UNRWA beneficiaries seen collecting aid in Gaza on 22 January 2018
A UN official on Sunday warned that the situation in Israel-blockaded Gaza Strip was moving from bad to worse, as reported by Anadolu Agency.
“The social and economic situation in Gaza is moving from bad to worse,” Matthias Schmale, the director of UNRWA’s operations in Gaza, told a meeting organised by Press House NGO.
He blamed the 12-year Israeli blockade on Gaza for the deteriorating situation in the Palestinian territory, which is home to nearly two million people.
It has caused higher unemployment rates, economic collapse and restriction of free trade
According to the Palestinian Center of Bureau of Statistics, unemployment in Gaza continues to rise, reaching 52% in 2018, an increase of almost eight per cent since 2017 and of more than 20 per cent since Israel imposed the closure in 2007.
A recent report by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) found that food insecurity affected two thirds of the population in Gaza.
It said that some 70 per cent of non-refugees in Gaza are food-insecure, as against 67 per cent of refugees in the enclave.
Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip in 2007 after Palestinian group Hamas seized control of the strip from its rival group Fatah, badly affecting livelihood in the Palestinian enclave.
Established in 1949, UNRWA delivers critical aid to Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
Israeli soldiers invaded, Sunday, Karm Hadidon area, east of Battir town, west of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, and stopped the town’s local council from paving a new road.
The soldiers, accompanied by personnel of the “Civil Administration Office” invaded the area, and halted the work, under the allegation that the lands are in Area C of the occupied West Bank, under full Israeli military and administrative control.
Taiseer Qattoush, the Mayor of Battir, said the soldiers held his ID card, and ordered him to stop the work.
Qattoush added that the soldiers also fired many gas bombs and concussion grenades at the Palestinians, and tried to confiscate the machines used in the work.
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Saturday evening, the al-‘Isawiya town, in occupied Jerusalem, and removed the mourning tent of Mohammad Samir Obeid, 21, who was killed by the army, Thursday.
Mohammad Abu al-Hummus, a member of the Follow-Up Committee in al-‘Isawiya, said the soldiers attacked many Palestinians in the tent, and surrounding areas, and tore posters of slain young man.
He added that the soldiers caused many injuries among the Palestinians, including the children and the elderly.
The soldiers also invaded Silwan town, Shu’fat town, and Shu’fat refugee camp, in Jerusalem, and fired live rounds, gas bombs, concussion grenades, and rubber-coated steel bullets at the protesters.
The invasion led to massive protests, and the Palestinians hurled stones at the soldiers, in addition to countering their invasion with fireworks and Molotov cocktails, while the army fired live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs.
Also Saturday, the soldiers invaded and ransacked Obeid’s home, tore his posters and removed Palestinian flags from the buildings.
It is worth mentioning that, after killing Obeid, the soldiers took his corpse, and did not return it to the family for burial.
Israeli soldiers abducted, on Sunday at dawn, many Palestinians, including Jerusalem Minister at the Palestinian Government, Fadi al-Hadmi, during the ongoing invasions and violent searches of homes in the town of al-‘Isawiya, and other parts of occupied Jerusalem.
Awad Awad, a Palestinian official who heads the Public Relations and Media Office of the Information Ministry in occupied Jerusalem, said the soldiers and many intelligence officers invaded the home of al-Hadmi in the Suwwana neighborhood in Jerusalem, and ransacked it, before abducting him.
Attorney Mohannad Jabara said the abduction of al-Hadmi came after he welcomed the Chilean President and toured with him in a visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque, an issue that was regarded by Israel as “violating its sovereignty” in Jerusalem.
Jabara stated that the abduction of the Palestinian minister is just another Israeli violation, and a blatant attempt to appease the extreme Israeli right-wing parties and members, who even attacked Israeli police officers and tried to prevent the Chilean president from visiting Al-Aqsa, especially accompanied by Palestinian officials.
In addition, the Israeli soldiers continued, for the second consecutive day, the massive and very violent invasions and searches of homes in al-‘Isawiya town, and abducted many Palestinian youngsters related to Mohammad Samir Obeid, 21, who was killed by the army on June 27th.
The soldiers invaded his home, and his mourning house, and assaulted many residents, before removing Palestinian flags and posters.
Among the abducted Palestinians is a medic, identified as Fuad Obeid, in addition to Mahmoud Assem Obeid, Mahmoud Issam Obeid, Mohammad Sa’id Obeid, Mahmoud Mohammad Obeid and Fayeq Habash.
The soldiers also invaded Shu’fat town, and fired many live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs and concussion grenades at Palestinian protesters.
Invasions and protests were also reported in many parts of Jerusalem, including its Old City, in addition to Silwan and several other areas.
The soldiers also invaded al-Makassed Hospital in at-Tour town, after surrounding and isolating it, and searched its various sections, looking for wounded Palestinians, before abducting Haidar Dirbas and Ala’ Dirbas.
In addition, the soldiers abducted Ala’ Johar and his son, Mohammad, in Abu Dis town, east of Jerusalem, and Ehab Sa’id, from Anata town, northeast of the city.
The Israeli occupation forces left the Palestinian martyr bleeding for about half an hour until he died
Israeli occupation forces have killed one Palestinians, wounded 90 and arrested 19 others in two days of tension triggered by Israeli violence in Jerusalem’s neighbourhood of Al-Issawiyeh.
Local Palestinian sources said that the Israeli occupation forces shot and wounded the Palestinian youth Mohammad Obeid and left him bleeding to death in the Palestinian neighbourhood.
In addition to Obeid’s execution, the Israeli occupation forces opened fire for two days at the Palestinian protesters who gathered to protest against the violence inflicted on them by the Israeli occupation.
Meanwhile, the Israeli occupation forces arrested 19 of the protesters; the whereabouts of some of them have not been disclosed yet.
The Palestinians took to the streets to protest against the continuous Israeli violence inflicted on them, including house demolition and daily night detention campaigns.
Mohammed Samir Obaid, 20, a Palestinian young man from Isawiya, a town in the occupied city of Jerusalem
By Mustafa Abu Sneineh
A 20-year-old Palestinian who was shot dead by Israeli police in occupied East Jerusalem on Thursday night did not pose a threat, two eyewitnesses have told Middle East Eye.
Mohammed Samir Obaid, who spent four years in Israeli prisons as a teenager, was shot in the town of Issawiya following a protest against military and police provocations, which residents say have spiked in the past two weeks as they hold protests against repeated Israeli raids.
He succumbed to his wounds early on Friday.
Israeli police said that officers shot Obaid after he fired fireworks at them, “creating a life threatening situation”.
But two residents – Omar Attiyeh, a charity worker, and activist Mohammed Abu el-Hummus – told MEE that no fireworks were fired.
The two had been speaking with Israeli soldiers, asking them to leave the area, when Obaid was shot.
“We were very close to the soldiers, and if someone fired fireworks at them, we would also be in danger,” said Abu el-Hummus.
According to Abu el-Hummus, a soldier about 10 metres from Obaid picked up his gun and ran after the 20-year-old before firing at him.
“We looked around and started to yell at the soldier in Hebrew – ‘you killed him’,” he said.
The soldier tried to drag away Obaid’s body, but Issawiya residents intervened and put the young Palestinian into a car to be taken to hopsital, said Abu el-Hummus.
Two Israeli special forces vehicles stopped the car, however, and took the body, which is still being held by authorities.
“While we were talking to them, a soldier took his gun and shot Mohammed in his heart. I saw that and no words can describe how I feel,” Attiyeh said.
MEE cannot independently verify the accounts and an Israeli police spokesperson did not answer calls for comment on what Abu el-Hummus and Attiyeh observed.
Clashes with the Israeli soldiers followed, and four Palestinian were wounded, according to Wafa news agency. The residents then burned the offices of an Israeli government-funded community centre in the town.
A court on Friday rejected the Obaids’ request to obtain his body and gave the police 48 hours to decide whether to release him to the family.
Regular raids, now protests
For years, residents of Issawiya have been subject to regular raids and arrests by the Israeli army and police, with homes in the town regularly demolished.
The Obaids are one of the largest families in the town, which lies on the eastern slopes of Jerusalem. The main entrance of the town was historically near the Hebrew University, but was shut by Israeli authorities during the 2000-2005 Second Intifada. Now only pedestrians can pass there.
During his teenage years, Obaid spent four years in Israeli prisons for his activities against the occupation, according Wafa agency. His father and sister were also former political prisoners.
Over the past year, residents in the town have started to coordinate protests and sit-ins, calling for an end to the raids which they consider to be collective punishment.
The protest on Thursday came after two weeks of intensified Israeli military and police intervention in the area, Attiyeh said.
“The Israeli soldiers have broken into the town for the last 14 days in an aggressive and provocative manner,” he said. “They would be walking in the town at 2am for no obvious reason when everyone is asleep.”
Of the town’s protest, Attiyeh said: “Issawiya is well-known as the Lions’ Den and Little Gaza, where the occupation is not welcomed.”
Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- The Israeli authorities informed the family of Mohammad Sameer Obeid on Sunday that they can receive the body of their son, who was murdered by the Israeli police, under conditions which included paying 25,000 Shekels for his body.
The lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoners Affairs Committee revealed that the Israeli authorities informed the committee that Obeid’s family could receive the body of their son only if they pledge to bury the body at night in Saladdin cemetery in the presence of only 50 persons, without raising any flag, and after paying 25,000 Shekels to the occupation state of ‘Israel’.
The family and the committee instantly refused the Israeli “offer”. The mother of Mohammad Obeid said that her son will only be buried at Issawiyyeh in the presence of all members of his family and all those who love him.
Mohammad Sameer Obeid (20 years old) was killed on Thursday by Israeli policemen during a raid at the Issawiyyeh neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem. Israeli policemen immediately kidnapped the body of Mohammad despite trials by Palestinian young men to save the body. Obeid’s family members, who were at Hadasa hospital trying to receive the body of their son were savagely beaten by Israeli forces.
‘Israel’ has been holding bodies of over 45 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces, refusing to hand them over to their families. Other bodies of 253 estimated Palestinians are kept in Israeli burial sites and morgues known as “cemeteries of numbers”, named after the numbering system that replaces names on graves.