‘Rachel Corrie’s death should be incentive for global solidarity with Palestine’

23-year-old Rachel Corrie who was crushed to death by Israeli bulldozers in Gaza in 2003

23-year-old Rachel Corrie who was crushed to death by Israeli bulldozers in Gaza in 2003

The Head of the Popular Committee against the Israeli Siege on Gaza said on Tuesday that the 17th anniversary of Rachel Corrie’s death should be an incentive for global solidarity with Palestine. Jamal Al-Khodari MP told journalists that Corrie, who was killed by an Israeli armoured bulldozer in Gaza on 16 March 2003, is one of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the Palestinian cause.

Al-Khodari’s remarks came in the wake of the global coronavirus crisis which has affected the scale of solidarity with the Palestinians and their cause as they remain under effective lockdown enforced by the Israeli siege and occupation. US citizen Corrie was killed by an Israeli soldier when she was trying to prevent the bulldozer that he was driving from demolishing a Palestinian home in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

“The world must listen to Corrie’s voice which still resonates around the world,” said the MP. He stressed that fact that the 23-year-old solidarity activist challenged the Israeli occupation forces in order to protect a Palestinian family from becoming homeless.

READ: 40 candles of solidarity: An international birthday for Rachel Corrie

On the 17th anniversary of her murder, Al-Khodari hailed Corrie and her family, and called for international solidarity movements to intensify their efforts to save the Gaza Strip from the deteriorating humanitarian and economic crises which engulf it. The territory has been under an Israeli-led siege for 14 years, during which time Israel has launched three major military offensives against the largely civilian population.

“We hope to see popular, institutional and parliamentarian moves having a tangible impact at the official level,” he added. “Such efforts must lead to real pressure on the Israeli government in order to end its siege imposed on the Gaza Strip. We will never forget Rachel Corrie and her sacrifice to achieve justice and protect the Palestinians.”

Palestine remembers Rachel Corrie - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

(Source / 18.03.2020) 

Israel stops providing cleaning products to Palestine detainees

Palestinian prisoners [File photo]

Palestinian prisoners

Palestinian prisoners have today rejected their meals in protest against the Israeli Prison Service’s plans to stop supplying 140 products, including cleaning products, from the canteen and halt medical visits for detainees.

There are approximately 1,200 prisoners in need of treatment who suffer from medical negligence. Some 700 urgently need surgery and 24 suffer with cancer.According to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club, 90 per cent of prisoners have become ill while in prison due to poor conditions and negligence which may have exacerbated their health.

Palestinian rights group Addameer’s Alaa Alskafi said: “We sent a letter to Israeli authorities, asking them about any coronavirus measures they take in their prisons. They replied only that they have prevented prison visits from families and lawyers.”

This was however brought into question as Israeli prison authorities are also banning Palestinian detainees from communicating with their families via telephone.

Addameer also noted that while prison authorities are supposed to provide sterilisers they have banned nearly 150 cleaning materials from the canteen.Ali Almoghrabi, spokesman of the Asra information office, said: “The Israeli prison system is the perfect environment for disease like coronavirus to spread easily among inmates due to the regularly overcrowded and unsanitary cell conditions.”The authorities don’t take any preventive measures for Palestinian prisoners, even though they deal directly with their Israeli jailers, who of course can also become infected.”Rights groups have called for the immediate release of 500 Palestinian prisoners who are currently jailed in Israeli administrative detention without charge or trial, in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

READ: Thousands of Israeli soldiers quarantined due to coronavirus

(Source / 18.03.2020) 

Palestinian prisoners to protest as Israel not preventing coronavirus spread

Palestinian prisoners in Israel's Al Naqab Prison

Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s Al Naqab Prison, 15 January 2020

Israeli prison administration are being accused of not taking the proper measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and treat those who may become sick, and are instead using the disease to continue their abuse of Palestinian prisoners, Wafa news agency reported.

Fears of a coronavirus outbreak in prisons holding Palestinian detainees were compounded by reports that an inmate at the Ashkelon prison was removed as a precaution after being examined by an Israeli doctor who suspected him of being infected with COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Israeli and Palestinian media reported that there were suspected cases of the virus in two other prisons: Ramleh prison in central Israel, and the Moscobiya detention centre in Jerusalem.

Israel’s prison authorities have imposed restrictions on Palestinian detainees, cancelling previously agreed rights, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said.

In a statement, PPS said the prison’s canteens stopped supplying prisoners with 140 products, including cleaning products which are a grave necessity in light of the novel coronavirus outbreak – particularly amid the crowded cells that already lack basic health standards.

READ: Thousands of Israeli soldiers quarantined due to coronavirus

It warned the level of overcrowding in Israeli prisons will be one of the major factors that could advance a coronavirus outbreak amongst Palestinian prisoners.

As an act of protest against the negligence of the Israeli prison administration, Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails rejected their meals today and announced a lock-down on Saturday and Sunday.

In addition,  the Israeli prison service has limited sick and injured prisoners’ visits to medical clinics by preventing and cancelling all their medical check-ups despite many suffering from high fever, a symptom of the coronavirus.

According to Palestinian authorities, there are approximately 1,200 prisoners in need of treatment who suffer from medical negligence. Some 700 urgently need surgery and 24 suffer from cancer.

READ: Israel further tightens restrictions on Palestinians, targeting day labourers

Moreover, 90 per cent of prisoners have become ill while in prison due to poor conditions and negligence which may have exacerbated their health.

PPS reiterated its call for all international organisations, particularly the International Committee of the Red Cross, to be more attentive with following-up on prisoners and pressuring the Israeli Prison Services (IPS) to provide them with proper measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

(Source / 18.03.2020) 

Hamas builds coronavirus isolation facilities in Gaza

Voluntary campaign to disinfect houses in refugee camps in the Gaza Strip to as a precautionary step against the coronavirus o 16 March 2020 in Gaza

Voluntary campaign to disinfect houses in refugee camps in the Gaza Strip to as a precautionary step against the coronavirus o 16 March 2020 in Gaza

Facilities for medical examinations and the possible isolation of those entering the Gaza Strip through the Rafah and Erez Crossings are being constructed by the de facto government run by Hamas, the Times of Israel has reported.

Although there are yet to be any coronavirus cases in the coastal enclave, the authorities have, over the past week, started to prepare for the likelihood that the virus could reach the crowded territory. According to The Jerusalem Post, two sets of facilities will be built in the north and south of the Gaza Strip, with a total of 500 rooms for individuals requiring quarantine.

The director of Rafah Municipality’s health and environmental department, Mohammed Mohammed, explained that the facility near Rafah will be built on land to the west of the city. It will be coordinated by the municipality, the government’s monitoring committee, the local water services and the electricity company.

READ: Israel stops providing cleaning products to Palestine detainees

The leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Al-Sinwar, has been reported to be supervising the construction work personally in both areas. He has, apparently, been accompanied by a number of senior Hamas officials on his visits to the sites.

Palestinian health officials have expressed concern that if and when cases of coronavirus are detected in the Gaza Strip, local hospitals will not be able to cope with a large number of infected patients.

“The Gaza Strip is a densely populated area, where the virus could spread very quickly,” said one official. “The health system in the Gaza Strip does not have the tools and staff to deal with dozens of infected cases. We have 11 major hospitals and dozens of clinics, but they won’t be able to receive a large number of patients. That could result in a real and unprecedented humanitarian crisis.”

Most of the cases of coronavirus in the occupied Palestinian territories have been recorded in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.

READ: Palestine city bans exit, entry of residents to stop spread of coronavirus

(Source / 18.03.2020) 

Members of US Congress Call for Action Against Israeli Policy of Forced Displacement

A letter signed by 64 members of the US Congress on Tuesday addressed to Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, urged the Trump administration to oppose Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank, and to reject further US funding, Palestine News Network reported.

The letter stated, “We are writing with concern about the continued demolition of homes and the forcible transfer of Palestinian civilians in the West Bank,” the letter continued, “the United States must act to prevent unlawful home demolitions, the forcible transfer of Palestinians.”

In related news, Tareq Mohammad Ali and his family were forced to demolish their own home in Jerusalem at the order of the Israeli High Court, under the pretext it was built without an Israeli permit.

It is also important to note that in February, more than 100 Democrats in the US House of Representatives signed a letter rejecting Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan.

Forced displacement is forbidden under the Rome Statute, the Fourth Geneva Convention, and is a war crime, under international humanitarian law (IHL).

A. Parties to an international armed conflict may not deport or forcibly transfer the civilian population of an occupied territory, in whole or in part, unless the security of the civilians involved or imperative military reasons so demand.

B. Parties to a non-international armed conflict may not order the displacement of the civilian population, in whole or in part, for reasons related to the conflict, unless the security of the civilians involved or imperative military reasons so demand.

(Source / 18.03.2020) 

Updated: “Israeli Soldiers Abduct Ten Palestinian In West Bank”

Israeli soldiers abducted, earlier Wednesday, at least ten Palestinians from their homes in several parts of the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported.

In the central West Bank city of Ramallah, a squadron of Israeli soldiers invaded a town in the Ramallah district and abducted six Palestinian youth, after breaking into their homes while they were asleep in their beds before dawn.

According to local sources, the youth detained were identified as Adham Abu Arqoub, Ali Jabber, Alaa Ghazzawi, Nour Alsarsour, Mohammad Burhan and Emad Elsheikh.

The soldiers also invaded Beit Rima town, northwest of Ramallah, before undercover soldiers stormed the home of Anas Hasan Barghouthi, and kidnapped him.

The soldiers fired many live round and concussion grenades while withdrawing from the town.

The sources said that in another incident, close to Ramallah, another squadron of Israeli troops took over a Palestinian vehicle in the Albalou’ neighborhood of the West Bank town of al-Biereh.

In addition, the soldiers invaded and ransacked homes in Qalqilia, in northern West Bank, and abducted Rafat Dweiry, 25, in addition to Ali Qar’an, 18.

In Hebron, in southern West Bank, the soldiers abducted Ayyoub Khader al-Masalma, from his home in Doura town, south of the city.

(Source / 18.03.2020) 

Senior PLO Member: “Israeli Policy of Home Demolition Is A War Crime”

Tayseer Khaled, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization(PLO), said this week that Israeli policy of Palestinian homes’ demolition constitutes a war crime, an act of collective punishment that violates International Law.

Khaled’s remarks came in the backdrop of a recent United Nations’ report on the humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, which suggested that the number of Palestinian homes, demolished by Israel, increased by %45 in 2019, compared with the year 2018.

A statement by Khaled, released to media outlets, called on all concerned international bodies to make sure that Israel applies all relevant international laws and conventions, pertaining to the prevention of homes demolition, which results in forcible transfer of civilian Palestinian residents in the occupied West Bank.

The statement added that current Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes is considered a form of collective punishment, which is prohibited internationally.

It cited United Nations Security Council’s resolution 1544 of 2004, which clearly stipulated that Israel is obliged to respect international humanitarian law.

It further noted that the Israeli policy of homes demolition is a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 for the Protection of civilian persons in times of war, as well as article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Huma Rights, issued in 1948.

The PLO’s senior member called on the international community to take the lead by pressuring the Israeli government or even imposing sanctions on Israel so that the latter would halt its policy of home demolitions.

(Source / 18.03.2020) 

‘ISRAEL’ ARRESTS SEVEN PALESTINIANS IN WEST BANK

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Israeli forces on Wednesday arrested seven Palestinians from different areas throughout the West Bank.

Local sources said that Israeli forces stormed Ramallah and broke into several houses before arresting six young men.

The young men are Adham Abu Arqoub, Ali Jaber, Alaa Ghazawi, Noor Sarsour, Muhammad Burhan, and Imad Sheikh.

Israeli forces also confiscated a vehicle from the Balou’a neighborhood in Ramallah.

Ameen Abu Haniyyeh was also arrested after breaking into his house in eastern Azzoun in Qalqilya.

(Source / 18.03.2020) 

SETTLERS STORM AL AQSA MOSQUE, ISRAELI POLICE ARREST TWO NATIVE PALESTINIANS

Jerusalem (QNN)- Israeli police on Wednesday arrested two Palestinian young men from occupied Jerusalem, while illegal settlers stormed the courtyards of Al Aqsa mosque.

QNN reporter said that Israeli cops arrested Muhammad Gheith and Yazan Rajabi from Silwan in southern Jerusalem and took them for interrogation.

Meanwhile, 27 Jewish fanatics stormed the holy mosque under police protection.

The settlers performed rituals on the eastern side of the mosque and toured the courtyards of it before leaving from As Silsilah gate.

Israeli authorities allow dozens of extremists to break into the holy mosque on a daily basis while preventing worshipers from entering the holy mosque and imposing restrictions of them.

(Source / 18.03.2020) 

RESISTANCE FACTIONS FORM SUPPORT TEAMS AS PART OF GOVERNMENT EFFORTS TO PROTECT GAZA FROM CORONAVIRUS

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Resistance factions in Gaza confirmed that “it will remain in a permanent state of session as a crisis cell to back the efforts of the Ministries of Health and Interior to prevent coronavirus spread” in the besieged enclave.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the factions declared that “they will form volunteer teams in all fields, especially the medical, security, and social fields. All teams will be under the direction of the ministries of health and interior” in order to protect the strip.

“Protecting society is a collective responsibility of all the components of our people”, the statement noted.

“The real threat to our people is occupation, which threatens our land”, it stated.

The factions held the occupation state responsible for the lives of Palestinian prisoners as coronavirus spreads in the occupation state and the Israeli Prison Service continues to deprive Palestinian prisoners of their basic needs to avoid the virus.

“The Israeli measures of preventing visits and depriving prisoners of using cleaning supplies are crimes against humanity”, the statement stated.

(Source / 18.03.2020)