Gaza: Health services may stop due to fuel crisis

Health services Gaza

The Palestinian ministry of health has warned that the health facilities in the besieged Gaza Strip may stop to provide services for patients soon due to the current fuel crisis.

“There are no reassurances from the competent authorities that the fuel crisis, which threatens the health facilities, will be resolved, and this means that all the health services in the Gaza Strip are at imminent risk,” spokesman for the health ministry Ashraf al-Qudra stated on Monday.

The health ministry in Gaza had warned last week that several health facilities would face closure after fuel supplies used to operate emergency generators started to run out.

The fuel crisis in Gaza has been escalating since August 1st when Israeli war minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered a halt to the entry of fuel shipments to Gaza.

In addition, the refusal of the Ramallah-based health ministry to support the health facilities in Gaza have made them unable to afford their operating expenses.

(Source / 07.08.2018)

Tension boils in Raymond jail following violent search campaign

Raymond jail

Tension flared up on Tuesday in Israel’s Raymond jail after Israeli guards violently broke into Palestinian prisoners’ rooms and searched them.

Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission said that the campaign, launched by the Israel Prison Service for “security reasons”, targeted the Palestinian prisoners held in section 6.

The Commission added that the detainees were transferred early in the morning to section 5 after having their rooms turned upside down and most of their belongings damaged.

(Source / 07.08.2018)

Detained Palestinian poet: ‘I will leave prison firmer and stronger’

Palestinian poet, Dareen Tatour

Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour, who holds an Israeli citizenship, yesterday said she was not sorry for the poems she had written and would turn herself into occupation authorities so as to serve her prison term, Arab48 said.

Last week, an Israeli court sentenced her to five months in prison after she was convicted of incitement over a poem she posted on Facebook three years ago.

In October 2015, 36-year-old Dareen Tatour from the Nazareth village of Al-Reineh posted on Facebook and YouTube a video of herself reading out her poem titled “Resist, My People, Resist”, along with footage of masked Palestinian youths throwing stones and firebombs at Israeli security forces. She was detained days after the video was uploaded.

She was jailed for three months and released on house arrest.

She is due to return to jail today.

READ: Israel convicts Palestinian poet for ‘incitement to violence’

Speaking to Arab48 Tatour said: “I do not feel sorry. I will continue raising my voice in the face of the oppressive rulers at a time when we do not have anything more in this country than words to speak about our sufferings.”

She added: “I personally paid the price for the oppressive [Israeli] policy. I was deprived of my freedom for three years, but I succeeded to disclose the reality of the claimed Israeli democracy. My message about the fake Israeli democracy reached everyone. It is a democracy for Jews and racism for non-Jews.”

The Palestinian poet continued: “My sacrifice has not been in vain. The Arabs will remain standing in their country, proud of their language and express their stances and feelings without fearing the threats or racist laws.”

“I hope,” she went on, “to be as good as how the people thought I was. I promise to leave prison firmer and stronger.”

50 years on, tens of thousands of Palestinians detained for political protest | #PalPrisoners

READ: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170827-50-years-on-ten…/

MEMO #Infographic by QUAD Business House

(Source / 07.08.2018)

Israel soldier who killed Palestinian teen to be promoted

CCTV footage of the Israeli commander who shot and killed Palestinian teen, Muhammad Ali-Kosba at a gas station in 2015

An Israeli soldier who shot dead a 17-year-old Palestinian as he tried to flee in 2015 is being promoted, the Israel army announced yesterday.

Colonel Yisrael Shomer is to take command of the Nahal Brigade, the army revealed.

Shomer was filmed in 3 July 2015 shooting Muhammad Ali-Kosba after the teen threw a stone at a military vehicle in the occupied West Bank.

An investigation found that Shomer had acted “according to the procedure for arresting a suspect – which, according to the Military Police, included firing a warning shot into the air followed by two bullets aimed at the teen’s legs”, Haaretz reported.

OPINION: Shoot and lie, Israeli forces are killing civilians with impunity

“However, because Shomer himself had been in motion, his aim was inaccurate and he hit Kosba’s torso, according to the investigation.”

However, a B’Tselem found Kosba’s body had three gunshot wounds, one in the face and two in the back.

However, the Israel army closed the case in to the shooting, ruling that it had been justified.

A deadly year in the occupied Palestinian territory

MEMO Infographic by The White Canvas
READ MORE: goo.gl/VD8RFQ

See more

(Source / 07.08.2018)

Israel arrests 7 Palestinian journalists in one week

Palestinian journalists stage a protest demanding releasing of the Palestinian journalists in front of the Ofer prison in Ramallah, West Bank on 5 August, 2018

Israeli occupation authorities arrested seven Palestinian journalists in one week from the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, Al-Khaleej Online reported yesterday.

Israeli Attacks on Press - Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club (PPC) described this as a “dangerous escalation against the Palestinian information freedoms in the occupied lands.”

According to the PPC, the Israeli occupation forces yesterday arrested Ibrahim Al-Rantisi from Ramallah, who is the correspondent of the Turkish TRT channel, and the journalist Nader Peipers from occupied Jerusalem during a raid on his house.

READ: Palestinian journalists demand Israel releases 21 colleagues

The two journalists were among 16 Palestinians who were arrested by the Israeli occupation forces during a detention campaign carried out in several West Bank cities and villages.

The Israeli occupation army said in a statement that its forces had arrested 13 Palestinians who were “wanted” over activities related to the popular resistance against Israel.

56 journalists were arrested, summoned or detained by #Israeli forces.
It’s almost as if #Israel has something to hide
Read more: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170706-310-cases-of-is…/
#FreePalestine #ZionistState

See more

(Source / 07.08.2018)

Ex-Israel PM denounces rival politicians as ‘fascists’

Ehud Barak

Ehud Barak, former Israeli PM

A former Israeli prime minister has described senior members of his country’s government as fascists. In a blistering attack, Ehud Barak, who also served as Benjamin Netanyahu’s defence minister for four years, exchanged barbs with Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

Barak denounced Shaked and her party saying that the Jewish Home, which is part of Netanyahu’s coalition is “headed” by men and women that are “racist and messianic”. He also took a swipe at an influential Rabbi, Dov Lior, a Jewish supremacist that has justified the complete destruction of Gaza using Jewish scripture.

The denunciation of Israeli ministers as fascists was made over radio where Barak attacked Shaked after she said if the Supreme Court annulled the “Nation State Law” it would lead to a war between the authorities.

“Ayelet Shaked is like a little boy who hides himself in a pillow and thinks he can’t be seen. The young minister reveals incredible ignorance. Anyone who threatens the Supreme Court is ignorant or proto-fascist,” Arutz Sheva reported Barak saying.

READ: Israel minister warns court against intervention over ‘Jewish nation state’ law

The personal attack on Shaked was followed by a condemnation of her party: “The vision of the Jewish Home Party with the man and woman heading it is racist and messianic, with their rabbis Lior and Ginsburgh, the sources of inspiration for the murderer of Rabin and the murderers of the Dawabsha family, who threaten the future of Zionism.”

Shaked shot back by mocking Barack and reiterating her position that “legislation is enacted in the Knesset by a democratic majority, not by running to the Supreme Court.”

“The Nationality Law itself will certainly not be disqualified in the Supreme Court,” she explained, adding that the Supreme Court has no authority to disqualify Basic Laws.

Since being passed by the Israeli Knesset, Israel’s Nation State bill has come under sharp condemnation.  Critics have denounced it saying that it fully institutionalise apartheid in the country.

(Source / 07.08.2018)

Two Palestinians wounded by Zionist airstrike in eastern Gaza

GAZA, PALESTINOW.COM — At least two Palestinian citizens were injured Monday afternoon by an Israeli airstrike east of Gaza city.

The Palestinian reporter said that an Israeli drone fired two missiles at a group of Palestinian youths east of Gaza.

He added that two youths were injured in the attack and later transferred to a local hospital for treatment.

Israeli warplanes on almost a daily basis attack Palestinian peaceful protesters near Gaza border in response to fire kites and balloons launched from the besieged territory to the neighboring Israeli settlements.

(Source / 07.08.2018)

Israel interrogates US Jewish activists over ‘connections with Palestinians’

“Why the hell would I want to help the Palestinians,” the activist said Israeli intelligence asked her

Israeli security services held and interrogated Simone Zimmerman, a US Jewish activist, at the border with Egypt for several hours on Sunday over “connections with Palestinians.”

Zimmerman, who resides and works in Israel, tweeted that her and a friend were held at the Taba Crossing for four hours, where they were questioned by security agents from Shin Bet over their political views and previous work with Palestinians.

“I am at the border after a weekend in Sinai and Israeli authorities have detained me and my friend Abby for the last three hours. We are being questioned solely about our political opinions and activities vis a vis Palestinians esp in the occupied territories,” the activist tweeted on Sunday.

The activist said that security agents quizzed her and fellow activist Abby Kirschbaum over places she had visited in the West Bank, what she thought of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and “why she wanted to help [people] in Gaza.”

“All of the questions they asked me were about if I go to Palestinian areas, what do I do/who do I meet there, why I go there… and why the hell would I want to do that,” she said in another tweet.

She, who describes herself on Twitter as part of the Jewish Resistance to the occupation, works for an Israeli human rights organisation in Tel Aviv for which she has a valid work permit.

She is a founding member of IfNotNow, an American Jewish anti-occupation organisation.

Zimmerman worked previously for Bernie Sanders as the Jewish outreach coordinator for the 2016 primary campaign, however, she was allegedly fired after comments surfaced from 2015 where she called Netanyahu a “manipulative asshole” and “murderer”.

Zimmerman, who says she is not herself a supporter of the BDS movement, recently made a video condemning Israel’s travel ban on anyone associated with the boycott movement that came into action last year.

(Source / 07.08.2018)

Israeli tanks bomb Gaza, kill 2 youths

Killing these two youths brings number of Palestinians killed since March 30 to 159

Israeli occupation tanks bombed on Tuesday morning the east of the Gaza Strip and killed two Palestinian youths, Palestinian security sources said.

Palestinian paramedics rushed to the bombed area and found a number of Palestinians wounded and two dead.

All the casualties were evacuated to the hospital, including the dead, who were torn into pieces as they were directly targeted.

The two Palestinian youths were members of the Palestinian national security services, which guard the eastern line of Gaza.

Killing these two youths brings the number of the Palestinians killed by the Israeli occupation since March 30, when the protests of the Great March of Return started, to 159.

(Source / 07.08.2018)

The Cost of Occupation: Jerusalem

06 AUG
11:48 PM

The Old City on the first day of Ramadan, 2017 

 

Three Israeli policies target Palestinian economic life in Jerusalem: the expulsion and banning of the Palestinian Chamber of Commerce; the separation barrier; and high municipal taxes.


Innumerable political challenges stand in the way of the development of a healthy economy for Palestinians in Israeli-occupied Jerusalem. Under the shaky status of “permanent residents,” Palestinians in the city continue to live without passports or political representation. A byzantine Israeli permit regime not only bars Palestinians from building new structures in Jerusalem, but also sanctions the systematic demolition of their homes. The result is the proliferation of Jewish-only Israeli settlements throughout the city and its surrounding hinterlands. An Israeli security dragnet further suffocates Palestinian life in the city. Israeli police, armed with combat-grade weapons and armor, routinely raid Palestinian neighborhoods and conduct sweeping arrests. Occasionally, Israeli police shoot and kill Palestinians without cause. Permanent checkpoints exist and flying checkpoints can be erected at moment’s notice.

Related to these political challenges are Israeli tactics of economic exploitation and economic warfare in the city. This report analyzes three Israeli policies that target Palestinian economic life in Jerusalem: the expulsion and banning of the Palestinian Chamber of Commerce; the separation barrier; and high municipal taxes. These policies intentionally prevent Palestinians from developing any sort of viable economic life and create unlivable conditions for Palestinians, another pretext for their expulsion from Jerusalem.

Creeping annexation:

The United Nations (UN) 1947 Partition Plan for Palestine declared Jerusalem a ‘corpus separatum’ under a special international regime administered by the UN. However, in 1948, Zionist paramilitaries and Israeli forces captured West Jerusalem and 40 nearby Palestinian villages, along with 78 percent of Historic Palestine. During its seizure of the holy city, Israel expelled between 64,000 and 80,000 Palestinians from their homes.[1]

After the 1948 war, Jerusalem was divided into east and west. The Israeli army controlled 85 percent of the city in the west; the Jordanian army controlled eleven percent of the city in the east; the remaining four percent was designated as “no man’s land.”[2] Two years later, in 1950, Israel passed the Absentee Property Law, which defined the property of Palestinians had who fled the area as “abandoned” and therefore under the ownership of the Jewish state.

In 1967, Israel captured the remaining 15 percent of Jerusalem and expelled another 26,000 Palestinians from the city. Israeli authorities quickly implemented policies to institutionalize the military occupation and establish a Jewish majority in Jerusalem. Three months after seizure of East Jerusalem, Israel conducted a census that became the determining factor regarding whether a Palestinian could claim Jerusalem residency. Palestinians who had fled the area to avoid Israeli violence lost residency rights to their hometowns. For those who were able to secure Jerusalem residency under these conditions, their status remained insecure: if a Palestinian resident of Jerusalem spends more than seven years in a foreign country, becomes a citizen of a foreign state, or relocates to the West Bank, Israeli authorities can revoke his or her residency rights.

Since 1995 Palestinians in Jerusalem have also been targeted by Israel’s “center of life” policy, which dictates that to maintain their residency rights, Palestinians must prove that their everyday lives revolve around the city. The threat posed by this policy to Palestinian life in Jerusalem intensified in 2002, when Israeli authorities altered the city by cordoning off the neighborhoods of Shuafat refugee camp, Kufr Aqab, al-Walaja and al-Sawahra with the separation wall. The wall, which was built with the dual intention of capturing as much territory as possible with as few Palestinians as possible, forced most Palestinian Jerusalemites to pass military checkpoints in order to move within their city. Indeed, all of the Jerusalem municipality’s urban plans overtly seek to maximize the number of Jews in the city and reduce the number of Palestinians. At least 14,416 Palestinians have lost their Jerusalem residency status from 1967 to 2014 due to this residency system. Meanwhile, Palestinian residents of the West Bank and Gaza have been barred from entering Jerusalem without special permission from the Israeli military since 1991. The construction of the separation barrier in 2002 strengthened Israel’s ability to maintain Jerusalem as off limits to these Palestinians.

The international community recognizes Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents as protected under the Fourth Geneva Convention. The UN Security Council maintains that all legislative measures and actions taken by Israel to alter the character and status of Jerusalem are null and void under UN resolutions 242, 267, 471, 476, 478.

The East Jerusalem economy:

From 1948 to 1967, under Jordanian rule, the Palestinian economy in East Jerusalem grew rapidly, primarily from tourism. According to the UN, in 1966 the tourism sector in the East Jerusalem and Bethlehem area contributed approximately 14 percent of the West Bank’s gross domestic product (GDP) and hosted 40 out of the West Bank’s 59 hotels. However, in 1967 Israeli rule over East Jerusalem severely damaged the Palestinian economy. Negative affects to the tourism industry were immediately felt: the number of hotel rooms in East Jerusalem declined by 40 percent between 1969 and 1973. When Palestinians resisted the Israeli occupation in the First and Second Intifadas, East Jerusalem’s economy was further eroded by punitive Israeli measures, including tax raids and curfews.

As will be discussed in further detail below, today the separation barrier, expulsion of the Palestinian Chamber of Commerce and high municipal taxes remain key threats to Palestinian business, life and presence in the city. The targeted nature of these policies is evident in the discrepancy of poverty rates for Jerusalem’s Palestinian versus Jewish population. While 30 percent of Israeli Jews in Jerusalem live below the poverty line, a staggering 75 percent of Palestinians in the city live below the poverty line. Though it is difficult to find unemployment rates for East Jerusalem, as usually the area is included with West Bank statistics, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reported between 2011 and 2015 that unemployment for Palestinians in Jerusalem fluctuated between 19 and 13 percent. According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), 25 percent of Palestinians in Jerusalem are employed in the restaurant or hotel sector; 20 percent are in education; 19 percent are service providers. Mohammad Qorish, an economist based in Jerusalem, adds that the total GDP contribution of East Jerusalem to the West Bank stands at 14 percent today.

The expulsion of the Palestinian Chamber of Commerce:

In 2001, the Israeli Internal Security Ministry ordered the closure of the East Jerusalem Chamber of Commerce (EJCC), an umbrella organization responsible for Palestinian economic development and research in the city. After being barred from Israeli controlled Jerusalem, the chamber relocated to al-Ram and al-Eizariya. Both areas are considered part of Jerusalem, but are severed from the city by the separation barrier. Consequently, the ability of the EJCC to facilitate economic development in Jerusalem has been severely constrained. “This situation has negatively affected the lives of many Palestinians, mainly merchants and businessmen, as [the EJCC] cannot facilitate business transactions or properly research the movement of trade in the city,” Director of the EJCC Loa’ al-Hussaini told the AIC. Indeed, not only is it difficult for the EJCC to reach out to merchants in Jerusalem, but Israeli authorities still consider such efforts illegal. When the EJCC held an event for Ramadan in Jerusalem in June 2018, titled “The Activities of the East Jerusalem Chamber of Commerce,” Israeli forces raided the hotel under the orders of Israeli public security minister Gilad Erdan and arrested Chairman of the EJCC Kamal Obeidat. Erdan shut down the event citing the EJCC’s affiliation with the PA.

The separation wall:

The construction of the separation wall in 2002 greatly diminished the customer base and profitability of Palestinian business owners in Jerusalem, as Palestinians in the West Bank could no longer access – much less shop in – the city. According to ACRI, over 5,000 Palestinian businesses in Jerusalem closed their doors between 1999 and 2012.

Ahmad Dandees, an owner of a furniture shop in Souq al-Qattaneen, a market adjacent to al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem, explained to the AIC that the Israeli separation barrier decreased his sales by about 50 percent. “Before [the wall], thousands of people from the West Bank used to come to Jerusalem as a part of their regular travels between West Bank cities, usually to shop [in the Old City] and pray at al-Aqsa. At that time, we were in a good position economically thanks to this internal tourism. But now, with the city closed, we are suffering from less and less customers.” Abu Khaled Younis, who owns a supermarket on al-Wad Street in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City estimates that the construction of the separation barrier caused his business to experience a 60 percent loss in sales.

The separation barrier also, of course, directly disrupts trade networks between Jerusalem and the West Bank. For example, today transferring goods between the two areas requires passing through a maze of Israeli checkpoints, which creates an everyday extra expense. Moreover, importing West Bank goods to Jerusalem, in some cases, is illegal under Israeli law. In June 2010, Israel banned pharmaceutical, dairy and meat produced in the West Bank from entering East Jerusalem, under the pretext that these Palestinian goods present a risk to public health. Head of the Palestinian Dairy Council Mohammad As-Sous called the measure a thinly veiled effort to further appropriate East Jerusalem customers for Israeli businesses. Since the initial ban, Israeli authorities temporarily resumed importing Palestinian meat and dairy products, only to ban them once again in 2016. In 2016, As-Sous explained that, if continued, the ban would cost many jobs at his dairy company Hamoda, where sales to East Jerusalem make up nearly 50 percent of total sales.

Cumbersome taxes:

The Israeli municipality regularly allocates just 7 to 12 percent of its annual budget to Palestinian areas in East Jerusalem, despite the fact that Palestinians constitute at least 40 percent of the city’s population. Consequently East Jerusalem suffers from crumbling infrastructure and a lack of city services. Regardless, Palestinians pay a disproportionately large amount of municipal taxes. In 2009, Palestinians paid some 55 percent of Jerusalem property taxes, according to the UN. Property taxes are the highest in East Jerusalem compared to all Israeli-controlled areas.

Palestinian business owners are not exempt from this lopsided system. They pay six Israeli taxes: property tax (arnona), value added tax, income tax, national insurance, payroll tax and license tax. According to Dandees, property tax is the most prohibitive of the Israeli taxes. “We pay 350 shekel for each meter of our store, which is very high.”

Conclusion:

A brief overview of the state of the Palestinian economy in Jerusalem shows that as Israeli authorities extend their control over Palestinian territory, their sights are also set on suffocating Palestinian business and appropriating Palestinian customer bases. In this sense, the destruction of the Palestinian economy in East Jerusalem stands as another political move by Israel meant to eradicate Palestinian life from the holy city and facilitate the expansion of Jewish presence there. The political framework behind the strangulation of the Palestinian economy debunks the notion flaunted by the Trump administration and other pro-Israel governments that exclusively improving the Palestinian economy without ending the occupation has any relevance to solving the colonial conflict.

(Source / 07.08.2018)