Report: 127 Israel aggressions on Al-Aqsa, Ibrahimi mosques in February

Racist graffiti sprayed next to Al-Rahma Gate by a Jewish settler in Jerusalem on 26 February 2019 [Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Anadolu Agency]

Racist graffiti sprayed next to Al-Rahma Gate by a Jewish settler in Jerusalem on 26 February 2019

Palestinian Endowment Minister Yousef Edees said yesterday that the Israeli occupation raided Al-Aqsa Mosque more than 30 times during February.

The minister said that the Israeli occupation also prevented the call to prayer from being raised from the Ibrahimi Mosque 44 times during the same month, noting that the total number of Israeli attacks on the two holy sites reached 127 during February.

Edees noted that the Israeli occupation continues to besiege Al-Aqsa Mosque in order to partition it.

He also said that the Israeli occupation authorities deported scores of Palestinians who work at Al-Aqsa Mosque, including officials such as the Head of Jerusalem Endowment Council Sheikh Abdul-Azim Salhab and his deputy Sheikh Najeh Bkeerat.

According to the report, three Israeli gliders flew above Al-Aqsa Mosque and the military and political Israeli officials increased their raids under heavy protection from the Israeli military police.

During the same month, anti-Arab and Muslim graffiti was sprayed onto the outer walls of Bab Al-Rahma in occupied Jerusalem’s Old City after the area was reopened by Muslims days earlier.

READ: Palestine urges UNESCO to support Ibrahimi Mosque

(Source / 05.03.2019)

Israel closes Gaza border blocking aid transfers

Palestinians wait to fill canisters with cooking gas. Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are experiencing shortage in gas and fuel

Israel today closed Gaza’s main commercial crossing to all good except fuel, local sources reported.

Israel has increased its targeting of the besieged Gaza Strip over the past few days, striking sites in the enclave causing damage to property.

It claims the closure of the Kerem Shalom (Karm Abu Salem) crossing is in response what it calls incendiary balloons which exploded in the air and caused no damage to Israel yesterday.

Occupation forces regularly block access to the Gaza crossings as a means of controlling the Palestinian population. In July Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Kerem Shalom would be closed if kite and balloon launchers continued with their activity.

Gaza ran out of cooking gas as a result of the Israeli closure of the crossing days later.

READ: Qatar continues to pump fuel to Gaza, says Palestinian official

(Source / 05.03.2019)

EU largest donor to UNRWA, says official

Palestinian men carry food aid given by UNRWA in Gaza City, Gaza on 15 January 2018 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian men carry food aid given by UNRWA in Gaza City, Gaza on 15 January 2018

Many countries have increased their donations to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) following the United States (US) decision to halt its aid to the organisation, the agency’s spokesperson, Sami Mshasha, said yesterday.

“The European Union (EU) member states have increased their financial contributions to UNRWA, becoming the agency’s largest donor,” Mshasha added.

He called for forming what he described as “a financial safety network” to achieve multi-year financial and programme stability.

Hailing last year’s $200 million contribution from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the UN official stressed on the necessity of “maintaining and strengthening UNRWA’s partnerships with the Arab countries.”

READ: EU offers $93m in funds to UNRWA

“The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)’s recent decision to establish a Waqf endowment fund was an unprecedented achievement and a major milestone in the efforts to diversify funding sources in support of UNRWA.” Mshasha noted. On Saturday, OIC agreed to establish and operationalize a Waqf endowment fund to support Palestinian refugees.

During the OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers meeting, Mshasha noted, Afghanistan, which has been suffering from wars and national poverty, paid $1 million to UNRWA in donations.

Last week, the EU pledged €82 million (about $93 million) “to support the human development work of UNRWA for this year.” “The new contribution will help preserve access to education for 532,000 children, provide primary health care for more than 3.5 million patients and assistance to over 250,000 acutely vulnerable Palestine refugees, as well as a multitude of other services, at a time of extreme instability across the Middle East region,” the UN agency explained in a statement.

For over four decades, the European Union has established itself as a key strategic partner for the Agency, supporting UNRWA in its efforts to help Palestine refugees achieve their full potential in human development despite their difficult circumstances.

On 23 February, Japan also disbursed $23 million to UNRWA to support its work for 2019.

READ: Humanitarian aid and strategic interests … for the EU

(Source / 05.03.2019)

Ashrawi: Global community must defend Palestine against ‘rogue’ states

Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, PLO Executive Committee Member [Wikipedia]

Hanan Ashrawi, PLO Executive Committee Member

Veteran Palestinian politician, Hanan Ashrawi, has criticised US President Donald Trump over his “hostility” towards the Palestinian cause and aligning his policies with “rogue states and racist elements in Israel”.

PLO Executive Committee member Ashrawi said: “The Trump Administration is intent on leaving no room for doubt about its hostility towards the Palestinian people and their inalienable rights as well as its abject disregard for international law and its obligations under the law.”

Writing on Sunday on the eve of the scheduled merging of the US Consulate in Jerusalem with the US Embassy to Israel, she issued a statement on behalf of the PLO Executive Committee. She stated that merging the US Consulate in Jerusalem with the US Embassy to Israel – illegally located in Jerusalem – was an act of political assault on Palestinian rights and identity and a negation of the consulate’s historic status and function, dating back nearly 200 years.

Ashrawi said Trump was positioning the US with “rogue states that have no regard for international law or respect for the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, a founding principle of the international order as we know it”. In her remarks, which appear to be an indirect criticism of Israel, Ashrawi added: “This merger is as much an affront to the international community and the principles of the United Nations Charter as it is an offensive political assault on the Palestinian people, motivated by racism and hostility and driven by a policy of omission and negation of historical and political truths.”

Condemning the US policy she continued:

We consider this a wilful reinforcement of an irresponsible and hostile US policy that aims to undermine and negate Palestinian national rights and identity by way of political bullying and aggression.

“These destabilising actions and policies preclude any possible positive role for the current US administration in seeking peace and stability.”

Ashrawi denounced Trump’s policies as a “a threat to international peace, security and undermine the standing of the international order” and called on the international community to “rise to the serious challenge posed by these policies” and to “defend[ing] Palestinian rights, as enshrined and affirmed by international law” which she insisted “is part and parcel of defending the moral, legal, and political standing of international politics. It is a global responsibility.”

READ: The merger of the US consulate and embassy in Jerusalem completes the humiliation of the Palestinians

(Source / 05.03.2019)

Spent 17 Years In Prison; Army Abducts A Palestinian One Week After His Release

05 Mar 7:36 AM

Israeli soldiers abducted, Monday, a former Palestinian political prisoner from occupied Jerusalem, just one week following his release after spending a prison sentence of 17 years.

Media sources said the soldiers abducted Abdul-Rahman Mahmoud, from the al-‘Isawiya town in occupied Jerusalem, after summoning him for interrogation in Ofer prison, near Ramallah.

Mahmoud is a former political prisoner who was released just a week ago, after spending a prison sentence of seventeen years, and received an order exiling him from Jerusalem for ten days, before he was sent to Jericho.

Following his Monday abduction, the detainee was remanded for 24 hours, and will be sent to the District Court, in Jerusalem, Tuesday.

(Source / 05.03.2019)

PHRI: “Ahead of International Women’s Day, New PHRI Report Calls on Israel to Examine Impact of Medical Permit Denials on Women”

05 Mar 9:04 PM

Report By Physicians For Human Rights – Israel: Ahead of International Women’s Day, Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI) is releasing its report “Between the Hammer and the Anvil: Women’s Right to Health in Gaza”, on the way in which Israel’s medical exit permit policies impact women.

Although UN Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, taken together with other follow-up resolutions such as UN Resolution 1889, oblige Israel to adopt a gender perspective and identify the unique needs of women in conflict, there has been no attempt to take into account or minimize the harm done to women.

This report – based on the hundreds of patients who have contacted PHRI in the past two years – analyses how women are impacted through medical permit denials in three specific ways:

1) Female cancer patients are facing severe restrictions. In the last two years, 129 women from Gaza reached out to PHRI after their medical exit permits were denied or significantly delayed. This lengthy wait for permit responses and delays in treatment reduce the likelihood of recovery.

2) Medical exit permit denials based on the justification that patients have “family proximity” to Hamas disproportionately impact women. Women needing medical treatment were denied twice as often as men as a result of this criterion. From 2017-2018, 969 patients were denied on the basis of this criterion, of which 608 were women.

3) Women are impacted by the conditioning of medical permits on their ability to return relatives living “illegally” in the West Bank back to Gaza. This justification, which increased in use in 2018, includes the claim that if these patients receive exit permits for medical treatment, they would move their residence to the West Bank. Roughly 50% of permit denials based on this criterion impact women. Most of the relatives who moved to the West Bank from Gaza are men, and as a result this policy punishes women for the actions of men.

Although there is no specific policy aiming to harm women, these three trends show that women are impacted by Israel’s policy towards Gaza, despite not having a decision-making role in Gaza. To ensure that Israel complies with its’ obligations, PHRI requests that the international community call on Israel to:

  1. Address Resolution 1325 and other relevant resolutions and build an action plan for their implementation.
  2. Ensure that all female patients in need of medical care be allowed to leave Gaza to access the best medical treatment available to them, without delay.

For further information, please contact:

Dana Moss
International Advocacy Coordinator
Cell: 054 575 3426
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel

(Source / 05.03.2019)

Missiles Fired Across Eastern Gaza

05 Mar 7:44 AM

Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes across the besieged Gaza Strip, on Monday afternoon, targeting three various Hamas movement sites.

A Ma’an reporter said that Israeli warplanes fired at least four missiles, with no injuries reported.

The airstrikes resulted in material damages in several areas, where Hamas sites were not located, along the eastern borders of Gaza.

(Source / 05.03.2019)

PA President Asserts His Country’s Support to Iraq in Its War on Terrorism

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and his Iraqi counterpart Burham Saleh

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas offered Palestine’s “expertise and companies” to help Iraq with its postwar reconstruction and war on terrorism. This came during his meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Burham Saleh in the presidential palace in Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

President Abbas arrived in Baghdad Sunday on an official visit, where he met several Iraqi officials.

The PA president said Palestinians were “ready to contribute to rebuilding Iraq,” which has suffered major material losses in armed conflicts over the past 17 years.

President Abbas also met with the Iraqi Prime Minister, Adel Abdel Mahdi in Baghdad where they discussed the latest political developments in the Palestinian cause, particularly the Israeli violations against Jerusalem and its Muslim and Christian holy sites, including al-Aqsa mosque.

They further discussed issues of mutual interest and bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to promote them in all fields to serve the common interests.

For his part, the Iraqi president affirmed that the Palestinian case will remain the central issue, and “we will continue to defend the rights of the Palestinian people.”

He stressed that Iraq’s strong presence in the region enables it to help achieving the demands of the Palestinian people.

The Palestinian president congratulated Iraq on its success in liberating the cities from ISIS control, reiterating the solidarity of the Palestinian people with their Iraqi brothers in confronting terrorism.

Abbas visited Iraq officially for the first time in 2009, after the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003. Baghdad hosts thousands of Palestinian refugees who live in residential compounds in the center of the capital.

After the Saddam regime fell, and during the outbreak of sectarian war in 2006, Palestinians were persecuted, prompting some of them to leave Baghdad and settle in camps on the Iraqi-Jordanian border.

(Source / 05.03.2019)