Unemployment, poverty rates in Gaza hit record high

Director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Mounir Kleibo

Director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Mounir Kleibo said yesterday that unemployment and poverty rates in the Gaza Strip hit record highs in recent history, Felesteen.ps reported.

Kleibo made his remarks during a visit of the ILO’s fact-finding mission to Gaza which lasted two days and aimed to document the Israeli violations in the occupied lands.

READ: Qatar opens up 6,400 jobs in Gaza

The members of the mission met with representatives of the Palestine Workers’ Union, public and private sectors and the Social Welfare Fund. They listened to briefs about the situation of workers in Gaza from these representatives.

The Gaza Strip has been crippled by a 12-year Israeli imposed siege which has led the UN to warn the enclave will be “unlivable” by 2020.

(Source / 19.03.2019)

Israel shuts off West Bank, Gaza Strip ahead of Jewish holiday

Qalandiya checkpoint from Ramallah to Jerusalem on 2 June, 2017 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Qalandiya checkpoint from Ramallah to Jerusalem on 2 June, 2017

Israeli occupation forces have announced that no crossings or checkpoints will operate from today until Saturday leaving the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip cut off.

The decision comes as Israel prepares to mark the Jewish holiday of Purim tomorrow and Thursday.

The closure will last from midnight tonight until late on Saturday night. Exceptions will be made for humanitarian and other outstanding cases but will require the approval of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the occupation forces in charge of Palestinian affairs in the occupied territories.

READ: Israel planning for a second massacre in Hebron

The closure will affect the tens of thousands of Palestinians who legally work in Israel every day, most of them in construction and maintenance.

During Purim in 1994, Jewish extremist Baruch Goldstein gunned down 29 Palestinian worshippers in the occupied Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque.

While in 2016, Israeli occupation soldier Elor Azaria shot dead 21-year-old Abdel Fattah Al-Sharif in Hebron. Al-Sharif was lying injured, lying motionless on the ground when he was killed.

Azaria was found guilty of manslaughter for the execution-style shooting of the unarmed Palestinian and handed an 18-month jail term. He served only nine months of his term.

(Source / 19.03.2019)

3 Palestinians injured by Israel in Gaza

An injured Palestinian is being carried away with health care members during a maritime protest against Israel’s ongoing blockade of Gaza on the strip’s northern coast, in Beit Lahia, Gaza on March 19, 2019. [Mustafa Hassona - Anadolu Agency]

An injured Palestinian is being carried away with health care members during a maritime protest against Israel’s ongoing blockade of Gaza on the strip’s northern coast, in Beit Lahia, Gaza on March 19, 2019

Three Palestinian protesters were injured on Tuesday by Israeli army gunfire near the Gaza-Israel buffer zone, according to Palestinian Health Ministry, Anadolu reports.

In a statement, the ministry said that the three — whose names were not provided — were wounded by live ammunition while they were participating in demonstrations in eastern Al-Bureij refugee camp and the northern part of the blockaded enclave.

Demonstrators demand the right to return to their homes and villages in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

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.

READ: Israel tears down Palestinian school in Jerusalem 

(Source / 19.03.2019)

IOF storms Salfit, shot five Palestinians

SALFIT, PALESTINOW.COM — At least five Palestinians were injured when the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed Salfit in the West Bank on Sunday evening.

Local sources said that violent clashes broke out in al-Zawiya town in Salfit between Palestinian youths and the IOF soldiers who raided the town in large numbers.

According to the sources, four Palestinians were injured and many others arrested. No precise number has been given yet.

The raid followed the Israeli occupation’s announcement that the Salfit attacker, who was identified as Omar Abu Laila, 19, is a resident of al-Zawiya.

Eyewitnesses said that the IOF heavily fired tear gas bombs and rubber-coated metal bullets at the Palestinian youths.

The IOF further broke into a number of Palestinian shops and seized their surveillance camera recordings.

A fifth Palestinian was injured in the neighboring Kafr ad-Dik town after the IOF climbed the rooftops of Palestinian homes in al-Zawiya and opened fire.

A Palestinian man, named Zakaria Samara, and others whose identities have not been confirmed yet were arrested during the IOF raid.

Two Israelis were killed and two others injured on Sunday morning in a Palestinian stabbing and shooting attack near Ariel settlement in Salfit.

(Source / 19.03.2019)

Israel Depriving Palestinians of Access to Clean Water

19 Mar 6:03 AM

A United Nations human rights investigator stressed that Israel is depriving millions of Palestinians of access to a regular supply of clean water while stripping their lands of minerals “in an apparent act of pillage,” on Monday.

Michael Lynk, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, said that Israel “continues full-steam with settlement expansion” in the occupied West Bank.

Lynk added, according to Ma’an: “There are some 20-25,000 new settlers a year.”

According to settlement watchdog Peace Now, under Netanyahu’s government, intensive activity to restore the widespread phenomenon of illegal outposts deep inside the West Bank has increased.

Since the occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 1967, between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis have moved into Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, in violation of international law.

The estimated 196 government recognized Israeli settlements scattered across the Palestinian territory are all considered illegal under international law.

(Source / 19.03.2019)

Shaked Sprays Herself With ‘Fascism’ Perfume in Campaign Ad

19 Mar 5:35 AM

Screen capture from campaign ad by Hayamin Hehadash party.

A new Israeli election ad reportedly features Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked in sultry poses, spraying herself with a perfume labeled ‘Fascism,’ according to Israeli media.

A new election ad for the far-right Hayamin Hehadash party, featuring Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked in sultry poses, spraying herself with a perfume labeled “Fascism,” has the look and feel of a satiric sketch, echoing a 2017 “Saturday Night Live” send-up of Ivanka Trump in a mock commercial for the scent “Complicit.”

But, according to Israeli daily Haaretz, the Shaked ad was no send-up: The images are accompanied by the seductively whispered phrases (in Hebrew) “Judicial reform,” “Separation of powers” and “Restraining the Supreme Court” — all meant to highlight her efforts to weaken the activist courts and give more power to the legislative branch.

02/15/18 Israeli Justice Minister: Israel Must Safeguard Jewish Majority at Expense of Human Rights

(Source / 19.03.2019)