Gaza Strip: Attacks in the Border Areas and Their Consequences

16 AUG
2:52 PM

The term “buffer zone” in land and at sea is used for land and sea areas, which were unilaterally and illegally declared by Israeli forces as areas with no access along the eastern and northern borders and in the sea of the Gaza Strip following the Israeli Disengagement Plan in 2005.

In violation of the provisions of the international humanitarian law, the Gaza Strip’s population are denied access to their property in the “buffer zone” in land while the fishermen are prevented from sailing and fishing in the “buffer zone” at sea .

The area  of the buffer zone vary from time to time according to the Israeli forces declarations, without taking in consideration the international law that bans any changes to the occupied territories.

According to Israeli forces instructions, the “buffer zone” extends to an area ranging between 100 to 1,500 meters in some eastern land borders, while ranges between 3 to 9 nautical miles in the Gaza Strip sea.

Israeli forces expanded the fishing area in the Gaza Strip from 3 to 6 nautical miles following the ceasefire agreement post November 2012 Israeli offensive.

However, there is conflict over the Access Restricted Area (ARA) in land, which increases the risks endured by the Palestinian civilians. In a statement on his official website, the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) declared that fishermen could now access the sea up to 6 nautical miles offshore, and that farmers could now access lands in the border area up to 100 meters from the border fence.

However, both references have since been removed from the statement, which obviously indicates the Israeli forces retreat of the above-mentioned ceasefire.

On 21 March 2013, the Israeli forces’ spokesperson announced re-reducing the fishing area allowed for Palestinian fishermen from 6 nautical miles to 3 nautical miles. The same announcement also included the re-expansion of the “buffer zone”  in land up to 300 meters.

However, on 21 May 2013, the Israeli authorities decided to allow fishermen to sail up to 6 nautical miles.

Following the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip in 2014, a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Palestinian armed groups was brokered by the Egyptian government, which allowed fishermen to sail up to 6 nautical miles.

However, the Israeli naval forces have not allowed fishermen to sail up to this limit. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) observed that all the Israeli attacks have taken place within less than 6 nautical miles.

On 07 March 2015, the Israeli naval forces declared via loud speakers that the allowed fishing area reduced to 4 nautical miles and warned Palestinian fishermen from approaching this area along the Gaza Sea.

On 01 April 2016, the Israeli authorities expanded the fishing area from 6 to 9 nautical miles between the area from Gaza valley to the southern Gaza Strip, while denied access to more than 6 miles in the other areas. On 03 May 2017, the Israeli authorities allowed fishermen to fish up to 9 nautical miles, instead of 6 nautical miles in the Sea in Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip.

According to field updates followed up by PCHR, the Israeli occupation forces have escalated their attacks against the Palestinian civilians, including farmers and fishermen, and prevented them from safe and free access to their lands and fishing areas.

This constitutes a violation of their rights according to the international human rights standards, including their right to security, personal safety and protection of their property, their right to work, the right to adequate standard of living, and the right to the highest attainable standard of health.

Enforcing the “buffer zone” through the use of live fire which has often led to direct targeting of civilians, is a war crime, where killings under these circumstances constitute a wilful killing in grave violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

Attacks

July 2018

Attacks Total “Buffer zone” on land “Buffer zone” at sea
Shelling 20 20 0
Shooting 545 520 25
Incursions 6 6 0
Land leveling 0 0 0
Detention incidents 5 5 0
Total incidents 576 551                25

 

Consequences of attacks

 

  1. Deaths and injuries

July 2018

Consequences Total “Buffer zone” on land “Buffer zone” at sea
Death of persons 17 17 0
Minors 3 3 0
Women 0 0 0
Injury of persons 493 493 0
Minors 104 104 0
Women 20 20 0

 

  1. Property related violations

July 2018

Consequences Total “Buffer zone” on land “Buffer zone” at sea
Property damaged 2 2 0
Property confiscated 1 0 1
Dunums razed 0 0 0

 

  1. Detention

 July 2018

Consequences Total “Buffer zone” on land “Buffer zone” at sea
Total persons detained 15 8
Minors detained 0 0 0
Women detained 0 0 0

 

Note:

 

  • Among the arrestees were 2 civilians, who were arrested at Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing.
  • Eight civilians, who were on board of a ship for Breaking Siege, were arrested and their ship was confiscated by the Israeli forces.

Public Document

(Source / 17.08.2018)

Hours Before Her Release, Palestinian Woman Receives Administrative Detention Order

17 AUG
1:40 PM

The Israeli authorities issued, Friday, an Administrative Detention order against a young Palestinian female detainee, just hours before he scheduled release.

The young Palestinian woman, identified as Fida’ Mohammad Ekhlayyel, 21, is from Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

Fida’ was supposed to be released today, and her family traveled to Tulkarem, in northern West Bank, to welcome her at an Israeli military roadblock, but were informed by an army officer that their daughter will not be released because she received an order, holding her under Administrative Detention.

The family is yet to be informed about how long their daughter will be held under Administrative Detention, especially since her defense attorney has not been informed about that the Israeli Authorities.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said Fida’ was taken prisoner on May 29th, 2018, and was charged with “incitement against Israel on social media outlets,” before she was sentenced to 95 days in prison.

The young woman is also a former political prisoner who spent a year in Israeli prisons.

It is worth mentioning that Israel has issued more than 4.000 administrative detention orders during the last three years, 456 of which were issued since the beginning of 2018.

(Source / 17.08.2018)

Solidarity Cup’ goes ahead Sunday despite cancellation of Gaza Kids to Ireland trip

Al Helal Football Academy

GAZA/PNN/

THE young footballers from Gaza who visited Ireland for the past two summers have been forced to cancel their trip this year.

The Palestinian boys from Al Helal Football Academy, who live under Israeli occupation in Gaza, planned to travel Tuesday (August 14th) through the territory’s border with Egypt at the Rafah crossing and across the Sinai Desert to Cairo, where they would fly to Dublin.

However, the difficult trip was prevented when the Rafah crossing was unexpectedly closed, forcing Gaza Action Ireland to cancel the programme for now.

Despite this terrible disappointment for the children and the organisers, ‘Gaza Kids to Dublin’ are determined to stand with the Palestinians living under siege in Gaza by holding the Solidarity Cup tournament on Sunday, August 19th.

There will be a football tournament with Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians/ SKB and Cliftonville FC as well as a family fun day. The football kicks off at 10am until 4pm, with the family events starting at 1pm. At 4pm, after the winning trophy is presented, everyone who sponsored one of the Al Helal players will release a balloon as a symbol of support.

This will be livestreamed to the kids in Gaza to show them how much they are missed.

Gaza Kids to Dublin organiser Danielle Robinson said: “We need to let the boys know we stand with them because football is a way of life for these kids – they live and breathe it and it is an opportunity for them to have a future. Sport is a magnificent way for children to bond and show solidarity and it’s exactly what this event is all about.”

As well as the Solidarity Cup, a full nine days of events had been planned for the team of teenagers, with events organised around the country, including in Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Leitrim and Wexford.

“We are heartbroken that a visit that hundreds of Irish people had prepared for, fundraised for, and supported in all sorts of ways has had to be abandoned because of the extreme vulnerability of the children’s situation, in what is effectively a prison camp in Gaza,” Gaza Action Ireland coordinator Zoë Lawlor said.

“We are really heartened that this tournament is going ahead on Sunday and urge as many people as possible to come along and show these kids that we are with them,” she added.

(Source / 17.08.2018)

Palestinian journalists being ‘tortured’ in Israel jails

Palestinian writer Lama Khater [Al Jazeera English/Twitter]

Palestinian writer Lama Khater

Female Palestinian journalist, Lama Khater, has said that she is being exposed to “torture” by Israeli interrogators who are attempting to get “baseless confessions” from her, Felesteenreported yesterday.

A lawyer from the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club (PPC) who visited Khater said: “Interrogators threaten to arrest relatives if she does not confess.” Khater did not give in to the pressure, the lawyer added.

The journalist spends all the time in jail sitting on a small chair, handcuffed and with her legs-chained in the investigation room. She is not allowed to leave except to go to the toilet.

The PPC stressed the 42-year-old mother had been subjected to “harsh and continuous” interrogation from the minute she was detained, noting that some interrogation sessions lasted up to 20 hours.

Talking through our fears: Resisting the Palestinian complacency of silence

An active columnist who is critical of the occupation and the Palestinian Authorities’ cooperation with it, Khater is being held because Israel believes her work is a “time bomb”.

Her husband, Hazim Al-Fakhouri, said that his wife told him during the court hearing two days ago that she had started to suffer from sever pains in her back due to the prolonged hours sitting on the interrogation chair.

He stressed that the Israeli occupation is putting pressure on his wife in order to get confessions that it could use to indict her.

Al-Fakhouri said that the Israeli interrogators also threaten to harm her two-year-old son.

(Source / 16.08.2018)

Claims of torture in PA prisons resurface as prisoner dies in custody

28-year-old Palestinian Ahmed Abu Hamada, died in a Palestinian Authority jail [Twitter]

28-year-old Palestinian Ahmed Abu Hamada died in a Palestinian Authority jail

The death of 28-year-old Palestinian Ahmed Abu Hamada in a Palestinian Authority jail has brought to the surface claims of torture in detention, Felesteen reported yesterday.

The PA had claimed that Abu Hamada had a heart attack however rights groups have said that many prisoners die as a result of torture in detention.

Abu Hamada was detained last year along with fellow member of the Al-Aqsa Brigades, Abdullah Daraghmeh, and charged with causing security chaos.

Daraghmeh also died in detention, with the PA claiming he died of natural causes.

Member of Freedoms Committee in the West Bank, Khalil Assaf, said: “Based on complaints from people who were detained, we found that they were exposed to different forms of torture,” noting that most of them do not file complaints because they are afraid of revenge.

Read: Abbas cuts salaries of Gaza prisoners inside Israeli jails

Assaf said that Jericho Prison is the most notorious because Palestinians are brought there for investigation.

The Arab Organisation for Human Rights based in London has several times called for the PA to immediately stop the political detention and stop practicing “systematic torture and humiliation” of Palestinian inmates.

Rights groups documented cases of Palestinians tortured to death inside PA prisons, including Farid Jarbou, 28, who died in July 1994 – less than a year after the establishment of the PA.

(Source / 16.08.2018)

Abbas Stresses Full Reconciliation with One Legitimate Weapon

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas chairs a Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, August 22, 2015

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said that he would only accept full reconciliation in accordance with the 2017 agreement.

“We seek the success of the reconciliation, but based on one law, one government and one legitimate weapon, without the presence of militias,” Abbas said at the opening of the 29th session of the central committee on Wednesday. “There is no state in Gaza nor a state without Gaza,” he stressed.

Abbas accused Hamas of rejecting reconciliation. “In principle, Hamas does not have intentions for reconciliation … Some consider the issue to be solely humanitarian , as if the suffering of the people in Gaza started has just started,” he said.

In his speech, Abbas expressed support to the popular resistance and called for confronting Israel’s plans to displace Palestinians in Jerusalem and the Khan al-Ahmar region. “We must win in Khan Al-Ahmar and we will not allow them to pass their plans,” he said.

The meeting of the central committee is the first since the Palestinian National Council specified the committee’s powers in May.

Palestinian officials said that the outcome of the session would mainly include decisions on defining the relation with occupation forces, adding that the central committee would decide on the gradual withdrawal from all agreements signed with the occupation, including civil affairs and joint security and economic arrangements.

The Palestinian national council had announced that the agreements of Oslo, Cairo and Washington were no longer valid, stressing that the main objective was the independence of the state of Palestine, which requires transition from state governance to the consolidation of sovereignty.

The Popular and Democratic fronts, which belong to the PLO, boycotted the session, in addition to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The factions accused Abbas of monopolizing decision-making.

(Source / 16.08.2018)

Palestinian mail arrives – eight years late

The post arrives

PNN/Jericho/

The Palestinian postal services are working overtime to sort through over 10 tonnes of mail blocked by Israel, according to the AFP.

The post, dating from as far back as 2010, contains letters, parcels and even items such as medicines and wheelchairs for the disabled.

A Palestinian postal official told AFP that it would take at least another two weeks to sort and deliver.

The mail had been denied access via Jordan, but was released in a one-off deal with the Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA).

Ramadan Ghazawi, an official at the sorting centre in Jericho, said it appeared that some items had been blocked for security reasons, while others were barred on administrative grounds.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority Communications Minister, Allam Moussa, accused Israel of failing to implement an agreement signed in 2016 that allowed international mail to enter the Palestinian Territories without first going through the Israeli postal service.

An IOA source informed the AFP that an agreement was currently in the works, but gave no further details

Israeli Occupation Authorities control all entrance and exits to the West Bank, and can arbitrarily prevent the movement of Palestinian people and goods across international crossings and borders.

(Source / 16.08.2018)

Israel prevents Gaza mother from accompanying 3YO son to hospital

Loay al-Khodari

PNN/ Jerusalem/
The Shin Bet prevented the mother of a three year-old cancer patient in Gaza from accompanying him to Israeli hospitals for treatment, according to an Israeli media source.

Three year-old Loay al-Khodari was eventually accompanied by a foreign lady after an appeal was placed on Facebook, and the boy is now receiving treatment in hospital.

According to Haaretz, the Shin Bet security service has prevented Hanan, the boy’s mother, from escorting her son for a number of months because her family has been linked to Hamas.

Hanan had applied for an escort request for months, but the Shabak has responded by saying her request is “under examination.”

(Source / 16.08.2018)

Khudari: Per capita daily income in Gaza is $2

Jamal al-Khudari

Head of the Popular Committee Against the Siege MP Jamal al-Khudari on Tuesday said that Gaza’s per capita daily income, if there is any, is $2, which is the lowest in the world.

Al-Khudari warned that the poverty rate has increased to 85% due to the tightening of the blockade and the almost complete closure of Karam Abu Salem crossing.

In press statements on Tuesday, al-Khudari said that 62% of Palestinian youths in Gaza do not have jobs, while about 350,000 workers have become unemployed because of the 12-year-blockade.

He added that dozens of new workers join the list everyday as a result of the closure of factories and shops and the lack of goods, raw materials, and job opportunities.

As Eid al-Adha and the new school year approach, al-Khudari noted, hundreds of trucks loaded with goods worth $100 million are still being withheld by the Israeli authorities, stressing that their owners may suffer heavy losses if they are not allowed entry into Gaza soon.

Holding Israel fully responsible for the siege and the resulting humanitarian disaster, al-Khudari called for real efforts on the Arab and international levels to end the siege and save what can be saved in Gaza.

He called on all Palestinian factions to assume their responsibilities toward the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip to overcome the humanitarian crisis plaguing the enclave.

(Source / 15.08.2018)

World Bank launches $17m employment drive for Gaza

Image of the World Bank in Washington, US [pingnews.com/Flickr]

World Bank in Washington, US

The World Bank has announced a new project to provide Gaza‘s unemployed youth with short-term income support, the Palestinian Information Centre has said.

About 4,400 targeted youth, half of them women, will be hired by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to deliver services in severely needed fields such as health, education and support to the disabled and elderly.

As part of the $17 million grant, the new project will also finance skills training and internet-based job support to an additional 750 youth.

The World Bank’s Gaza Emergency Cash for Work and Self-Employment Support project will target unemployed young people between the ages of 18 to 34.

The project will work with NGOs that have solid track records in delivering social services to especially vulnerable communities, and not-for-profit organisations that provide support for freelancers in the digital economy.

OPINION: Palestinians are being impoverished by the manipulation of humanitarian aid

(Source / 15.08.2018)