53% of Gaza residents live in poverty

Palestinian children play outside their home in the poverty-stricken quarter of Al-Zaytoon in Gaza City on 29 September 2014

More than half of Palestinians living in the besieged Gaza Strip live below the poverty line, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said in a report yesterday.

According to the report, 29.2 per cent of Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza Strip lived below the poverty line in 2017 while 16.8 per cent suffered deep poverty.

The report noted that the poverty rate was 13.9 per cent in the occupied West Bank and 53 per cent in the besieged Gaza Strip, four times higher than that in the West Bank.

As for the deep poverty line, 5.8 per cent of individuals were below the deep poverty line in the West Bank compared to 33.8 per cent of individuals in Gaza Strip.

Read: 97% of water in Gaza is polluted

The data showed an increase in the poverty rate in 2017 compared to 2011 when it was 25.8. The deep poverty rate also increased in 2017 from 12.9 per cent in 2011 to 16.8 per cent in 2017.

The Gaza Strip has suffered under a stifling 11-year long internationally backed Israeli siege which has turned the enclave into an open air prison. Severe restrictions have been placed on Palestinians and goods entering or leaving the Strip.

The Palestinian Authority has exacerbated the crisis by ceasing payments to civil servants in the Gaza Strip, refusing to pay Israel for the electricity it supplies to the enclave.

(Source / 16.04.2018)

Army Abduct Six Palestinians, Including One Woman, In Jerusalem

16 APR
9:10 AM

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Monday at dawn, six Palestinians, including one woman and three children, in several parts of occupied East Jerusalem, after invading their homes and searching them.

Lawyer Mohammad Mahmoud of the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) said the soldiers invaded and searched homes in at-Tour, overlooking the Old City, and abducted three children.

He identified the abducted children as Mahmoud Walid Abu al-Hawa, 15, Yazan Anwar Salfiti, 15, and Amir Hazem Sayyad, 16.

Mahmoud added that the soldiers also invaded and searched homes in Shu’fat refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, and abducted a former political prisoner, identified as Amir Khader Dibis, and Nidal Sheeha.

Furthermore, the soldiers invaded Hebron city and several villages and towns, searched and ransacked many homes and abducted four Palestinians, including one child.

On Sunday at night, two fanatic female Israeli colonizers destroyed two tombstones of the Bab ar-Rahma historic Islamic graveyard and wrote racist graffiti.

The graveyard is subject to ongoing violations, especially since Israel confiscated a section near Al-Aqsa Mosque to include in its so-called “National Gardens” project.

(Source / 16.04.2018)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Four Palestinians, Including A Child, In Hebron

16 APR
8:16 AM

Israeli soldiers invaded, on Monday at dawn, Hebron city and several villages and towns, searched and ransacked many homes and abducted four Palestinians, including one child.

Media sources in Hebron said the soldiers abducted Firas Yacoub Natsha, 12, from his home in the Old City of Hebron.

They added that the army also abducted Nasr Mohammad Rajoub and Younis Rajoub, from the al-Kum village, southwest of Hebron.

In addition, the soldiers invaded Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron, and the as-Seer nearby village, south of the town, searched homes and abducted Yasser Awad Za’aqeeq, 27, before moving him to Etzion military base and security center, north of Hebron.

The soldiers also invaded many neighborhoods in Hebron city, in addition to the towns of Bani Neim, Deir Samit, Doura and ar-Reehiyya, and installed many roadblocks, before stopping and searching dozens of cars and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

The soldiers also installed a roadblock at Hebron’s northern road, before stopping and searching dozens of cars, and interrogated many Palestinians.

On Sunday evening, the soldiers invaded ‘Aseeda area, in Beit Ummar, and fired many live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs, in addition to forcing many stores shut, after the soldiers failed to abduct a Palestinian, they ambushed in that area.

The soldiers also attacked local activist Mohammad Awad, who was documenting the invasion and violations, and took him to the military tower at the main entrance of the town.

Awad said the soldiers tried to accuse him to “carrying a knife,” but had to release him because he, and other Palestinians, were documenting the unfolding events, which proved the falsehood of the army’s allegation.

(Source / 16.04.2018)

Palestinians protest in Gaza against airstrikes on Syria

Protest Gaza against airstrikes Syria

Palestinian national and Islamic factions took part in a sit-in in Gaza City on Sunday, April 15, in protest against the US-led strikes on Syria.

Dozens attended, waving Syrian flags and pictures of Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. The protesters burned the US flag and chanted “God is great”. They also held signs and banners reading: “We sacrifice our blood and soul for Syria”.

Khader Habib, an Islamic Jihad leader, condemned the strikes and some of the Arab states that gave the strikes their backing.

(Source / 16.04.2018)

Settlers storm archaeological site in Sebastia, northern West Bank

Sebastia archeo site

A group of Israeli settlers on Monday stormed a historic archaeological site in the town of Sebastia near Nablus, northern West Bank, under heavy protection by the Israeli army.

The mayor of Sebastia Mohammed Azem, told WAFA agency that a number of settlers, broke into the site amid the protection by the army, who closed the area for any other visitors.

He added that clashes broke out in the area following the visit, while Israeli soldiers fired teargas towards the protesters.

Azem pointed out that the town is constantly attacked by the occupation and settlers, especially with the approach of a national festival in the town that will be organized by the municipality next Friday, and  will be held in the archaeological area.

(Source / 16.04.2018)

Elderly Palestinian dies of wounds after run over by settler

Elderly Pal dies

An elderly Palestinian man on Monday has died of wounds he sustained as a result of an accident that was run over by a settler about a month ago.

The elderly, identified as Odeh Malash from Al-Doha town in Bethlehem, was run over by an Israeli settler about a month ago in the town of Shuafat in Jerusalem, where he works.

Malash entered a coma since then, and was announced dead of his wounds today.

(Source / 16.04.2018)

Israel uses stun grenade against draft protesters

Israeli forces use water cannons against protesters blocking the road in a demonstration against conscription in the Israeli city of Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv, March 22, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli forces use water cannons against protesters blocking the road in a demonstration against conscription in the Israeli city of Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv, March 22, 2018

Israeli forces have fired stun grenades and clashed violently with protesters rallying against conscription in the army.

Israeli authorities describe the protesters as “ultra-Orthodox extremists” who are against military draft, arguing that their so-called religious endeavors do the regime as much service.

Conscription is mandatory for both men and women in Israel, which is in a continuous war with regional countries and clashes with Palestinians in the occupied territories.

“Several hundred ultra-Orthodox extremists” joined the Sunday rally outside an enlistment office in Jerusalem al-Quds, The Jerusalem Post reported. The demonstration came after it became known that the military police sought to arrest a girl, who was being held in the office, it added.

“Police used stun grenades and water cannon against rioters,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP. A police statement said four officers were slightly injured in scuffles.

The protesters even object to reporting to the military. Previous rallies have seen scenes of exceptional violence, with the police tussling with the participants and dragging those blocking roads forcibly away.

Mounted Israeli forces try to disperse protesters, who are blocking a road during a demonstration against conscription in the Israeli city of Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv on March 22, 2018 

The organizers vowed during one protest to “fight in every way the edict that has felled thousands in the spiritual ruin” of the Israeli military.

Last month, “ultra-Orthodox” politicians threatened to leave the ranks of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling coalition unless a law was passed preventing conservative youths from conscription.

The crisis was resolved with a compromise, in which Netanyahu promised to give coalition MPs freedom on how to vote on a future bill on draft exemptions.

Draft-dodging is not a new phenomenon in Israel whose occupation and settlement expansion policies are a cause for continuous conflict with  Palestinians.

However, the human toll and the vague and shifting military objectives of the Israeli regime are spurring many among a new generation of Israeli soldiers to question orders.

Last year, 63 draft age youngsters from around Israel sent a letter to Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, declaring their refusal to enlist in the army due to their belief that it serves to oppress the Palestinian people.

“The military carries out a racist government policy that violates basic human rights and imposes one version of law for Israelis and another for Palestinians–on the same territory,” wrote the draft refuseniks.

In the letter, they accused the regime of instigating the Israeli population against Palestinians and Arab citizens.

The zenith of Israel’s refusal movement came during the 1982 Lebanon war, particularly after the massacre at the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps sparked widespread public revulsion at the conduct of the invasion.

(Source / 16.04.2018)