Israel’s occupation forces destroyed a house belonging to Mohammad Mousa Zreina and his family in the West Bank town of Beit Jala on the morning of Wednesday February 13th. According to Zreina occupation forces assaulted the family and forced them out of their home, situated in shadow of the illegal Apartheid and Annexation Wall in the Bir Ouna neighbourhood, and demolished it. Israel’s occupation troops claimed that the 80-square-meter house was built without permission from Israeli occupation authorities. This is a second time that Israel has destroyed the family’s house; first time it did so was in 2016.   

  (Source / 16.02.2019)

Hamas’ Haniyeh to conduct international tour

Chairman of the political bureau of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh speaks during the funeral of Palestinian teenagers Louay Kahil and Amir Al-Namara, who were killed in an Israeli air strike at a mosque during their funeral in Gaza City on 15 July, 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

Chairman of the political bureau of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh speaks during the funeral of Palestinian teenagers Louay Kahil and Amir Al-Namara, who were killed in an Israeli air strike at a mosque during their funeral in Gaza City on 15 July, 2018

Senior Hamas leader Mohammad Nazzal has revealed that his movement is preparing for an international tour for its chief Ismail Haniyeh.

Nazzal pointed to arrangements with Egypt to facilitate this, Al-Ray News Agency reported yesterday, reiterating that Egypt has pledged not to close the Rafah Crossing – the only civilian exit point from the besieged Gaza Strip – because Egypt is keen not to punish the Palestinian people.

He also confirmed previous reports that Hamas is following up on the issue of Palestinian prisoners in Egyptian jails, stating that the issue of four Palestinians kidnapped after while travelling through Rafah Crossing a couple of years ago is on top of Hamas’ agenda.

“There are important promises to release Palestinian prisoners from Egyptian jails and Hamas is following up the issue of all Palestinian prisoners in Egypt, not only those affiliated with Hamas,” he said.

Israel’s Lieberman: Next confrontation with Gaza must be the last

Regarding the truce with Israel, Nazzal said that there have been clear understandings but Israel continues to violate them “due to the internal Israeli conflict”. He noted that Hamas’ efforts to stabilise the truce would not stop until an agreement was reached and enforced.

Nazzal added: “The protests of the Great March of Return and the use of different methods by protesters is linked to the progress of the truce understanding,” noting that Hamas had pressured the UN’s Middle East Envoy Nicolay Mladenov to uphold its responsibility in this regard, given that the UN had promised to lift the Israeli siege on Gaza.

Nazzal stated that his movement is cooperating with several parties, including the UN, Qatar and Egypt in order to lift the suffering inflicted on the Palestinian people in Gaza. He revealed there are certain sides which do not want the siege to be lifted, but rather want Gaza to surrender to the Israeli occupation, though he did not elaborate on which sides thought as such.

Read: Israel preparing major new attack on Gaza

(Source / 16.02.2019)

PA refuses participation in Israel-Arab railway

This picture taken on September 25, 2018 on the outskirts of Jerusalem shows a new high speed train travelling between Jerusalem and Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport with the Palestinian village of Beit Iksa in the background [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images]

This picture taken on September 25, 2018 on the outskirts of Jerusalem shows a new high speed train travelling between Jerusalem and Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport with the Palestinian village of Beit Iksa in the background

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has refused to participate in an Israeli project which will see a railway connect Israel to Arab states.

The PA Minister of Civil Affairs and Member of Fatah Central Committee, Hussein Al-Sheikh, said yesterday that the PA has refused to join the project, Al-Wattan Voice reported. “We refused this completely,” Al-Sheikh wrote on his Facebook page. “No to normalising ties with Israel and no to economic solutions which reinforce the occupation,” he added, stressing that a “crumb of bread is not an alternative for a free country”.

Israeli reports have recently noted progress in the project, which became known as the Railway of Peace, after the visit of the Israeli Transport Minister Yisrael Katz to Oman in November.

The railway aims to connect Israel with Jordan and the Gulf States in order to “achieve peace and economic cooperation”, according to Katz, who has called for affording the budget for the project. The Palestinians, however, have lambasted the idea, seeing it as part of the Gulf’s increasing willingness to ignore their cause in order to further normalise ties with Israel.

Bahrain FM: Confronting Iran is more important than Palestine

(Source / 16.02.2019)

UN Report: Israel continues to kill Palestinian children

RAMALLAH, PALESTINOW.COM — Two Palestinian children were killed by Israeli forces during the ‘Great March of Return’ protests in the blockaded Gaza Strip without posing a threat to the soldiers, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has reported.

The two boys (14 and 17-years-old) were shot with live ammunition and killed on Friday, 8 February in two incidents near the fence.

According to human rights groups, both incidents occurred between 60-250 meters from the fence and the two boys posed no threat to Israeli forces. On the same day, according to Israeli sources, Palestinians threw explosive devices at Israeli forces and attempted to breach the fence into Israel, resulting in no Israeli injuries.

OCHA said another two Palestinians died of wounds sustained previously, and 530 were injured.

The other two fatalities, both men, succumbed to wounds sustained in previous demonstrations on 18 and 29 January, including a demonstration at the beach held to protest the naval blockade; one of the fatalities was shot with live ammunition and the other one was struck by a tear-gas canister.

These incidents bring the number of Palestinian fatalities sustained during the Gaza protests since March 2018 to 263, including 49 children, OCHA added.

Of those injured during the reporting period, 248 were hospitalized, including 64 people hit by live ammunition; the remainder were treated in the field, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza.

On at least 40 occasions outside of the protests, Israeli forces opened warning fire on land and at sea in Gaza. One Palestinian was injured in one of the incidents. Additionally, five Palestinian boys were detained, reportedly as they were attempting to infiltrate into Israel. On three other occasions, Israeli forces entered Gaza and carried out land-leveling and excavation operations in the vicinity of the perimeter fence.

In the West Bank, two Palestinians, including a girl, were shot and killed, and one boy was injured, by Israeli forces in two alleged attacks near Israeli checkpoints. On 30 January, an Israeli private security guard shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian girl at the al-Zaayyem checkpoint (Jerusalem), allegedly after she attempted to carry out a stabbing attack; her body has been withheld by Israeli forces.

On 4 February, Israeli forces shot and killed a 20-year-old man and injured a 16-year-old boy. Since the start of 2019, three Palestinians, including one child, have been killed by Israeli forces in alleged anti-occupation attacks carried out in the West Bank.

In the West Bank, 35 Palestinians, including at least eleven children, were injured by Israeli forces during protests and clashes. Almost half of the total injuries (16) were recorded during the weekly demonstration against settlement expansion on Palestinian land in al-Mughayyir village (Ramallah).

Of the total injuries during the reporting period, 34 per cent were caused by live ammunition, 31 per cent by tear gas inhalation requiring medical treatment, 31 per cent by rubber bullets, and the remaining 4 per cent by other means.

At the same time, fifteen structures were demolished or seized in occupied Jerusalem and Area C on the grounds of a lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing 39 Palestinians and affecting the livelihoods of some 70 others. Seven of the ten structures targeted in occupied Jerusalem, all residential, were demolished by their owners following the receipt of final demolition orders, reportedly to avoid incurring additional fines. The other five structures were located in Area C. Overall, 48 structures have been demolished or seized by Israel in the West Bank since the start of 2019.

On 6 February, Israeli forces displaced, for up to 14 hours, some 400 Palestinians in the northern Jordan Valley during Israeli military training exercises. This disrupted the livelihoods and access to services of two herding communities located in an area designated as a “firing zone”: Khirbet al-Ras al Ahmar and Hammamat al Maleh. Communities located in such zones are affected by a coercive environment placing their residents at risk of forcible transfer.

Also in Area C of the northern Jordan Valley, the Israeli authorities uprooted approximately 500 trees, leveled four dunums of cultivated land and caused damaged to an irrigation network, on the grounds that the area is ‘state land’.
Around 425 additional trees and 14 vehicles were vandalized, and one Palestinian was injured, in attacks by Israeli settlers, OCHA further stated.

(Source / 16.02.2019)

IOF kidnaps 4 Palestinians in West Bank raids

IOF kidnaps 4 Palestinians in West Bank raids

IOF kidnaps 4 Palestinians in West Bank raids

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Saturday arrested four Palestinians in the West Bank.

Local sources said that the IOF kidnapped Abdulfattah Abu Salo and Mohammed al-Jindi from their homes in al-Arroub refugee camp in al-Khalil.

Two Palestinian youths identified as Ayham Abdullatif and Mohammed al-Barghouti were arrested in another campaign in Beit Rima village in Ramallah.

The IOF further stormed three Palestinian homes in Kafr Ni’ma, west of Ramallah, and wreaked havoc on them.

(Source / 16.02.2019)

First and Only Pediatric Cancer Department to Open in Gaza This Month

16 Feb 6:35 AM

The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, on Thursday, held a press conference to announce the opening of the  first and only Pediatric Cancer Department in the Gaza Strip, which is due to be officially opened on 19 February, according to the PNN.

The 24,000 square meter department, named Dr. Musa & Suhaila Nasir Gaza Pediatric Cancer Department, will provide daily health care with 15 beds, 16 rooms for overnight stays, 3 children’s examination rooms, a dental clinic, medical stations, a pharmacy and nursing stations.

The department will also provide a family gathering room and children’s play rooms with TVs, computers, books and toys. In addition, a full kitchen is equipped with a refrigerator, washing machine and dryer.

As part of its commitment to ensuring and sustaining services and support for children and their families, PCRF has served as a social worker and project manager in the new section in Gaza.

This is the second department to be opened in Palestine by PCRF, the first being the Huda Al-Masri section for child cancer patients at the Beit Jala Hospital in the West Bank, which was named after a founding member of the organization who died of cancer in 2009.

Huda Al-Masri was married to the Executive Director and co-founder of PCRF, who continued to lead the organization and oversaw the process of building this section to treat children in Palestine in honor of his wife’s human heritage.

According to a statement by PCRF, 100% of children with cancer in Gaza are referred for treatment in hospitals outside the Gaza Strip. In most cases, they can not travel with their loved ones because of the Israeli procedures for granting exit permits from the Gaza Strip. In addition to that the treatment of children is intermittent and may be delayed due to delays in granting permits or not re-issued for follow-up treatment, which leads to the cessation of treatment and affects the health of children.

PCRF was able to raise more than $3 million to build the department and to fully equip it with materials as well as high-quality design, with the help of hundreds of people around the world.

The PCRF is a US NGO with more than 26 years of experience in providing medical services and care for sick and wounded children in the Middle East, regardless of their political status and nationality. The department has been named d. Musa and Suhaila Nasser for children with cancer in Gaza in this name in honor of Dr. Musa and Sahila Nasser, who helped establish the Society in 1991 and in recognition of their humanitarian and leadership efforts.

It was established in 1991 in the United States of America to identify the needs of Arab children in the Middle East. For 26 years, the association has provided medical services and treatments that have saved the lives of thousands of children in the Middle East. In addition to direct medical services for children, the Society is making continuous efforts to find sustainable solutions to medical challenges by training local doctors and providing basic medical infrastructure for local hospitals.

(Source / 16.02.2019)

PCHR: “On International Childhood Cancer Day, Israel and Political Division Deepens Struggle of Children with Cancer in Gaza Strip”

16 Feb 11:04 AM

Ref: 19/2019 – Date: 14 February 2019: International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD), which was founded in 2002 by Childhood Cancer International (CCI), is celebrated  around the world every year on 15 February to reduce children’s cancer incidence.

This occasion coincides with the deterioration of health conditions in the Gaza Strip and the increasing level of services that cancer patients receive, including children who were deprived of receiving the proper treatment in a clear violation of the children’s right to receive the highest attainable standard of health.

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR’s) follow up, patients with cancer in the Gaza Strip, an estimated number of 8500 patients, including 640 children, face difficult health conditions for ongoing lack of medicine, medical supplies and diagnostic and therapeutic devices, shortage of oncologists, and the aggravation of the ongoing electricity crisis in hospitals. The Israeli restrictions imposed on the travel of children with cancer and their companions are considered as prominent obstacles that prevent these children from receiving their proper treatment.

Dr. Mohammed Abu Selmeya, Director of al-Rantissy Hospital for Cancer Treatment, which is the only hospital that provides cancer treatment for children in the Gaza Strip, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the number of children with cancer in the Gaza Strip has reached 640 children whose ages between one month and 12 years. He added that Leukemia is at the forefront of cancers affecting children in the Gaza Strip and then followed by lymphoma and brain cancer.

He stressed that the hospital faces difficulties in providing treatment services to these patients; most prominently is lack of medicines and medical supplies needed for their treatment, considering lack of Chemotherapy as the most serious problem facing these patients.

Abu Selmeya added that the hospital also faces difficulties in referring child patients to receive treatment abroad due to the travel restrictions imposed by the Israeli Authorities on the children in danger of dying for no reason and for long periods up to 3 months.

He elaborated that the Israeli authorities deprive several mothers and fathers of accompanying their children, who suffers from serious health conditions, during their treatment abroad.

Dr. Muneer al-Bursh, Director General of the Pharmacy Department in the Palestinian Ministry of Health, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the shortage rate of medicines and drugs for treatment of cancer has reached unprecedented levels in 2018 as in July there was a shortage in 42 types of cancer-treatment drugs, i.e. 65% of medicines that cancer patients need.

He added that some of the medicines, which ran out of stocks, were the Chemotherapy drugs and the Neupogen injections used to boost cancer patients’ Immune system.  He elaborated that any delay in giving this medication would lead to complications, especially that cancer treatment is comprised of a 5-medicine protocol and so the lack of any of them would fail the whole treatment process.

He also said that the Israeli ban on the entry of diagnostic radiological devices needed for the diagnosis of cancerous tumors causes delayed detection of these tumors, obstructs the therapeutic intervention, and puts patients’ life at risk.

It should be noted that patients with cancer, especially children, who are referred to receive treatment abroad, face many obstacles that have negatively affected their health conditions.

According to the information available at the Coordination Department in the Ministry of Health, during 2018, the Israeli authorities obstructed the travel of 10,057 patients referred to receive treatment in the hospitals in Israeli or the West Bank.

The Israeli authorities adopt a series of restrictions that deliberately aim at depriving patients of receiving treatment abroad; most significantly depriving patients of traveling without any reason; depriving patients of traveling due to family-related reasons; arresting patients at Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing; blackmailing and bargaining patients to collaborate with the Israeli authorities; interrogating the Patients; delaying responses to their travel permits; disregard for patient’s appointments at hospitals and imposing tightening restrictions on the travel of patients’ companions.

On the other hand, the political division increasingly deteriorate the standard of health services provided by hospitals and medical centers to these residing the Gaza Strip.

The chronic shortage of specialized medical staff and the Palestinian government failing to allocate new posts in hospitals in the Gaza Strip and cutting the salaries to 263 employees working in the Ministry Of Health in Gaza during February, have negatively affected the quality of health services and put patients’ life at risk.

The employees, whose salaries were cut, are the backbone of the health sector in Gaza as they represent 67% of the medical specialists and 28% of the doctors in the Ministry of Health. During the past January, Ministry of Health had to minimize its services and stop operation of some health facilities due to the shortage of fuel needed to operate the generators in hospitals and medical centers in light of the ongoing electricity crisis.

PCHR is deeply concerned over the life of children with cancer in the Gaza Strip. Thus, PCHR:

– appeals the international organizations, including the United Nations specialized agencies, to immediately intervene to provide an immediate assistance for the health sector for guaranteeing the continuation of health facilities’ work in the Gaza Strip, especially the only hospital that provides treatment for cancer patients in the Gaza Strip.

– calls upon the international community to practice pressure on the Israeli authorities in order to end all restrictions imposed on patients’ travel, especially children with cancer who need special care.

– calls upon the international community to pressurize the Israeli authorities in order to allow the entry of all types of medicines and medical supplies into the Gaza Strip, including Radiological diagnostic devices for the diagnosis of cancerous tumors.

– appeals the Palestinian Authority (PA) to resume their responsibilities and immediately intervene to guarantee the entry of all types of medicines and medical supplies needed for cancer treatment.

– Calls for the importance of coordination between the department of the Palestinian Health Ministry in each of Ramallah and Gaza to guarantee that every person enjoys their  right to health, including the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

(Source / 16.02.2019)

Hebron Report 02/15/19

16 Feb 6:08 AM

On the morning of February 14, 2019, ISM activists were forced to leave the Shuhada Street area as it was declared a closed military zone. The activists were monitoring the Qurtuba checkpoint, which is passed every morning by teachers and children going to school. Palestinians are regularly targeted and harassed by settlers and the military at this checkpoint. Over the 37 minutes that activists were present at the checkpoint, approximately 100 Palestinians were subject to its control and surveillance.

The declaration of a closed military zone came on the foot of a large coordinated settler attack on Palestinian families living close to this checkpoint. This took place on the night of February 12, 2019 and several people were injured. Significant damage was caused to Palestinian homes also. The following morning, ISM activists were forced out of the H2 area near Qurtuba by police with no explanation as to why. During this time, settlers moved freely with the police, harassing and filming activists as they were forced out. Footage can be seen here.

On the morning of February 14th ISM activists were notified that a closed military zone had been declared for the day of February 14th. Prior to this, Anat Cohen, an infamously violent settler, assaulted an ISM activist. This was the fifth time in the past week that ISM activists have been assaulted by settlers. Leaving the Qurtuba area, activists joined others who were monitoring the Qeitun checkpoint.

At Qeitun, Israeli forces fired 2 concussion bombs and 4 tear gas canisters at Palestinian people. One concussion bomb exploded very close to a mother and her baby. While thankfully there were no serious injuries, it is terrifying to think about the effect that such weapons would have on a newborn’s ears and lungs. Unfortunately, unprovoked attacks and collective punishment are normalized and occur regularly under the illegal occupation of the West Bank.

It has been said many times before, but it worth restating the saying that “existence is resistance”. Under these circumstances the peaceful act of trying to make your way to school or work is an act of defiance and courage. To do so is to stand up against the logic of systemic violence, oppression and land theft that is imposed by the Israeli State, its armed forces and settlers.

End the Occupation

Visit the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

(Source / 16.02.2019)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Four Palestinians In Hebron And Ramallah

16 Feb 10:48 AM

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Saturday at dawn, four Palestinians in Hebron and Ramallah governorates, in the southern and central parts of the occupied West Bank, after invading and searching their homes.

The PPS office in Hebron said the several army jeeps invaded the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of the city, before the soldiers abducted two Palestinians identified as Abdul-Fattah Khaled Abu Sil, 21, and Mohammad Khaled al-Jondi, 22.

The soldiers also invaded many neighborhoods in Hebron city, and installed roadblocks at the entrance of Sa’ir town, northeast of Hebron, and Halhoul bridge area, north of Hebron, before stopping and searching cars, and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

Furthermore, the soldiers, stationed at the military roadblock on the road leading to Ni’lin town, stopped and searched cars and abducted two young men from Beit Rima town, west of Ramallah.

In related news, several army jeeps invaded Kafr Ni’ma town, also west of Ramallah, before searching homes.

(Source / 16.02.2019)

On 47th Friday of Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, Israeli Forces Wound 67 Civilians, including 14 Children, 2 Women, 2 Paramedics, and Journalist

16 Feb 11:44 AM

The Palestinian Center For Human Rights (PRHC): On Friday evening, 15 February 2019, in excessive use of force against peaceful protesters on the 47th Friday of the March of Return and Breaking the Siege, Israeli forces wounded 67 civilians, including 14 children, 2 women, 2 paramedics, and a journalist eastern Gaza Strip. The injury of 5 of the wounded civilians was reported serious.

According to observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers, the Israeli forces who stationed in prone positions and in military jeeps along the fence with Israel continued to use excessive force against the demonstrators by opening fire and firing teargas canisters at them.  As a result, dozens of the demonstrators were hit with bullets and teargas canisters without posing any imminent threat or danger to the life of soldiers.

On Friday, 15 February 2019, the incidents were as follows:

At approximately 15:00, thousands of civilians, including women, children and entire families, started swarming to the 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.

Hundreds, including children and women, approached the border fence with Israel in front of each encampment and gathered 10-100 meters away from the main border fence. They chanted national slogans, attempted to throw stones at the Israeli forces and in limited cases, they approached the border fence, attempting to set fire to tires and throwing 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 17:30, resulted in the injury of 67 Palestinian civilians, including 14 children, 2 women, 2 paramedics, and a journalist. In addition, dozens of demonstrators, paramedics and journalists 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:

1733Medical Crews
Among those wounded, 526 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.Notes

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 / 16.02.2019)