PA: Palestinian water crisis will end when occupation does

Israeli settlers flood Khan al Ahmar with wastewater

Head of the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) Mazen Ghonim said yesterday that the Palestinian water crisis will end only when the Israeli occupation does, Al-Watan Voice reported.

During the opening of a new water project, Ghoneim stressed that the Palestinians have been suffering from a severe shortage of running and drinking water due to the strict unjustified Israeli measures regarding the access to water resources.

He said that the PWA has carried out numerous projects to help resolve the water crisis, including building desalination plants, extending pipelines and putting pressure on Israel to increase the portion of water sold to Palestinians.

READ: Syria women miscarry in Lebanon refugee camp due to water pollution

Ghoneim reiterated that the Israeli occupation has been imposing a water siege on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip for years.

He noted that the Israeli occupation controls 85 per cent of the Palestinian water resources and has undermined the implementation of many projects related to water and sanitation. He also said that Israel carries various violations related to water.

The Palestinian official said that the PWA’s projects had improved access to water and there are more efforts being carried out in this regard.

How many litres of water do Gazans have access to?

MEMO #Infographic

READ: ow.ly/lM6m30mHKYa

(Source / 05.12.2018)

Israel military court confirms administrative detention order for activists

An Isreali soldier scuffles with Palestinian youth during a protest on 17 December 2010. [Najeh Hashlamoun/Apaimages]

An Isreali soldier searches a Palestinian youth during a protest on 17 December 2010

An Israeli military court has confirmed six-month administrative detention orders for two Palestinian activists detained in the West Bank three months ago.

According to Addameer, Ofer Israeli military court confirmed the orders yesterday which were issued in late October by the occupation’s military commander for the West Bank.

The two activists in question, Haitham Siaj and Saif Al-Idresi, were arrested on 11 September and subjected to weeks of “long and harsh interrogation at Al-Mascobiyya interrogation centre”, stated the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group.

“During interrogation, Saif and Haitham experienced torture and ill-treatment which included long interrogation sessions, deprivation of sleep and food, stress positions and threats,” Addameer said.

READ: Israel renews administrative detention of Khalida Jarrar

“The interrogators used all means to pressure both prisoners; they brought Haitham’s mother to the interrogation centre to pressure him.”

Addameer added that the issuance of the orders for Al-Idresi and Siaj” is further “evidence that the policy of administrative detention is used when there are no charges found”.

Israeli occupation authorities routinely subject Palestinian prisoners to detention without charge or trial based on secret “evidence”, a tactic used to target activists, students, politicians and others.

Both Haitham and Saif are former prisoners in Israeli jails and have also been previously detained by the Palestinian Authority.

” #AdministrativeDetention has a beginning, but doesn’t have an end”

#Infographic by Visualizing Palestine

(Source / 05.12.2018)

Calls for international investigation in to Israel’s killing of Palestinian with learning difficulties

People carry the body of 18-year old Palestinian Mohammed Hossam Habaly, who was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers during a dawn raid in western Tulkarm, at his funeral in Tulkarm, West Bank on 4 December, 2018

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has called for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Israel’s targeting of a Palestine who had learning difficulties.

Twenty-two-year-old Muhammad Habali  was killed by the Israeli occupation forces in Tulkarm city of occupied West Bank in the early hours of yesterday morning in what the ministry has said amount to an extrajudicial execution.

A refugee in Tulkarm refugee camp, Muhammad had learning difficulties which limiting his ability to reason. Video shared on social media appears to show Muhammad being shot in the back when he posed no threat to occupation forces who had stormed the camp.

Israel’s targeting of Palestinians does not take in to account the threat they cause or any mental or physical disabilities they may suffer. In 2016 occupation forces killed Oraif Jaradat who was born with Down Syndrome. His father died 40 days after his son.

No soldier was charged with Oraif’s murder and Israel has closed the investigation in to the event. The family is appealing against the decision.

READ: ‘I did nothing to harm Israel,’ says child shot by sniper. ‘I only raised the flag’

In December last year the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said he was “truly shocked” at the killing of a wheelchair-bound Palestinian amputee by Israeli occupation forces in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Malki met ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda today in The Hague during the 17th session of the Assembly of States Parties, and highlighted the Muhammad’s case. Al-Malki also urged the prosecutor for speedy investigations in to the continuous crimes committed by the occupation against the Palestinian people.

(Source / 05.12.2018)

Top PA officials met with Lieberman weeks before his resignation

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman

Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein Al-Sheikh yesterday confirmed reports that he had met former Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman two weeks before his resignation, Quds Press reported.

In a statement, Al-Sheikh said Chief of PA Intelligence Services Majed Faraj joined the meeting and they discussed with Lieberman the decisions of the PLO’s Central Committee to halt security cooperation with occupation forces if it did not commit to former agreements.

On Monday, the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (Kan) revealed that the meeting had taken place. Azzam Al-Ahmad, a senior Fatah leader, confirmed the meeting on Monday to the Times of Israel and claimed that the Palestinian sides planned to discuss modifying the Paris Economic Protocol.

READ: Lieberman angry $15m Qatar aid to be sent to Gaza 

Kan reported Palestinian officials saying that Lieberman told the PA officials he was not like Netanyahu, he did not agree with him about everything.

Al-Sheikh adde that they discussed the Israeli violations of previous agreements signed with the PLO and PA, mainly in Jerusalem and regarding settlement expansion and daily raids on Palestinian areas.

This meeting came in spite of the remarks made by the PA and PLO officials in different occasions that security cooperation with Israel was halted.

Lieberman resigned on 14 November following a disagreement over the recently-signed ceasefire with Gaza.

(Source / 05.12.2018)

Head International Committee to Support Gaza calls for support for special needs in Gaz

Two Palestinian amputee men sit in the waiting room at the ICRC for Artificial limbs and Polio Center (ALPC) in Gaza City on October 25, 2018.

Dr Essam Yousef, Head of the Popular International Committee to Support Gaza, called for intensifying support for people with special needs and patients in Gaza as they are the most vulnerable and suffering group due to the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip for almost 12 years.

In a statement issued to mark the International Day of Disabled Persons on Monday, Yousef said that those with special needs and chronic diseases in Gaza are experiencing different forms of suffering due to the tragic economic and social conditions that the Gazan society suffers from because of the siege.

He noted that this vulnerable group of people in Gaza suffer the most with regards to obtaining their right to heal care, education, and other basic needs.

According to Yousef, poverty and unemployment rates among people with special needs are dramatically increasing. He has made it clear that he cannot disregard or downplay the suffering of other groups in Gaza’s society, such as orphans, women, and the elderly.

READ: Israel court rules against Gaza father who lost 3 daughters in 2008 war 

Yousef added that the suffering of those with special needs is different to others, as the suffering is further complicated by their health conditions and the situation of their society, which is suffering from the siege.

He also noted that the number of people with special needs in Gaza is increasing as a result of the repeated Israeli attacks and wars on the Gaza Strip, as well as the fact that Israel has let its war machine lose and allowed it to target innocent civilians.

“The Great return Marches have also doubled the number of individuals with special needs in Gaza after the Israeli soldiers targeted thousands of protestors participating in the peaceful marches. A large number of them were seriously injured, and many have become classified as individuals with special needs,” he said.

He added, “We cannot ignore the role of the illegal blockade and its catastrophic effects on the health sector that have lasted for many years. This has caused the deterioration and exhaustion of medical equipment, a lack of medical expertise, and the prohibition of patients from leaving Gaza for treatment, especially in the hospitals located in the West Bank and the occupied Palestinian territories in 1948.”

(Source / 05.12.2018)

‘Life Is All About Trying’: Disabled Palestinians Defy Challenges

Despite the obstacles, Palestinians in Gaza show a strong will to defeat their disabilities and achieve their dreams.

By Mersiha Gadzo

Some laughed at him, others told him that he wouldn’t succeed. But with a strong will and positive attitude, Abdulrahman Abu Rawaa proved them wrong.

With just one arm and a leg each, he can easily ride his bike along Gaza’s sandy streets.

He took off the pedal and chains to adjust the bike to his needs, allowing himself to easily balance on the bike and push himself forward.

It’s the easiest way for him to get around his neighbourhood in the “Bedouin Village” in the northern Gaza Strip.

“Learning how to ride a bike has been my greatest accomplishment. It might not look so, but it really is,” Abu Rawaa said.

“Everyone told me it’s dangerous; some people criticised me [for trying] and even made fun of me at first. But I challenged all of that. I’ve proven to myself and to others that my disability isn’t really going to ‘disable’ me.”

For the 23-year-old, life has always been about trying.

Having been born without an arm and then losing his leg after two surgeries, he hasn’t allowed his physical disability to prevent him from trying to live life to the fullest.

Monday marks the International Day of Disabled Persons. Despite the immense obstacles, Palestinians in Gaza have shown a strong will to defeat their disabilities and achieve their dreams.

For the two million Palestinians living in Gaza under an Israeli-Egyptian siege, life is already difficult enough.

But for those with physical disabilities, they face additional challenges – something as simple as moving from one neighbourhood to the other in one of the world’s most densely populated areas is an immense challenge.

Most buildings are not accessible for the disabled people. There are no braille signs for the visually-impaired. With a dire economic situation, there are little to no resources to assist them.

Artificial limbs made in Gaza are typically of poor quality since the blockade has disrupted imports of prosthetic limbs and raw materials used to make them.

The limbs are made out of hundreds of different parts, but even if a single part is missing, it’s difficult for the limb to function.

Consequently, for many in Gaza, the prosthetic limbs that they use are for aesthetic purposes – to be able to put on a prosthetic leg or arm while taking photos for special occasions, for instance.

Rawaa had tried wearing an artificial limb, but it was terribly uncomfortable, despite costing $2,000 – an exorbitant amount for the average family in Gaza.

It was impossible for Rawaa to walk with it, as it pulled and scratched his skin.

In the first grade, he tried to use a wheelchair, which was also futile. He would fall to the ground and would have to push his chest against the wheelchair seat to push forward and move.

“But in fourth grade, I once saw my brother Tareq riding his bike and I asked him to let me try. It was a good try, although I fell. My father was impressed that I can balance myself on the bike, and I asked him for a bike. He bought me one. Step by step, I did just fine. And in the sixth grade, I totally depended on it to go to school, though my school was around two kilometres away from home.”

Stigmatisation and a lack of knowledge about disabilities persist in Gaza, Rawaa explained. Some ask him how he can cook or fix his bike on his own. For Rawaa, these are strange questions since he is entirely self-reliant.

“When my bike is broken, I’m the one who fixes it,” Rawaa said. “Some people say ‘You can’t!’ Immediately, to them I say, why don’t you try? It could work and it could not, but at least try. If you’re willing to try, you’ll succeed in one way or another. Everyone should have the will to try. Life is all about trying.”

‘They’ve amputated my leg, not my dream’

While misconceptions about disabled persons persist, Rawaa believes it has decreased over the years due to the three Israeli military assaults on Gaza and the Israeli attacks on the Great Return March demonstrations, which has left dozens of unarmed demonstrators disabled.

According to Gaza’s health ministry, at least 5,300 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli bullets since the start of demonstrations on March 30. AT least 68 Palestinians have had their legs amputated.

It has become a common sight today on the streets to see Palestinians with missing limbs. Unlike Rawaa, who was born with a disability, they face a harsh learning curve in adapting to their new life.

Alaa Aldali, 21, has been trying to persuade himself that he was born without a leg to adjust more easily. Israeli forces shot his leg with an expanding “butterfly” bullet on March 30, the first day of the Great Return March demonstrations.

He says he was standing with his friends more than 300 metres away from the Israeli fence when he was suddenly hit in the leg. He found himself on the ground, with smoke coming out of his wound.

“It was scary… It wasn’t like a bullet; it looked like a grenade exploded in my leg,” Aldali said.

After undergoing eight surgeries in the hopes of saving his leg, it was amputated due to serious damage to his arteries and nerves.

“It’s quite hard, but that’s all I can do now. You know, just on the way home, while I was getting out of the taxi, I thought my right leg was still there and I almost fell,” Aldali said from his bedroom in Rafah, in southern Gaza.

Trophies, medals and plaques decorate his table. For the past four years, he has spent practically every waking moment on the move, cycling, and would mostly come home just to sleep.

Ranked third in the occupied Palestinian territories, Aldali’s dream of representing Palestine internationally presented itself with an invitation to compete in the international cycling competition that took place in Indonesia in late August.

But his dream was crushed that fateful afternoon. Since then it’s been an uphill battle – mentally and physically.

Aldali says he’s determined to keep fighting for his dream of competing for Palestine as a cyclist, even if it’s just with one leg.

“They’ve amputated my leg, but not my dream. I’m coming back to do my favourite sport. We’ll also return to our home. Those sacrifices are not going to no avail,” Aldali said.

Heavy unemployment rate

For others, such as 27-year-old Abeer Elhorokly, the Israeli occupation affects them before they’re born.

During the First Intifada in 1992, her then-pregnant mother was subjected to gas inhalation by Israeli forces. Consequently, Elhorokly was born with deformed nervous cells, which left her in a wheelchair.

Like Aldali, Elhorokly found her passion in playing competitive sports – basketball and tennis. Her team has achieved first place in the Gaza Basketball League for the third time in a row and she aspires to compete internationally in tennis for disabled athletes.

However, with the siege on Gaza now in its 12th year, many Palestinians – disabled or not – are deprived of such opportunities.

Gaza’s job market remains stagnant with an unemployment rate of 44 percent, but for the disabled population, it’s at 90 percent.

Elhorokly graduated two years ago with a BA in Public Relations and Media, and is determined to find work. Palestinian labour law stipulates that five percent of its workforce must include disabled people. However, this isn’t applied on the ground, Elhorokly said.

“I want to be a big journalist and prove that we’re capable. To be a journalist and have a disability at the same time is a real challenge and I love challenges,” Elhorokly said.

Rawaa has been raising chickens in his backyard for a living. He would like to eventually afford a new home as his family’s house becomes flooded in winter.

He has been approaching various institutions with his proposal, trying to find funding to expand his chicken-raising project. Rawaa has yet to find support, but he says he will keep trying.

“Never let anyone or anything stay in your way. If you think you can’t take the stairs by yourself, ask yourself – did I try? You can always find ways. Create your own solution,” Rawaa said.

“One should always have the hope and courage to jump over life’s challenges – to try at least.”

(Source / 05.12.2018)

Israel committed 2,493 violations in West Bank in November

RAMALLAH, PALESTINOW.COM — The Israeli occupation committed 2,493 violations in the West Bank and Jerusalem in November 2018, according to recent statistics.

November witnessed a noticeable increase in the Israeli violations committed against the Palestinians, especially in Tulkarem province where daily arrest and house raid campaigns were launched in search for Ashraf Na’alweh who is accused of carrying out an anti-occupation attack.

Based on statistics issued by Hamas’s information department in the West Bank, 362 violations were committed in Jerusalem alone.

The same statistics show that the Israeli occupation army conducted 1,221 raids and break-ins, while 65 house demolition and property confiscation cases were documented.

The Israeli occupation forces, during the reported period, killed three Palestinians, and 117 were injured in different attacks.

As for the arrests, 392 arrests were reported in November, including 123 in Jerusalem, 53 in al-Khalil, 42 in Bethlehem, 41 in Ramallah, 29 in Nablus, 28 in Qalqilya, 26 in Tulkarem, 24 in Jenin, 12 in Salfit, 6 in Jericho, and 8 in Tubas.

The Israeli occupation forces demolished 26 houses, 17 of which in Jerusalem, deported 34 Palestinians out of Jerusalem, and banned the travel of 275 West Bank Palestinians.

The Israeli settlers carried out 19 break-ins into al-Aqsa Mosque, under the protection of Israeli police, and launched 75 different attacks on Palestinian citizens and their property.

(Source / 05.12.2018)

REPORTS: ISRAELI OCCUPATION COST LIVES OF 24 PALESTINIANS IN NOVEMBER, 345 IN LAST YEAR

Two new reports show the terrible effects of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian lives since United States’ president Donald Trump made his Jerusalem declaration on December 6th 2017.

Jerusalem Centre for Studies of Palestinian and Israeli Affairs’ report counts the loss of 345 Palestinian lives as a direct result of the Israeli occupation since that fatal day, including 71 children and 9 women.

According to an another new report by PLO Israel killed 24 Palestinians in November, 21 in the besieged Gaza Strip and 3 in the occupied West Bank. Over 260 Palestinians were arrested by Israel during November according to the same source.

According to our own count, the occupation cost the lives of three children during November. One of them was a 14-year-old Muhammad Nasser al-Rifi (in photo) who had been wounded in an Israeli air-strike on August 21st 2014 in Gaza.

(Source / 05.12.2018)

Israel Will No Longer Recognize Degrees from Al-Quds University

05 DEC
3:44 AM

After the initial hope that degrees from Al-Quds University, located in Abu Dis town, East Jerusalem, would be officially recognized by the Israeli government, the latter’s Ministry of Labor and Welfare Services has revoked its decision.

This retracting decision comes within the pretext that the Palestinian Authority-administered college named after Jerusalem, allegedly supports terrorism against the state of Israel.

Israeli Minister of Welfare and Social Services, Haim Katz, said that the ministry “will not grant recognition to an institution that supports terrorism”, after it had initially lobbied to acknowledge the validity of social work degrees due to the lack of staff in Israel.

However, despite the shortage of social workers in Israeli and Arab neighborhoods, the official recognition of the degree has been halted, as Katz alluded to not wanting to tarnish Israel’s integrity by employing people from institutions that have been deemed  anti-Israeli and who “undermine the legitimacy of Israel”.

The university, which is surrounded by the Israeli separation wall and in C area of the West Bank (controlled by Israeli Occupation Authorities) has over 20,000 students study at the University in bachelors and masters degrees, according to the PNN.

(Source / 05.12.2018)

ISM Report: Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine Continues in Fasayil

05 DEC
4:23 AM

12/05/18 International Solidarity Movement, in coordination with Jordan Valley Solidarity, Nablus team, Fasayil al Wusta, Occupied Palestine

The ethnic cleansing of Palestine continues. Dunam by dunam, village by village, house by house, the people of Palestine face a slow, systematic genocide in their homeland. Two houses were demolished in the south of the Jordan Valley, in the village of Fasayil, on Sunday morning. The Israeli government did not issue a warning. The village of 1,300 people has been facing Israeli assaults on their land since the early seventies, with the construction of two settlements on either side, and a huge farmland in front of them, all less than a kilometre away.

But, it was in 2010 that the Israelis came and virtually destroyed the entire village of Fasayil al Wusta. The residents have, since then, built the village back up.

Hassan Mohammed Hussein A´Zayed built a house for his son, who suffers from mental disabilities, and is sensitive to hot weather. “That house cost me 15,000 shekels to build, not only because of building materials, but because of the air conditioning (unit),” he said. The house only lasted one year before it was bulldozed on Sunday, the AC unit along with it.

A few metres in front of the newly destroyed house, one can see at least three other piles of rubble that used to be housing units, all belonging to Hassan. This was the seventh time a house of his was demolished. “They keep destroying them. Sometimes with warning, sometimes not. It´s a random policy. There´s no way of knowing what they´re going to do.” Hassan has 8 children.

Aeman Rashaeda, father of four, whose wife teaches at the nearby school, was the next to lose his house, on the same road as Hassan´s. When the Israelis approached him, they told him that it was forbidden to build, and that he was living in a closed military firing zone.

When the complete destruction of the village took place 8 years ago, 10 families immediately fled. This is a village that receives only 1,500 litres of water for each household per week; that can never get a permit to farm or build; that cannot dig a well deeper than 150 meters, enforced by Israeli occupation law.

Before the 1967 invasion of the West Bank, this village shared water from a natural spring 4 kilometers up a nearby mountain. It has, since then, been surrounded by 3 Israeli wells – the water now privatised – controlled for settler use. 60 percent of the Jordan Valley has been closed by the Israeli occupation for “military firing and security zone(s)”, but it´s been well known for years to have actually been used for agribusiness. Pick any one feature of the military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, and you will find a policy of theft, of racism, of genocide.

Visit the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

Human Interest 11/30/18 PLO: Solidarity with Palestinians not Just an Abstract Expression of Empathy

(Source / 05.12.2018)