DFLP calls for naming ministers who repaid stolen money to PA treasury

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds an urgent cabinet meeting in Ramallah, West Bank on 14 May, 2018 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds a cabinet meeting in Ramallah, West Bank

he Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) called for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to name ministers and other officials who repaid stolen money from the PA’s treasuryAl-Watan Voice reported on Friday.

Last month the PA president, Mahmoud Abbas, ordered former ministers and officials to repay the stolen money.

The DFLP confirmed that the PA’s financial minister, Shukri Bishara, announced that he had returned $80,000, following Abbas’s order.

However, the public are still in the dark as to what happened with the other ministers and officials who were addressed by Abbas’s instruction.

“Graft is still on the top of the agenda of the public, in light of the PA’s financial crisis,” the DFLP stated, calling for the PA to be courageous in their handling of this issue.

The DFLP called for the PA to brief the public regarding the latest developments on this issue, and to announce the names of the officials who have returned the funds.

Read: PA launches new anti-money laundering banking system

(Source / 19.10.2019) 

Al-Qassam reminds Israel that its soldiers are still in Gaza

Placed at the Al-Saraya junction in Gaza, a billboard shows Shaul Arun, an Israeli solider, standing with jail bars around him [Mohammed Asad/Apaimages]

Placed at the Al-Saraya junction in Gaza, a billboard shows Oron Shaul, an Israeli solider, standing with jail bars around him

Hamas’ military wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, issued a poster featuring passport-sized photos of four Israeli soldiers who were imprisoned by the Palestinian resistance in Gaza, Shehab News Agency reported on Friday.

The poster addressed the Israeli occupation by displaying the phrase “your soldiers are still in Gaza.”

Al-Qassam released the pictures to mark the eighth anniversary of the prisoner swap held between Hamas and Israel in 2011, when Israel released over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in return for the release of the Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.

Shalit was captured from his tank during an incursion in Gaza, in 2006.

The Israeli occupation rearrested at least 50 former Palestinian prisoners, who were released by the prisoner swap in 2011.

Israel report: ‘Hamas will win legislative elections’

(Source / 19.10.2019) 

Some 5,000 settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque during Sukkot

The Union of Temple Mount Organisation called for its fans to increase their raids of Al-Aqsa Mosque during the Jewish holidays

Hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on Thursday for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot [Kudüs İslami Vakıflar İdaresi/Handout/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli settlers seen in the the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, on 17 October 2019 [Kudüs İslami Vakıflar İdaresi/Handout/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli settlers seen in the the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, on 17 October 2019 [Kudüs İslami Vakıflar İdaresi/Handout/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli settlers seen in the the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, on 17 October 2019 [Kudüs İslami Vakıflar İdaresi/Handout/Anadolu Agency]

For the third consecutive day, around 2,473 settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque and performed Talmudic rituals during the Jewish holiday of SukkotArab48.com reported on Friday.

On Thursday, 816 settlers bombarded the holy site through Al-Magharbeh Gate. They besieged the mosque under heavy protection by the Israeli police.

The largest number of settlers to forcibly enter the third holiest site for all Muslims on the planet, during the ongoing season of the Israeli Jewish holidays was 1,000, occurring last Wednesday.

Israeli occupation forces are imposing strict measures at the entrances of Al-Aqsa Mosque, preventing many Palestinians from entering the holy site, while also thoroughly inspecting those allowed to enter.

The Union of Temple Mount Organisation called for its fans to increase their raids of Al-Aqsa Mosque during the Jewish holidays.

Chairman of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Omar Al-Kiswani, confirmed that Yeshiva students were among the settlers who stormed the mosque, performing Talmudic rituals while inside, deliberately provoking Muslim worshipers.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority deputy minister of Waqf, Hussam Abdul-Rub, condemned the raids of the settlers and officials under the protection of the Israeli police.

In a statement, Abdul-Rub denounced the detention and interrogation of Al-Aqsa preacher, Sheikh Ismail Nawahdeh, stressing that this measure was aimed to scare the scholars and to silence them, as well as to deter their religious role.

(Source / 19.10.2019) 

Medical Crisis in Gaza: Bone Infections Rise with Shortage of Critical Medicine

The release of two new reports point to the severity of the Israeli-imposed crisis on the Gaza Strip, with thousands of Palestinian patients — many of whom have been injured by Israeli gunfire, shells and missiles — unable to access much-needed medicines and treatment due to the ongoing Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip.

The first report, by Doctors without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières), reports a rapid and severe increase of bone infections among injured Palestinians.

The group reports:

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is dealing with immense challenges while treating many people who have developed bone infections after having been shot by the Israeli army during protests in Gaza, Palestine over the last year. These infections are adding to the already complicated path to recovery that these injured people must tread. Their serious and complex wounds require months – if not years – of dressing, surgery and physiotherapy. Infections prevent recovery, and to make matters worse, many of them are resistant to antibiotics.

Gunshot wounds prone to infection

“When you have an open fracture, you need lots of things to get better: different types of surgery, physiotherapy, and avoiding the wound becoming infected, which is a high risk with these types of injuries,” explains Aulio Castillo, MSF’s Medical Team Leader in Gaza. “Unfortunately, for many of our patients who have been shot, the severity and complexity of their wounds – combined with the severe shortage of treatments for them in Gaza – means they have now developed chronic infections.”

“What’s more, we’re finding in preliminary testing that many of these people are infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria,” says Castillo.

Gunshot wounds by their very nature are prone to infection. With a dirty foreign body breaking the skin, it is vital that the wound be cleaned to reduce the risk of infection. With injuries such as those in Gaza, where the wounds are huge, bones are splintered, and treatment is difficult, many wounds stay open long after the injury, meaning the risk of infection is drastically higher.

Antibiotic resistant wounds make treatment much harder

Complicating this is what appear to be very high rates of antibiotic resistant infections there. These infections have developed an ability to withstand many common antibiotics used to treat them. This often happens because antibiotics have been overused, whether in the community or in the environment, which is a growing problem worldwide.

Antibiotic resistance makes the already difficult task of treating people like Ayman much harder. To get better he needs antibiotics, but with the usual option useless against the resistant infection, he has to take a stronger type that carries a higher risk of side effects. These “heavy-duty” antibiotics are also much more expensive.

In the second report, focused on shortages of essential medicines, Yousef al-Jamal, writing for the Electronic Intifada, states:

Israel’s siege – imposed since 2007 – has affected Gaza’s healthcare system enormously. A new report by the World Health Organization states that of the 516 items on Gaza’s essential medicines list, nearly half had less than a month’s stock remaining in 2018. The depletion of stocks had worsened by 15 percent since the previous year, the report adds.

Data from 2019 paint a similarly disturbing picture. During August, stocks of 225 essential medicines held in the central store of Gaza’s health ministry had run out by at least 90 percent.

Rana Hussein, a nurse at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, says that more than 60 cancer drugs are unavailable in Gaza. Treatments for diabetes and some kidney complaints are hard to find, too.

“There are 250 patients with thalassemia [a blood disorder] who lack medication,” Hussein said.

Improvements?

Israel’s frequent attacks on Palestinians taking part in protests has also placed considerable burdens on Gaza’s hospitals.

More than 1,000 people who have been injured are awaiting limb reconstruction treatment in Gaza, Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations’ Middle East envoy, stated last month. Unless such treatment is provided, many limbs could be lost because of infection.

Mladenov has claimed that “some improvements were felt” in Gaza’s economy over the past few months. Unemployment has dropped from 47 percent to 46.7 percent, he said.

The improvements have not been felt by many ordinary people. And human rights monitors have drawn attention to how a new method for calculating unemployment data has been introduced in Palestine.

Gisha, a group campaigning against movement restrictions, has estimated that the real level of unemployment in Gaza has risen since last year.

Mahmoud is a 30-year-old unemployed man. Two of his children – Wissam, 8, and Lina, 7 – have epilepsy.

Wissam can have as many as five seizures per day. He has broken teeth and injured his hands while falling down.

“Impossible to afford”

A dose of levetiracetam – the main drug used to treat epilepsy – costs $150 each for Lina and Wissam per month – when it can be found. “This treatment is often not available in Gaza’s hospitals and pharmacies,” said Mahmoud, who does not have the money to buy the medicines, in any event.

The children’s mother Ghada is trying against the odds to remain optimistic. “After black clouds comes sunshine,” she said.

“I wish it was me [who had epilepsy], not you,” she added, looking at her children.

Imam Abdulrahman, now aged 23, was diagnosed with a heart condition in 2016. Since then he has had an aortic valve replacement operation.

It is vital that he takes regular medication to reduce the risk of a heart attack or a stroke. Like many others in Gaza, he and his family do not have the means to pay his medical bills.

Lacking a fixed job, Abdulrahman does occasional work in construction or as a cleaner.

He mainly relies on welfare payments paid to his father by the Palestinian Authority, headquartered in the occupied West Bank. The payments come to $400 and are only issued every three months.

“This is not enough money,” Abdulrahman said. “It is impossible for me to afford medicine to help me overcome my illness.”

(Source / 19.10.2019) 

Israeli Soldiers Injure Many Protesters, Abduct International Peace Activist, In Kufur Qaddoum

Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, the weekly procession in Kufur Qaddoum town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, and injured several protesters, in addition to abducting an international peace activist.

The Popular Committee against the Annexation Wall and Colonies in Kufur Qaddoum, said the soldiers assaulted the protesters, and ambushed some of them.

It added that the soldiers fired gas bombs, causing many protesters to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, before abducting a solidarity activist from Spain, in addition to wounding another international activist and one Palestinian, while chasing them.

Several Palestinian youngsters started hurling stones at the invading soldiers, who fired more rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs and concussion grenades.

Kufur Qaddoum witnesses frequent Israeli invasions, assaults and abductions as it continues to hold is weekly nonviolent processions against the illegal Annexation Wall and colonies, and against the closure of the main road, which was blockaded by the military fifteen years ago, to enable easy access for colonialist settlers driving to and from the Kedumim colony, built on private Palestinian lands.

(Source / 19.10.2019) 

Soldiers Abduct A Child, 9, In Hebron

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Friday evening, a Palestinian child, only nine years of age, in Beit Ummar town, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron. The soldiers also invaded Beit Awwa, southwest of Hebron.

Media sources said the soldiers invaded the ath-Thaher area, in Beit Ummar town, and abducted a child, identified as Qussai Ibrahim Fawzi al-Ja’ar, only nine years of age, and took him to a nearby military base.

They added that the child was abducted by the soldiers while playing in th4 front yard of his parent’s home.

His family tried to speak with the soldiers and pleaded with them to release him, but they started firing live rounds in the air, before driving the child to a military base in the nearby illegal Karmie Tzur colony.

In related news, several army jeeps invaded, on Friday evening, Beit Awwa town, southwest of Hebron, and fired gas bombs at Palestinians, in addition to homes and stores.

The soldiers forced many stores shut and closed the gate which was installed at the main entrance of the town.

(Source / 19.10.2019) 

THREE FARMERS INJURED IN ATTACK BY SETTLERS NEAR NABLUS

Nablus (QNN) – At least three Palestinian farmers sustained various injuries today as Jewish settlers attacked them while they were harvesting olive crops in the village of Burin, south of Nablus in the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC).

The official Palestinian news agency WAFA said settlers from the illegal Gevat Ronin settlement outpost reportedly attacked the farmers and physically assaulted them, injuring three of them. The three were moved to a nearby hospital for treatment.

The settlers also stole the crops of olive that have been harvested by some of the farmers.

Shortly following the attack, villagers from Burin rushed to the scene of the attack to fend off the settlers, before one of them, armed with a rifle, opened gunfire towards the villagers. None was injured in the shooting.

This was the latest in a series of attacks by Israeli settlers against vulnerable Palestinian communities since the beginning of this year’s olive harvest, some of them resulted in the injury of civilians.

Settler violence is commonplace across the occupied West Bank, which mainly increases during the olive harvest season, and is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities as the Palestinian Authority has no jurisdiction over Israeli settlers.

(Source / 19.10.2019) 

‘ISRAEL’ RELEASES FORCIBLY HIDDEN 12 YEAR OLD PALESTINIAN

Qalqilya (QNN)- Israeli authorities release Thursday Khaled Ghannam (12 years old), who was forcibly hidden on Wednesday in occupied Qalqilya.

Khaled’s family welcomed the child with a birthday party, as he was arrested one day before his 12th birthday.

Khaled’s brother, Na’il, previously told QNN that Israeli forces arrested his brother when he was near a zoo in the city. He was playing with his friends. Israeli forces arrested him claiming that he was throwing Molotov cocktails.

Na’il stressed that Israeli authorities refused to provide any information on his brother or the place where he is detained. They also prevented lawyers from reaching him. “We called all detention centers in the North of West Bank, however they all denied having him [Khaled] detained”, Na’il told QNN.

Na’il also said that it was the first time Khaled was arrested. “Khaled is a child, who doesn’t know anything but playing. We are very worried about him. We demand to have him freed and to get further information on the place where he is detained”.

Israeli authorities arrest 200 Palestinian children, who are under the age of 18, Israeli jails.

(Source / 19.10.2019) 

ISRAELI FORCES KILL PALESTINIAN MAN IN TULKAREM

Occupied Tulkarem (QNN)- Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian young man at Jbara military checkpoint in southern Tulkarem on Friday night.

Media sources said that Israeli soldiers killed Ra’ad Bahri (25 years old) from the village of Kafr Zibad in the South and left him bleeding to death.

On the other side, Israeli media claimed the young man tried to attack and stab the armed soldiers, who were inside the checkpoint, before they murder him.

(Source / 19.10.2019) 

Israeli occupation forces wound 97 peaceful protesters in Gaza

Since the Gaza rallies began in March last year, more than 310 protesters have been killed and thousands more wounded by Israeli forces

Israeli occupation forces wounded 97 Palestinian protesters, including 45 children, two women during 79th consecutive Friday protest staged along the eastern fence of Gaza Strip.

Thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip gathered along the eastern fence of Gaza to take part in the weekly anti-occupation protests known as the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege.

Protesters from across the Gaza Strip headed to the eastern areas of the coastal enclave raising anti-occupation banners and Palestinian flags.

Since the Gaza rallies began in March last year, more than 310 protesters have been killed and thousands more wounded by Israeli forces.

Demonstrators demand an end to the 13-year-old strict Israeli blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip.

The siege has shattered the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its 2 million inhabitants of free movement in and out from Gaza and prevented many basic amenities.

(Source / 19.10.2019)