Gaza: Hamas facing severe financial crisis

Public officials withdraw money after the Palestinian government applied a 30 per cent wage deduction from Public officials salaries in Gaza on June 1, 2017 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Public officials withdraw money after the Palestinian government applied a 30 per cent wage deduction from Public officials salaries in Gaza on June 1, 2017

Hamas is facing a severe financial crisis which is curbing its ability to pay Palestinians’ salaries in Gaza.

Hamas is suffering from a severe financial crisis which is impacting its activities in the besieged Gaza Strip, Anadolu Agency reported yesterday. Anadolu added that the crisis is no longer related only to government institutions in the Strip – which have been run by the movement since 2007 – but has now also affected Hamas’ other institutions.

Anadolu quoted personnel who work in Hamas’ private institutions as saying they “have not been paid full and stable salaries for several months”.

Hamas’ financial crisis was thrust into the spotlight last week when the movement’s Al-Aqsa TV announced it would stop broadcasting immediately. The channel admitted it faced a crippling a financial crisis caused by Israel’s complete destruction of its headquarters in November, in the midst of escalated tensions and violence in the besieged enclave.

However, Head of Hamas’ political bureau Ismail Haniyeh quickly intervened, stressing that the TV channel would not be suspended and would continue its work.

Anadolu quoted Director General of Al-Aqsa TV, Wissam Afifah, as saying that “the financial crisis is related to the accumulation of debts by those companies broadcasting the channel, in addition to other operating debts accumulated during the last period”. Afifah added:

Previously we were managing the debt crisis, but because of the bombing of the channel’s headquarters a few weeks ago, we suffered losses exceeding four million dollars and lost all the channel’s capabilities. The crisis has expanded and dealing with it became a more difficult task.

Read: Hamas slams court ruling dissolving parliament

Afifah continued: “We are currently managing the channel from an emergency management site and we are witnessing an unprecedented crisis that has not reached this level of financial deficit before.”

Although Al-Aqsa TV is currently seeking donations to alleviate the situation, Afifah expressed his belief that the crisis is not limited to the channel but instead is a reflection of the broader financial conditions in the Gaza Strip caused by the Israeli blockade.

Employees working in other Hamas-affiliated institutions said that for months they have been paid only 50 per cent of their monthly salaries because of austerity measures taken by their institutions.

A staff member in one of Hamas’ media organisations in Gaza City, who did not wish to be named, said that he and his colleagues have been paid about 50 per cent of their salaries for more than 40 days. He added that: “This decision was taken because of the financial crisis in the institution,” which receives funding from Hamas, pointing out that there is no sign that they will be paid their full salaries in the near future.

Read:  Hamas reiterates commitment to national reconciliation

(Source / 29.12.2018)

On 40th Friday of Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Civilian With Disability and Wound 18 Other Civilians, including 4 Children and 2 Paramedics

28 Dec 11:06 PM

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR): On Friday evening, 28 December 2018, Israeli forces Killed a Palestinian civilian with disability and wounded 18 other civilians, including 4 children and 2 paramedics (female and male), in the peaceful demonstrations in the eastern Gaza Strip despite the decreasing intensity of the demonstrations there for the ninth week consecutively and absence of most means usually used during the demonstrations since the beginning of the Return and Breaking the Siege March 8 months ago.

According to observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers, for the ninth week since the beginning of the Return March on 30 March 2018, though the demonstrators were around tens of meters away from the border fence, the Israeli forces who stationed in prone positions and in military jeeps along the fence continued to use excessive force against the demonstrators by opening fire and firing teargas canisters at them, without the later posing any imminent threat or danger to the life of soldiers.

According to PCHR’s documentations, the civilian killed was the 8th one of persons with disabilities, who were killed by the Israeli forces during the Return March.

On 28 December 2018, the incidents were as follows:

At approximately 14:30, thousands of civilians, including women, children and entire families, started swarming to the five encampments established by the Supreme National Authority of Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege adjacent to the border fence with Israel in eastern Gaza Strip cities, except for northern Gaza due to bad weather.

Hundreds, including children and women, approached the border fence with Israel in front of each encampment and gathered tens of meters away from the main border fence, attempting to throw stones at the Israeli forces.

Although the demonstrators gathered in areas open to the Israeli snipers stationed on the top of the sand berms and military watchtowers and inside and behind the military jeeps, the Israeli forces fired live and rubber bullets in addition to a barrage of teargas canisters.

The Israeli shooting, which continued at around 17:00, resulted in the killing of a civilian identified as Karam Mohamed No’man Fayyad (26), from Khan Yunis.

Karam was hit with a live bullet to the head at approximately 16:00, while present around 150 meters away from the border fence. He was then taken to the European Hospital, where his death was declared at approximately 18:00. Karam’s family said that he was suffering from mental disorder.

Moreover, 18 civilians, including 4 children and 2 paramedics (female and male), were wounded. In addition, hundreds suffered tear gas inhalation and seizures due to tear gas canisters that were fired by the Israeli forces from the military jeeps and riffles in the eastern Gaza Strip.

The following table shows the number of civilian victims due to the Israeli forces’ suppression of the Great March of Return since its beginning on 30 March:

NotesMedical CrewsJournalistsWomenChildrenTotalCasualties
Among those Killed, there were 8 Persons with Disabilities and a girl.32135180Killed
Among those wounded, 513 are in serious condition and 101 had their lower or upper limbs amputated; 89 lower-limb amputations, 2 upper-limb amputations, 10 finger amputations and 17 children had their limbs amputated according to the Ministry of Health.   The number of those wounded only include those wounded with live bullets and directly hit with tear gas canisters as there have been thousand others who suffered tear gas inhalation and sustained bruises.155134292183210,066Wounded

PCHR emphasizes that continuously targeting civilians, who exercise their right to peaceful assembly or while carrying out their humanitarian duty, is a serious violation of the rules of international law, international humanitarian law, the ICC Rome Statute and Fourth Geneva Convention.

Thus, PCHR calls upon the ICC Prosecutor to open an official investigation in these crimes and to prosecute and hold accountable all those applying or involved in issuing orders within the Israeli Forces at the security and political echelons.

PCHR hereby condemns the excessive use of force and commission of crimes by the Israeli forces despite the prevailed calmness, believing it is as a result of Israel’s enjoying impunity thanks to the U.S. and so encouraging the Israeli forces to commit further crimes upon an official decision by the highest military and political echelons.

PCHR also reiterates its call upon the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances and their obligations under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

PCHR calls upon Switzerland, in its capacity as the Depository State for the Convention, to demand the High Contracting Parties to convene a meeting and ensure Israel’s respect for this Convention, noting that these grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions regarding the guarantee of Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in the occupied territories

(Source / 29.12.2018)

Palestinian Students Barred from Reaching Schools in Jenin

29 Dec 5:15 AM

Israeli forces, on Wednesday morning, blocked passage through Um El-Rayhan checkpoint, near Ya’bad town, to the south of Jenin, so as to  halt the movement of Palestinian citizens and students.

Local resources reported, according to Al Ray, that Palestinian students from Um El-Rayhan and Daher El-Abed towns were deprived of reaching their schools due to the checkpoint closure, as usual.

The Director of Education in Jenin condemned, in a press release, the Israeli military’s procedure and considered it a disturbance, as it prevented the students from performing their final examinations.

(Source / 29.12.2018)

Israeli Soldiers Attack The Weekly Nonviolent Procession In Bil’in

28 Dec 11:38 PM

Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, dozens of Palestinian, Israeli and international peace activists, holding the weekly nonviolent procession against the illegal Annexation Wall and Colonies, in Bil’in village, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah.

The nonviolent protesters marched from the center of the village carrying Palestinian flags, and chanting for national unity, ongoing resistance against the Israeli occupation until the liberation of Palestine, the release of all detainees and the Right of Return of the refugees.

They stressed on the importance of remaining steadfast, and the continuation of popular resistance against the illegal Israeli occupation, and its apartheid policies.

The Popular Committee against the Annexation Wall and Colonies in Bil’in said the soldiers fired gas bombs and concussion grenades at the protesters, and chased many of them but were unable to detain any of them.

(Source / 29.12.2018)

After killing disabled youth, Israeli fighter jet strikes Gaza

The strike came hours after Israeli snipers had killed young disabled Palestinian and wounded six others

An Israeli warplane carried out an airstrike in the Gaza Strip following, causing horror among women and children, Palestinian security sources said.  

In a statement, the Israeli military spokesman recognised the attack and claimed it targeted a Palestinian resistance post in the southern Gaza Strip.

Palestinian medical sources reported no injuries, but reiterated that airstrike caused repulsive horror among tens of children and women living in the vicinity of the targeted place.

The airstrike came hours after a young disabled Palestinian was killed and six others were injured by Israeli army fire during anti-occupation protests along the eastern fence of Gaza.

Demonstrators demand the right to return to their homes and villages in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948.  

They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.  

Since the rallies began on March 30, more than 250 Palestinians have been martyred — and thousands more injured — by Israeli troops deployed along the fence.

(Source / 29.12.2018)

ISRAEL KILLS ONE, WOUNDS 18 IN BESIEGED GAZA DURING THE GREAT RETURN MARCH

One person has been killed and 18 wounded by Israel’s occupation forces during the 40th Great Return March Friday demonstration in the besieged Gaza Strip on December 28th.

Karam Mohamed No’man Fayyad(26) was shot in head east of Khan Younis in the southern part of the small coastal enclave around 16:00 pm local Palestine time. He was standing 150 meters from the border with ethnically cleansed Palestine 1948 when he was shot. Fayyad died in hospital before 18:00, when his death was announced.

According to his family, he suffered from ‘a mental disorder’. He is the eight physically or mentally handicapped person who has been killed by Israeli troops during the Great Return March, which started on March 30th.

Among the 18 wounded are 4 children and 2 paramedics, one male and one female, and one journalist. One of the children was shot in neck by Israeli sniper. Two of the wounded suffered ‘life-threatening injuries’.

Beyond the people directly physically wounded, hundreds of people suffered from effects of tear gas inhalation.

(Source / 29.12.2018)