dollars.
A Syrian child receives medical treatment after a chemical attack was carried out by the Assad Regime in Idlib, Syria
A Dutch company exported 38 tonnes of chemical materials to the Syrian regime which were used to manufacture chemical weapons without obtaining the necessary licenses, Netherlands’ Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS) reported yesterday,
“A Rotterdam-based company has exported 38 tonnes of banned acetone, which is being used in the production of chemical weapons, to Syria without obtaining the necessary permits,” NOSsaid.
The acetone, which was exported two years ago, travelled through the port of Antwerp in Belgium.
The Dutch customs authorities, NOS reported, began an investigation into the matter two months ago, stressing that the company would be prosecuted “for not obtaining the necessary export licenses”.
Authorities in Belgium recently informed Netherlands that the same company was believed to have exported 200 tonnes of acetone to Syria via Russia.
In April, three Belgian companies were prosecuted for exporting chemicals to Syria, one of which could be used in the production of banned sarin gas which the Syrian regime is thought to have used against civilians in the country.
Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan called on officials of the social network Twitter to close the accounts “terrorist” groups which he said included Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah.
The Hebrew Ynet website, quoted Erdan as saying: “If Twitter does not respond to the Israeli demand, it will be subject to legal measures that Israel may take against it.”
Erdan wrote in his letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and its executive chairman Omid Kordestani: “Giving terrorist organisations the freedom to operate and disseminate messages of incitement through your network is a violation of the Israeli law.”
“Unlike other social networks, Twitter has refused on many occasions the Israeli authorities’ demand to remove content published by terrorist organisations and accounts that spread incitement and support terrorism,” he added.
The Israeli minister claimed that “as a result, the terrorist organisations are expanding their activity on Twitter in order to spread propaganda, just like Hamas, which has been running a Twitter account officially since March 2016.”
He said: “I ask you [Twitter administration] to close the accounts of the terrorist organisations, their leaders and spokesmen immediately and remove their contents.”Erdan warned Twitter: “If you do not comply, we may be compelled to initiate legal and criminal proceedings against you, in accordance with current Israeli law, and advanced legislation that holds internet companies responsible for publishing terrorist content.”
Last year, the Israeli Knesset passed the Facebook law, which allows Israeli courts to remove and delete content that Israel considers inciteful from the social media network, while allowing the police to arrest and prosecute the author.
Israeli occupation forces have arrested hundred of Palestinians as a result of their social media posts, including some who have written poems in support of the resistance and against Israel’s oppressive policies.
Newborn babies are placed in the incubation department at the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City
In a new report published yesterday, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) “warned that infant mortality has not declined for the last decade in Gaza Strip”, reported Xinhua.
According to UNRWA, “the infant mortality rate among Palestinian refugees in Gaza was 22.7 per 1,000 live births, within the same range of the previously reported rate of 22.4 per 1,000 live births in 2015 and 20.2 per 1,000 live births from the study conducted in 2006.”
“The Palestine refugees account for more than 70 per cent of the entire populations in Gaza. Infant mortality is a barometer of the health of an entire population,” commented Director of UNRWA’s Health Department, Dr Akihiro Seita.
“This finding needs our attention since the ultimate goal is to maintain a continuing decline of infant mortality and to stop preventable infant deaths,” said Seita.
UNRWA, in line with other UN agencies and humanitarian groups, stressed the role of Israel’s ongoing occupation and blockade in the deterioration of Gaza’s economy and health sector.
“It is reasonable to assume that the unstable power supply, the deteriorating functionality of medical equipment, the periodic shortages of essential drugs and medical consumables have had an impact on the quality of medical care with a consequent impact on infant mortality,” UNRWA added.
The Gaza Strip has ensured an 11-year long Israeli siege which has limited the entry of food, good and the supply of electricity. The UN has previously warned that Gaza would become “uninhabitable” by 2020.
Palestinian human rights associations, including the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission and the Al-Mezan Center for human rights issued their monthly report on Israeli occupation forces’ arrests of Palestinians in May 2018. Translated by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.
In May 2018, Israeli occupation forces arrested 605 Palestinians from the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem, including 94 children and nine women. Occupation forces seized 197 Palestinians from the city of Jerusalem, 104 from Ramallah and el-Bireh, 70 from al-Khalil, 33 from Jenin, 44 from Bethleheme, 48 from Nablus, 15 from Tulkarem, 32 from Qalqilya, 5 from Tubas, 20 from Salfit, 8 from Jericho and 29 from the Gaza Strip.
In addition, the Israeli occupation forces issued 83 administrative detention orders in May 2018 for the imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial. 36 of these were new orders and the remainder were renewals of existing detention orders. There are approximately 6000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, including 54 women and six minor girls. There are approximately 350 Palestinian children in Israeli jails and 430 Palestinians jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention.
The cases of the martyr Aziz Aweisat and Hassan al-Tamimi: Crimes of the Israeli prison administration
Aziz Aweisat, 53 years old and from Jabal al-Mukabber in Jerusalem, was brutally assaulted by Israeli occupation forces inside prison. He was subject to a beating inside his cell at the Eshel detention center before being transferred in the “Bosta,” according to one of the prisoners who was with him on 7 May 2018.
On 9 May 2018, two days later, Aweisat suffered a heart attack at the Ramleh prison clinic. He was taken to the Israeli Assaf Harofeh hospital in a very serious condition until he died on 20 May 2018. Israeli occupation authorities have refused to release his body. He was serving a 30 year prison sentence and has been detained since 2014.
Hassan al-Tamimi, 18, from the village of Deir Nizam, lost his sight completely after being subject to medical neglect by the Israeli prison administration since his detention on 7 April 2018. Al-Tamimi has suffered from kidney and liver problems that affect his ability to absorb proteins since childhood. He requires specific treatments and a specialized diet, which were denied to him by the prison administration, causing his health to deteriorate by late May. He was later transferred to the Shaare Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem and has reportedly lost his sight completely. In this context, the Israeli occupation authorities decided to release him in an attempt to evade responsibility for his health and life.
Invasions and attacks during arrest raids
Israeli occupation forces stormed a home with a troop consisting of 30 military vehicles, accompanied by a bulldozer and a “skunk water” vehicle, in al-Amari refugee camp on Monday, 28 May 2018. They surrounded a home for over five hours and seized 15 young people. The Israeli attack on the entrance to the camp caused the injury of 13 young people, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
In this context, we present the testimony of Mr. Jamal Suleiman Eid, 56, the father of the detainee Iyad Eid, who said: “At about 6:15 am, we woke up to the shouts of the army. After a few minutes, we heard a scream from my sister’s house, adjacent to our hose. After a while, they broke down the door of our home and attacked my son Iyad. One of the soldiers put his hand over Eyad’s mouth. He started shouting and asked them to move away from him because he is sick, but the soldiers did not respond to him and they beat him in front of me. There were about 15 soldiers inside. They then took both of us with our hands behind our backs with plastic restraints, and took us to a room on the ground floor of the building. There, I also found my nephews, Firas and Louay, blindfolded and restrained.”
The Israeli army’s extensive arrest campaigns against Palestinian civilians and attacks on detainees and their families during the arrest process are an integral part of the policy of collective punishment practiced by the occupation forces, which is fundamentally contrary to articles 33 and 34 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The occupation’s practices aim toward punishing all of the people of the camp, disrupting their lives and imposing harsh conditions on all citizens, including women, children and elders.
“Nachshon” repressive forces and repeated attacks against child prisoners
According to the monitoring and documentation departments of the Palestinian human rights institutions, the increasing number of complaints by child prisoners in the Ofer and Megiddo prison stems from a deliberate policy of repression adopted by the “Nachshon” forces in beating and torturing them during their transfer from one prison to another or to or from the courts. Lawyers’ visits to child detainees during the month of May confirmed the increase in complaints and visible signs of attacks on their bodies during the visits.
The “Nachshon” forces are special units that wear a distinctive uniform. They include soldiers with high levels of physical strength and experience through serving in different military units within the occupation army. They are placed in special centers and summoned if there is a protest inside the prisons. Their most important tasks are the transfer of prisoners from one prison to another and from prison to the courts, in addition to transferring sick prisoners and controlling the prisons. The prison administration uses these units to suppress prisoners and force them to carry out their orders.
The prisoners’ institutions highlighted that the occupation bears full responsibility for the deterioration of the situation in occupied Palestine. The practices of the occupation and its settlers are the cause of this deterioration, especially the excessive use of force against demonstrators in the Gaza Strip, the attacks on the families of Palestinian prisoners during their detention, home demolitions, large-scale arrests and extrajudicial execution of Palestinians and attacks on Palestinian civilians in their homes and workplaces.
The occupation policies against the Palestinian people violate international humanitarian law, which categorically prohibits collective punishment and reprisals against peoples living under occupation, as stated in Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which applies to the occupied Palestinian territories. People under occupation have the status of protected persons under international law.
The Palestinian human rights institutions affirmed the right of Palestinian prisoners and detainees to receive recognition of their status as freedom fighters, their right to medical care, proper food and education, their right to fair trial guarantees, their right to family visits and respect for their human dignity.
Palestinian security forces fire tear gas during a demonstration in support of Gaza at Al-Manara Square in Ramallah, West Bank on 14 June 2018
Protests in the West Bank descended into violence last night after Palestinian Authority (PA) police attempted to break up demonstrations demonstrating against the PA’s policies in the Gaza Strip.
Riot police arrested journalists and dozens of protesters and fired tear gas and stun grenades into the crowds in Nablus and Ramallah. Security forces in civilian clothing were also present, with many reporting having been beaten, having their cameras and smartphones confiscated, as the new ban on public protests was enforced; the move has been justified by the PA as necessary in the run up to Eid Al-Fitr holiday tomorrow.
The protesters called for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to remove sanctions he imposed on Gaza in an effort to pressure Hamas into handing over control of the Strip, following failed reconciliation talks at the end of last year.
The PA announced a temporary ban on demonstrations yesterday, after over 2,000 people took to the streets of Ramallah on Sunday to condemn the government’s role in the siege of Gaza. However the ban did little to stem last night’s collective action.
Many Palestinians have taken to social media to organise themselves, with a Facebook page “The sanctions against Gaza are a crime,” informing the public of planned protests.
The [Israeli] occupation is the main culprit responsible for the blockade on Gaza, but President Abbas is making things worse by also imposing collective punishment on families there
campaign activist Fadi Quran said, vowing to take to the streets.
Talks between the Palestinian factions have stalled in recent months. Although Fatah and Hamas signed an agreement in Cairo in October in an attempt to advance reconciliation effortsand restore the PA’s governing authority in Gaza, they failed to make progress in the aftermath of US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
In April, the PA cut salaries of its civil servants in the Strip by a further 20 per cent, causing widespread protest. This came after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas slashed Gaza salaries by nearly a third last year. He has also reduced PA staff numbers in Gaza from 60,000 last year by ordering early retirement for nearly a third of employees.
PA intelligence chief Majed Faraj reportedly sent a letter to his Israeli counterpart Nadav Argaman, warning him against any action that would help alleviate the suffering of the population in Gaza, seeking to maintain pressure on Hamas.
Hewlett Packard (HP) faces over $120 million in potential losses since India’s largest student federation passed a resolution to support the BDS movement and to boycott Hewlett Packard (HP) companies over their well-documented complicity in Israel’s grave violations of Palestinian human rights.
Apoorva Gautam, the India-based South Asia coordinator for the Palestinian BDS National Committee, which leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for Palestinian rights, explained:
The Students Federation of India (SFI) is more than 4 million members strong, and on June 9, they joined the global campaign to boycott HP. This means that Hewlett Packard companies now risk losing over 4 million potential clients in India because of their complicity in Israel’s gross violations of Palestinian human rights.
Given that the cheapest HP laptop in India costs about $300, this means that HP may be losing a potential student market of over $120 million. This is enormously significant.
What Palestinians and Indian students are showing is that companies seeking to profit from Israel’s military occupation and discriminatory regime face growing popular opposition and risk a serious hit to both their reputations and pocket-books.
HP has provided technology and services that support Israel’s military occupation and racial discrimination policies, including its devastating siege suffocating nearly 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, and illegal settlements built on stolen Palestinian land.
Today, HP-branded companies provide the Israeli government with the servers that house its notorious population registry, a key component in the apparatus of apartheid. Records also indicate that HP-branded companies are still responsible for selling computers to the Israeli military. As such, HP products and services enable racial segregation and denial of basic rights.
In its resolution to boycott HP, the Students Federation of India (SFI) condemned Israel’s recent violence against unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, where Israel killed at least 121 Palestinians and injured more than 13,000 in just the last two months. It also criticized the current right-wing government in India for its “close security and military ties with Israel” and for having become “the largest arms buyer from Israel.”
Vikram Singh, the federation’s General Secretary, promised that the campaign to boycott HP in India would grow:
Our federation will spread the BDS movement and the HP boycott campaign in college and university campuses across India. We will work to convince university administrations to adopt procurement policies that prohibit doing business with HP companies until they prove that they are no longer complicit in Israel’s egregious violations of Palestinian human rights. Until then, this boycott will continue and will grow even stronger.
Abdulrahman Abunahel, a Gaza-based community organizer and coordinator for the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) welcomed the resolution:
Palestinian students and youth movements deeply appreciate the solidarity expressed by our counterparts in the Students Federation of India. As a young Palestinian in Gaza, I know first hand how difficult it is to study, and to simply live, under decades of Israel’s brutal military rule and devastating siege. And I’m heartened by this important gesture of support from India, which reaffirms that where governments fail, people have the the power to act and make a difference.
In the past few years, US church denominations such as the US Presbyterian Church and the United Church of Christ have divested from HP. Friends Fiduciary Corporation, the socially responsible investment firm serving over three hundred Quaker institutions in the United States, divested from HP in 2012. Most recently, the Dublin City Council joined the BDS movement and called for ending ties with HP because of the company’s complicity in Israeli apartheid.
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for Palestinian rights.
Medical sources have reported, Wednesday, that a Palestinian man from northern Gaza died from serious complications caused by wounds he suffered after Israeli soldiers shot him eight years ago.
The sources said the man, identified as Kamal Mohammad al-Yaziji, from Beit Hanoun, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, died from serious complications resulting from an Israeli bullet in his spine.
His family said Kamal was shot by live Israeli army fire in his spine, causing paraplegia, in addition to constant complications, including serious infections and skin breakdowns.
They added that Kamal also developed gangrene, followed by further serious infections that claimed his life.
The Gaza Strip, devastated by various Israeli military offensives, and ongoing blockade since June 2007, have left the densely-populated Gaza Strip lacking basic humanitarian supplies, including specialized medical equipment and medications.
It is worth mentioning that many patients, suffering with various health conditions, including cancer and kidney diseases, have died due to the ongoing siege on Gaza, after being unable to receive treatment either in Israeli hospitals, or in hospitals in Arab counties and other parts of the world.
Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour applauds after the General Assembly adopted a resolution condemning Israel’s excessive use of force against Gaza protesters
A strong majority of 120 countries at the UN General Assembly voted on Wednesday in favor of an Arab-backed resolution condemning Israel for its excessive use of force against Palestinian protesters in Gaza.
The resolution deplores Israel’s use of “excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force” against Palestinian civilians and calls for protection measures for Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.
The gatherers also rejected a US bid to blame the Hamas movement for the violence in the coastal strip.
At least 129 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire during protests near the border with Gaza that began at the end of March. No Israelis have died.
Presented by Algeria and Turkey on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries, the measure won a decisive 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with 8 votes against and 45 abstentions.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley dismissed the resolution as “one-sided”.
An amendment presented by the United States that condemned Hamas for “inciting violence” along the border with Gaza failed to garner the two-third majority needed for adoption.
Arab countries backing the measure turned to the General Assembly after the United States used its veto in the Security Council to block the resolution on June 1.
Unlike the Security Council, resolutions adopted by the assembly are non-binding and there is no veto.
The resolution tasks UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres with the drafting of proposals for an “international protection mechanism” for the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.
These could range from setting up an observer mission to a full-blown peacekeeping force, but action on any option would require backing from the Security Council, where the United States has veto power.
“We need protection of our civilian population,” Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour told the General Assembly before the vote, adding that the resolution was “intended to contribute to a de-escalation of the volatile situation.”
“We cannot remain silent in the face of the most violent crimes and human rights violations being systematically perpetrated against our people,” he said.
Turkey’s Ambassador Feridun Hadi Sinirlioglu defended the resolution, saying it was “about taking sides with international law” and showing the Palestinians that the world “does care about their suffering.”
Taking the podium, Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon assailed the measure as an “attempt to take away our basic right to self-defense.” He warned ambassadors that by supporting the resolution “you are empowering Hamas.”
France was among 12 EU countries that backed the resolution, but Britain abstained along with Italy, Poland and 13 other EU member-states. Russia and China voted in favor.
Australia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, the Solomon Islands and Togo joined the United States and Israel in voting against the resolution.
The resolution asked Guterres to report back within 60 days on proposals “on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation, including … recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”
The General Assembly last held a similarly contentious vote on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in December, when 128 countries defied President Donald Trump and voted in favor of a resolution calling for the US to drop its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.