PA Sends Needed Cancer Medication to Gaza

14 AUG
2:59 AM

The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced that medications were transported into the besieged Gaza Strip, on Monday, for the treatment of cancer.

The Palestinian Minister of Health, Jawad Awad, said that, upon instructions from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, medications were transported on Monday, to the warehouses of the Ministry of Health in Gaza.

Awad added that it is a basic right and a necessity to send the necessary cancer and pain medications to treat all Palestinians in all northern and southern districts.

The ministry confirmed that the medications dispatched are enough for the next three months.

The ministry has been periodically sending shipments of various medications to its warehouses in Gaza, including last month’s shipment of medications for cancer patients, which in addition to the shipment sent on Monday amounts to about 6 million shekels ($1,612,644).

This decision came following reports from health officials in Gaza concerning major shortages of chemotherapy medications.

According to health officials in Gaza, some 700 cancer patients, including 200 children, who were being treated at the Abdel al-Aziz al-Rantisi Hospital in Gaza, did not receive chemotherapy due to a shortage in medications needed to administer it.

Director of the hospital, Muhammad Abu Silmiya, said that more than 45 of 60 chemotherapy drugs needed at the hospital, were already out of stock by Monday morning.

The al-Rantisi Hospital is one of two medical centers that provided chemotherapy in Gaza.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health stressed that it was never behind schedule on sending cancer medications to Gaza, suggesting that health officials in Gaza should have informed the ministry in advance and in official correspondence, concerning the shortage of medications, in order to provide it in time, not to endanger the life of cancer patients.

The ministry added that it is working hard to provide all health services to the Palestinian people in the besieged Gaza Strip, noting that it continuously provides all hospital necessities, such as medicines and medical supplies, in order to maintain the health system and keep it from collapsing.

(Source / 14.08.2018)

Lieberman: War on Gaza a matter of time

Last week, Israeli forces attacked Gaza, killed pregnant mother, her toddler and destroyed 5-story cultural centre

It is only a matter of time before Israel launches a new offensive against the Gaza Strip, Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on monday.

The Jerusalem Post reported Lieberman saying: “The question of the next round of fighting is not ‘whether’ but ‘when.’ I am sure we will do what is needed.”

The senior Israeli official met with the Chief of Staff of the Israeli Occupation Army Gadi Eisenkot, the head of the Southern Command Herzi Halevi, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Kamil Abu Rokon and representatives from Shin Bet.

“Since the start of the ‘March of Return,’ Hamas has claimed 168 dead, another 4,348 wounded and dozens of terror infrastructures destroyed,” Lieberman said.

“We are conducting a responsible and powerful security policy.”

He explained: “Responsible security policy is not an answer-not to online commenters, not newspaper headlines or public opinion. We are prepared and know what to do and how to do it.”

Last week Israeli jets pounded Gaza with more than 150 air strikes that killed a pregnant mother and her 18-month-old daughter and destroyed a cultural centre.

(Source / 14.08.2018)

‘Farmer Terrorism’ Is the New Slogan for Jewish Settlers

Farmer terrorism

Jewish settlers regularly set fire to Palestinian lands, destroying crops and olive trees

By Ramona Wadi

In less than three months, Jewish settlers have destroyed over 2,000 trees and grapevines in the occupied West Bank. Rights group B’Tselem has issued a detailed report on this destruction, including testimony from Palestinian farmers. Bales of hay and barley fields were also destroyed. The destruction wrought by Israel’s settler-colonists equates Palestinian agriculture to terrorism; slogans sprayed on Palestinian property following the destruction included “No to farmer terrorism”.

The personal testimonies show that Israel has once again refused to act in order to deter settler violence against Palestinians and their land. Ultimately, the aim is to displace Palestinians forcibly by terrorizing those seeking access to their own land. “This process has erected invisible walls throughout the West Bank, which Palestinians know crossing will expose them to violence and even danger to their lives,” says B’Tselem.

Israel is using complementary forms of violence: direct destruction by targeting crops and using the same destruction to levy a psychological threat against the colonized population. In the documented cases, the destruction was so severe that new plants have to be cultivated, thus having a negative impact on the sliver of economic independence that Palestinians can gain from agriculture.

There is an outcome of resilience mingled with imposed resignation; the farmers will still tend to their fields yet the threat of another round of settler violence fuelled by impunity is always imminent. No matter how well rights organizations document the violations, though, the Palestinians have no recourse other than awareness. This is partly because Israel has moved ahead in terms of normalizing colonial expansion.

Hassan ‘Issa discovered that 168 out of 250 grapevines in his fields had been destroyed by settlers. “What happened to my vines feels like a terrible injustice, and I feel incredibly frustrated and sad.” It is painful to read this. Compare the vagueness of ‘Issa’s statement — made in the knowledge that there are no rights for the colonized in apartheid Israel — with the threat left by the settlers: “No to farmer terrorism.”

The value of people and land is misplaced to set the accelerated pace for forced displacement and a re-enactment of the image of Palestine being barren, one of the false premises behind Palestine’s colonization by Israel. The only difference is that Israel now prefers sustained acts of violence that are documented and discussed almost routinely.

“Farmer terrorism” is, of course, a complete falsehood, yet it is on such premises that expansion has been facilitated. The more that Israel utilizes such absurd claims, the further it is removed from reprimand by the international community. This lends Israel ample time and space — and total immunity — to construct its variety of “terror” narratives to make such purported threats endemic to its settler-colonial presence. Why would anyone even seek to challenge the notion of “farmer terrorism”? At first glance, it is void of any logic; a second reading flaunts its depravity, embodied by state and settlers alike.

Palestinian resilience has always laid bare the Zionist myths. Having no other means to sustain itself, Israel is eager to create the conditions for myths to become a manifested reality, even if it means acknowledging Palestinian existence through accusations which serve to embellish its purported “security concerns”. Nothing, though, justifies the wanton destruction of crops by illegal Jewish settlers or anyone else.

(Source / 14.08.2018)

‘NYT’ has run nonstop defenses by its columnists of killing protesters in Gaza

Thomas Friedman

Yesterday in the New York Times, Bret Stephens characterized the shootings on the Gaza protesters as a “military quagmire.” Just a throwaway line, but the former Jerusalem Post editor turned columnist said Benjamin Netanyahu was seeking to “shore up his popularity in the face of corruption allegations and a military quagmire in the Gaza Strip.”

Stephens’s swipe is merely the latest instance in a near-constant defense of the killings of unarmed protesters by op-ed columnists of the New York Times. Israeli forces have shot more than 4000 Palestinians with live ammunition during the 4-1/2 months of protests on the Gaza border, killing at least 124.

But that violence has been echoed in a barrage of New York Times hasbara columns. Tom Friedman in May blamed Hamas for “the tragic and wasted deaths of roughly 60 Gazans by encouraging their march.” He said the Palestinian protesters were going about it it all wrong.

What if all two million Palestinians of Gaza marched to the Israeli border fence with an olive branch in one hand and a sign in Hebrew and Arabic in the other, saying, ‘Two states for two peoples: We, the Palestinian people of Gaza, want to sign a peace treaty with the Jewish people–a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, with mutually agreed adjustments.’

Bret Stephens said three months ago that the Palestinians created the killings, with their culture of violence:

Why is nothing expected of Palestinians, and everything forgiven, while everything is expected of Israelis, and nothing forgiven?… No decent Palestinian society can emerge from the culture of victimhood, violence and fatalism symbolized by these protests.

Shmuel Rosner offered an uncompromising defense of Israeli slaughter– you have to be cruel to be kind.

Guarding the border was more important than avoiding killing, and guarding the border is what Israel did successfully.

Why so many thousands of Gazans decided to approach that fence, even though they were warned that such acts would be lethal, is beyond comprehension…

[S]ometimes there is no better choice than being clear, than being firm, than drawing a line that cannot be crossed by those wanting to harm you.

Matti Friedman also put the blame on Hamas, saying it had ordered up civilian casualties so as to hurt Israel’s image with a simple story about “villains and victims.” Many of the demonstrators are jihadists, he said, and maybe Israel should have responded more aggressively.

Israeli soldiers facing Gaza have no good choices…. Knowledgeable people can debate the best way to deal with this threat. Could a different response have reduced the death toll? Or would a more aggressive response deter further actions of this kind and save lives in the long run? What are the open-fire orders on the India-Pakistan border, for example?

To be sure, the New York Times has run several Palestinian voices during the same period. Novelist Atef Abu Seif wrote a piece right after the May 14 slaughter, more sad than angry, in sharp contrast with the arrogant smug racists on the other side.

This one, “Why I March,” was written by Fadi Abu Shammalah, before the main massacre. Again his is a quiet dignified voice.

And Rawan Yaghi wrote, “Gaza Screams for Life,” days after the protests commenced, with superb observations of the life of the protests.

A group of clowns with white face paint and red noses squeaked noisily in the rising and falling tones of Gaza’s Arabic dialect and hopped around. One of them grabbed a mic in front of a TV camera and started imitating news correspondents, quacking unintelligibly but as determined as if he were saying real words.

So yes, the Times has allowed some Palestinians to speak, and they were quiet and dignified.

And yes, one Times columnist, Michelle Goldberg, called the massacre a “massacre” (and quoted Amnesty International condemning the “excessive, illegal” use of force). And surprisingly David Brooks, though biased against Palestinians, did say that the Israelisshould have had a nonviolent response ready.

But again, at least four regular or semi-regular columnists in the Times are apologists for the massacre, in characteristically smug and racist and arrogant tones.

The inevitable journalistic questions (and answers) are:

–Would the New York Times print defenses of the shooting of protesters in any other case? (No.)

–The Israeli writer Shmuel Rosner is clearly in the Times entirely to convey hasbara to an elite American audience. Does the New York Times have a regular Palestinian columnist just to keep us updated on Palestinian issues, usually churning out condemnations of Israel? (No.)

(Source / 14.08.2018)

Allying Against Iran: Repercussions for Palestine

When the Iran deal – or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – was signed three years ago, Al-Shabaka analysts did not see significant changes in store for US-Palestinian relations, although they predicted that Palestinians’ situation would worsen when the US inevitably placated Israel and its lobby for, in Ali Abunimah’s words, “mildly defying” them. 1 Indeed, the following year, the US pledged to give Israel $38 billion in military assistance over a 10-year period – the largest military aid package ever given to Israel, or to any country, by the US.

Now, with the Trump administration having pulled out of the JCPOA and the US reinstituting sanctions against Iran, what does the U-turn mean for Palestinians? Diana Buttu, Osamah Khalil, and Mouin Rabbani examine how the closer relations among Israel, the US, and the Gulf states – with Iran as their common enemy – have informed US actions to the detriment of Palestinians, the repercussions of these developments on Hamas-Iran relations, and what Palestinians can do to challenge the forces against them.

Osamah Khalil

The benefits to Israel were in evidence before the US withdrew from the JCPOA, particularly with Trump’s decision on Jerusalem. The level of coordination and shared perspectives between the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government appears to be even closer than the cordial relationship between George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon. At the same time, Trump’s Jerusalem announcement fit into a broader historical pattern of the US attempting to impose a solution on the Palestinians and appeared to have the support of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. It also appears that Trump’s eventual peace plan will rely in part on Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and other Arab states pressuring Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership to accept a proposal that will be far less than their minimal demands. Washington will again blame the Palestinians for failing to seize the moment and will demonize the Palestinian leadership, including calls for change. This has already begun and was demonstrated again with the interview given by Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law and advisor, to al-Quds.

In some respects, Abbas has already prepared for this with his convening of a Palestinian National Council (PNC) meeting in April. The PNC members were Fatah cronies selected by Abbas. Although the goal was to provide Abbas with the appearance of legitimacy at a time when his domestic and international support has waned, it had the opposite effect. Abbas further demonstrated how ineffectual and unimaginative he and the Palestinian leadership have become.

Palestine and the Palestinians remain the major impediment to open and friendly relations between Israel and the Arab Gulf states. Although the Gulf states publicly object to Israel’s continuing occupation and oppression of the Palestinians and unwillingness to reach an agreement that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state, their protestations are increasingly less strident and support for Palestinian self-determination is not a priority. Instead, the Gulf states are focused on maintaining and extending their rule as well as curtailing Iran’s real or perceived influence.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is susceptible to pressure from the Arab governments, Israel, and the United States because it is dependent on aid for its survival. Moreover, the PA’s authoritarian rule is in line with that of other Arab states. The PA’s repression of critics is not merely to satisfy Israel and the United States, although those are important factors, but to ensure the continued dominance of a discredited leadership whose rule is maintained by patronage, fear, and a perceived lack of alternatives. With Abbas in poor health, it is likely that his replacement will be an individual from the security services who has been approved by Israel and the United States. Indeed, there are reportsthat representatives of the Palestinian security services have held meetings with their Israeli and Arab counterparts to prepare for the announcement of the Trump plan. Thus, Palestinians can expect an even more repressive PA that seeks to curry favor with the Trump administration, Israel, and the Arab states.

One way to challenge the US and its allies in the region is to focus on divestment from fossil fuelsCLICK TO TWEET

As for Hamas, it is in a difficult position. Although it still holds power in Gaza, regionally it is weaker than ever before. Nor has it demonstrated an ability to break Israel’s siege on Gaza or improve the movement’s standing regionally or internationally. Relations between Hamas and Iran and Syria are strained. It has a tenuous marriage of convenience with Egypt. Its ties to Qatar have also weakened, although Turkey has provided some limited support. Meanwhile, the US and Israel continue to portray Hamas as an extension of Iran’s influence in the region. Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah have encouraged this portrayal.

Though Abbas has negotiated and signed multiple national unity agreements with Hamas, he has no intention of implementing them without the movement’s total surrender. Abbas and his advisors do not appear to care how many Palestinians in Gaza suffer as a result of their policies, as they have hoped for over a decade that if conditions in Gaza are intolerable the population will eventually overthrow Hamas. Meanwhile, Abbas and the PA security services conveniently label any critic of their repressive rule as Hamas supporters. They have even extended this to protests in support of Palestinians in Gaza, as occurred recently in Ramallah. The PA’s security services and Fatah thugs dispersed a June protest with violence, intimidation, and sexual harassment. With the US’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, the above trends can be expected to continue.

As in Yemen and Gaza, Washington and its allies view Syria as another arena to curtail Iranian influence, real or perceived. Bashar al-Assad’s regime currently has the advantage against the opposition, whose control over territory is shrinking and support from outside powers has decreased. Regime and allied forces have recaptured most of the territory held by the opposition in southern Syria and may focus their efforts on Idlib next. At the same time, there is a concerted effort by the United States, Israel, Turkey, and the Arab Gulf states to ensure that Syria remains divided and unstable. As demonstrated by the destruction of the Yarmouk refugee camp, Syrian Palestinians will reflect the country’s political and geographic fragmentation.

As part of a broader Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) effort, there are opportunities to challenge the policies of the US and its allies in the region. One way is to focus on divestment from fossil fuels by major pensions funds and employers. Although Saudi Arabia and the UAE are attempting to diversify their economies, they are still heavily reliant on revenues from oil. Indeed, there is already a concerted effort by leading universities, cities, states, and major employers in the United States and internationally 2 to divest from these holdings. Studies indicate that divestment from fossil fuels coupled with investment in renewable energy can have a positive impact on portfolio performance. Activists and civil society organizations can therefore make a financial and moral argument in favor of divestment.

Similarly, the United States benefits through the recycling of petrodollars, particularly through arms sales to the Persian Gulf autocracies. A divestment effort focused on major military contractors, in particular those whose weapons have been used across the region, can demonstrate the implications of the policies and actions of the US and its allies in the region as well as the complicity of investors in gross human rights abuses. This is particularly important as many pension funds and major investors have corporate and investment responsibility guidelines and policies.

These actions would dovetail with existing BDS efforts focused on divestment from companies benefiting from the Israeli occupation. This can be expanded by emphasizing the shared interests and policies of the Trump administration, Netanyahu’s government, and the Gulf autocracies.

Diana Buttu

It is important to highlight how Israel benefited both from the JCPOA and from the US withdrawal from it. It is also important to underscore that Israel continues to evade de-nuclearization by continuing with its clandestine nuclear program. By some estimates, Israel has between 80 to 400 nuclear warheads, yet Israel has never submitted to inspections or even declared that it has nuclear weapons despite the real threat that it poses to Palestinians and neighboring countries. It is this double standard – one standard for Israel and other for Iran – and the benefits that Israel has reaped despite refusing to submit to inspections that should be highlighted.

Meanwhile, Israel’s strategy toward Iran is the same strategy it has adopted toward Palestinians: Make a ruckus and demand harsh sanctions with concomitant aid or weapons, and after receiving the compensation, push for the cancellation of any agreement and for even more aid and even more weapons. With the US withdrawing from the JCPOA, Israel will continue to demand even more US aid and weaponry while simultaneously attempting to link Hamas with Iran with the aim of ensuring that it has carte blanche to maintain the siege on Gaza and demand additional sanctions against Palestinians in exchange for not attacking Iran. The current US regime will undoubtedly oblige, given Trump’s close relationship with Sheldon Adelson, who has not only bankrolled Israel’s Birthright program, an Israeli university in an illegal settlement, and the right-wing newspaper Israel Hayom, but has donated to Trump’s campaign and had expressed frustration that Trump had not moved the embassy sooner. This will mean that while Israel continues to build and expand settlements in the West Bank, it will push to impose an even harsher blockade on Gaza under the guise of fighting Iran.

Israel benefited both from the Iran deal and from the US withdrawal from itCLICK TO TWEET

Assistance from Arab neighbors cannot be counted on. For decades, the Arab world’s support for Palestine has never been unconditional, and for several years countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia have simply paid lip service that they support Palestinian freedom. These countries, like others around the world, are driven by their own narrow interests and not by larger regional interests. This means that, when fearing Iran’s nuclear program, they willingly side with Israel, fulfilling the adage that “my enemy’s enemy is my friend.” Their views, however, are shortsighted: Though Jordan has cozier relations with Israel than with other countries in the Arab world, this has not prevented Israel from killing Jordanian citizens with impunity or stealing Jordanian resources. It will simply be a matter of time before Israel once again turns against these nations.

The cozier relationship between Israel and the Gulf states may also translate into increased pressure on Palestinians to accept any proposed American “deal.” In the past, Palestinians were believed to be the key to normalizing relations between Israel and the Arab world. Now, however, the Trump administration is viewing things through a different lens: Palestinians will be delivered through the Arab world. Using this logic, the Trump administration will continue to exert pressure on Iran to appease Israel and the Gulf states, with the quid pro quo that these same Gulf states will exert pressure on Palestinians. Again, this is shortsighted: Palestinians will not support any leader who makes these major capitulations to their rights, and it will only be a matter of time before the tide turns against such leaders, too.

Mouin Rabbani

The US withdrawal from the JCPOA has been an Israeli strategic objective from the moment the agreement was signed, and thus represents a major Israeli achievement and one that will further embolden Israel regionally and strengthen its sense of impunity in its dealings with the Palestinians. It is also relevant to note that this US decision was accompanied by a number of others, such as the US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the US assault on UNRWA, and the US withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council, that were conceived and implemented as US measures to further strengthen Israel in its relationship with the Palestinians. In other words, we are dealing with a US administration that is not only fully aligned with Israel like its predecessors, but is increasingly aligned with the most extreme forces in Israel when it comes to the Palestinians and the Question of Palestine more broadly.

On this basis, the question is not so much how the US renunciation of its international legal obligations pursuant to the JCPOA will affect the Palestinians, but rather how this decision reflects a broader US initiative to align even more closely with Israeli policy. And what we have seen is a change in US policy, from becoming a tireless advocate and uncritical defender of Israel policy to what might better be characterized as an implementer of Israeli policy, including vis-à-vis the Palestinians. If Palestinian civil society wants to make a meaningful contribution to opposing these developments it should focus primarily on the rejuvenation of the Palestinian national movement.

It also seems fairly clear that the US is determined to pursue increasingly confrontational policies toward Iran, both in the region and with the objective of regime change in Tehran. And in this context the constant denunciation of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Palestinians more generally as Iranian proxies, much like the PLO was habitually written off as a Soviet proxy during the Cold War, suggests that the US considers Israel’s war against the Palestinians as contributing to its own campaign against Tehran. We have seen this with the tirades in the UN Security Council by US Permanent Representative Nikki Haley, and in Jared Kushner’s obscene censure of murdered Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza as “part of the problem.” Hence we should expect even greater Israeli impunity in its dealings with the Palestinians.

The reality of Iran-Hamas relations is that they took a substantial turn for the worse after the Hamas leadership broke with the Assad regime and relocated to Qatar in 2012, and Iran began to focus primarily on assisting Islamic Jihad. Relations began to improve again with the installation of the current Hamas leadership, particularly Yahya Sinwar. Sinwar’s approach has been that Hamas cannot afford to limit its regional relationships to Qatar and Turkey, and has thus sought to diversify them by reaching out not only to Iran but also Egypt and others. The new Hamas leadership also felt it was important to repair relations with Tehran because Iran, along with Hizbullah, are its main sources of military support (a form of support it did not receive from Qatar or Turkey, at a time when the Abdel Fattah El-Sisi regime in Egypt has severely constrained its ability to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip via the Sinai Peninsula).

Iran recognized that while it may have more affinity with Islamic Jihad, Hamas is much larger and more influentialCLICK TO TWEET

For its part Iran recognized that while there may be more affinity between Iran and Islamic Jihad, Hamas is a much larger and more influential organization. So the relationship had already been improving for reasons that have little to do with the US renunciation of the JCPOA. But with both Iran and the Palestinians now under siege by the Trump administration, and the prospect of a new conflict substantially greater, this will have helped strengthen the relationship further.

In regard to Arab regimes, there is no doubt that they would like to be rid of the Palestinian question in order to remove remaining obstacles to their alliance with Israel, based on a shared understanding that Israel is an ally and not an enemy, whilst Iran is an existential threat rather than a neighbor. But, particularly in Saudi Arabia, which has the most substantial population of the Gulf states, this is easier said than done. Even under the current circumstances of regional upheaval and polarization, Palestine remains a central concern for public opinion, and can thus affect the legitimacy of the regimes in question, particularly when they are already confronting intra-elite dissent as in Saudi Arabia. That said, it’s undeniable that these relations have improved very substantially in recent years, and that this has cost the Palestinians dearly. But it’s too easy to simply denounce Gulf autocrats for collaborating with Israel –  true as that assertion may be. The absence of a unified Palestinian leadership able and willing to exercise influence in the Arab arena is a key part of this equation.

The Syria conflict produced an interesting realignment within the Palestinian political system. Hamas, which despite its affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood had enjoyed a close relationship with the Assad regime, ruptured with Damascus while Fatah, which has been either at odds or in open conflict with Damascus for decades, improved its relations substantially.

More generally the Syria conflict and the attendant regional polarization has been politically catastrophic for the Palestinians. It should hardly come as a revelation that for virtually all of the regional and international parties involved in the Syria conflict in its various dimensions Palestine has become an at best secondary concern in recent years. Arguably, Syria was the arena in which the promise of a renewed and more energetic Arab approach toward the Palestinian cause, widely anticipated after the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings, died a premature death.

The Syria conflict has also been not only a political but also a human and humanitarian catastrophe for the Palestinian community in that country. Entire Palestinian camps and neighborhoods have been reduced to rubble, and in many cases stateless Palestinians resident in Syria have encountered greater difficulty escaping the conflict than Syrian citizens. Syria is arguably the only country that since 1948 consistently afforded Palestinian refugees on its soil the same rights and privileges extended to its own citizens. Its destruction is beyond tragic, not only for the Syrian people, but also for the Palestinians.

(Source / 14.08.2018)

Palestinians protest UNRWA cuts in Bethlehem

Protest against UNRWA

Dozens of Palestinians marched on Monday in Bethlehem city in protest at UNRWA’s decision to reduce its services to Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank.

The protesters raised banners condemning UNRWA cuts and asking the UN agency to backtrack on its decision.

Head of the Popular Committee of al-Fawwar refugee camp, Afif Ghatasha, in a speech called on UNRWA to abide by all international resolutions related to the Palestinian refugees’ issue until they return to their villages from which they were expelled in 1948.

Ghatasha stressed that there is a US-Israel conspiracy aimed at liquidating the Palestinian refugees’ issue and dropping the right of return.

He added that protests will continue and even escalate in case UNRWA does not reverse its decision.

(Source / 13.08.2018)

Palestinian girl banned from Aqsa Mosque for two weeks

Bara'a Ghazzawi banned

Israeli police on Monday decided to ban a Palestinian girl from entering al-Aqsa Mosque for two weeks.

Bara’a Ghazzawi said that the Israeli police detained her for hours on Sunday and released her later on condition of a 15-day ban from al-Aqsa Mosque.

Ghazzawi told Quds Press that she was interrogated at al-Qashla detention center, west of Jerusalem, Sunday.

Israeli police have recently banned dozens of Palestinian citizens from entering al-Aqsa Mosque over their regular presence in the Islamic holy site.

(Source / 13.08.2018)

MoH: 8,260 patients at risk after cancer treatment runs out in Gaza

There are 460 children who are cancer patients in the Gaza Strip

Some 8,260 in the besieged Gaza Strip are unable to access chemotherapy treatment after zdrugs needed ran out as a result of the siege, Palestinian health ministry revealed yesterday.

In a statement, ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said 80 per cent of cancer medicines are not available in the enclave which makes treatment impossible and puts patients’ lives at risk.

The ministry said that there are 6,100 cancer patients, including 460 children, who receive treatment at Al-Rantisi Hospital in Gaza City.

In addition, the ministry said, there are 1,700 cancer patients in the European Hospital in southern city of Khan Yunis.

Human rights groups have called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to end the punitive measures he has imposed on the Strip in particular those which have paralysed its health sector.

Gaza has endured an 11-year Israeli siege which has seen all its land and sea ports closed. The PA has exacerbated the situation by cutting salaries of civil servantsrefusing to pay Gaza’s electricity costs and providing insufficient medication for hospitals.

This comes a time when UNRWA is experiencing major cuts and has been reducing its workforce causing Palestinians in Gaza to become unemployed.

(Source / 13.08.2018)

Two Detainees Declare Hunger Strike

13 AUG
12:09 PM

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that two detainees in Israeli prisons have declared a hunger strike, protesting their continued detention under Administrative Detention orders, without charges or trial.

The PPS said that the two detainees have been identified as Saddam Ayyad Awad, 28, from Beit Ummar town, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and Abbas Abu Alia, 21, from the al-Mughayyir village, northeast of the central West Bank city of Ramallah.

It added that the two are protesting their continued imprisonment under Administrative Detention orders, demanding to be released or sent to court.

The PPS stated that Awad was repeatedly abducted and imprisoned by Israel since the year 2009, and spent a total of seven years in prison.

He was one of the detainees who were releases under the 2011 prisoner swap deal, but was abducted again, and was held captive for four years.

In April of this year, Awad was abducted by the soldiers and was slapped with an Administrative Detention order.

In addition, detainee Abu Alia has been held under Administrative Detention orders for the past fourteen months, and recently received another order for four additional months.

(Source / 13.08.2018)

MoH: Emergency cancer medicine will be sent today to the Gaza Strip

Cancer medicine

The Palestinian Ministry of Health  on Monday said that it had sent three months’ supply of cancer medicines to its warehouses in the Gaza Strip.

Officials indicated that they had received a letter from Gaza warehouses cautioning that there was a shortage of this drug only yesterday.

The Ministry of Health sends shipments of various medicines to its warehouses in the area periodically, and a shipment of drugs for cancer patients was dispatched last month,

The ministry said that it was not aware of the shortage of these drugs because of the lack of full control over the ministry in Gaza. It added that immediately after receiving a letter stating that there was a shortage in this category, they worked to provide the medication directly, on the instructions of President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah.

The ministry said the dispatch of cancer treatment to patients in the Gaza Strip had not been late, but stressed they had to be made aware of any depletion or near depletion of vital medicine, so that the lives of cancer patients were not endangered.

The ministry emphasized that the health and well-being of Palestinians was their primary concern, and that it is working to provide all services possible to people in the Gaza Strip.

Health officials pointed out that the ministry works to meet all the needs of hospitals and provides medicines and medical supplies, so that it can maintain the health system and keep it from collapsing.

(Source / 13.08.2018)