Child Ghassan Baraka: A new victim of Israeli gas

Ghassan Baraka

Nothing is like the suffering of the family of child Ghassan Baraka, 17 years old; frequent convulsions that shake his body every quarter of an hour threaten his life and leave his parents with a feeling of powerlessness and confusion.

The child is suffering from the consequences of gas inhalation at the perimeter of Al-Bureij camp during the demonstration of the Great March of Return last Friday. He was taken to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah for immediate treatment, yet since then he has been suffering from frequent convulsions.

The Israeli occupation forces systematically fire dangerous types of gas at Palestinian demonstrators near the Gaza borders that affect the condition and performance of the nervous system of the affected, causing hundreds of cases of temporary convulsions, but some cases have suffered from long-term convulsions.

Unusual case
The father of the child appears to be unable to do anything to his son. He explained the details of the incident when Ghassan was hit while he was standing hundreds of meters away from the Gaza border fence. Ghassan inhaled gas and slipped into a temporary coma before waking up on frequent convulsions.

“My son is surviving on painkillers only. He takes a syringe every 12 hours, and I do not have money even for the painkillers,” Ghassan’s father told the Palestinian Information Center. “Sometimes the painkiller does not stop the convulsions. I want to treat him at home or abroad or at any place until he returns to normal life.”

Baraka appealed to officials in the Palestinian Authority to save the life of his son Ghassan who is no longer able to speak.

Sudden seizure
As Ghassan’s mother spoke, he suffered from a stroke that was heard all over the hospital, making him flip upside down as his father runs to fix a tube in his mouth so that he does not choke. Four young men of his family try to control his shaky body as he makes a choking sound from his throat.

The child is still waiting for a referral to the hospitals of the 1948 Occupied Territories, or outside the Gaza Strip, as Gaza’s hospitals, with their current conditions, are unable to provide anything for him.

(Source / 09.09.2018)

Khudari: 2,000 houses destroyed in 2014 await reconstruction

Jama al-Khudari

Popular Committee Against the Siege on Saturday said that 2,000 houses destroyed by the Israeli army in the 2014 assault on the Gaza Strip have not been reconstructed because of the lack of funding and ban imposed on the entry of building materials into the enclave.

Head of the Committee, Jama al-Khudari, warned that 2000 families in Gaza have been living under difficult humanitarian conditions since the 2014 assault, in view of the irregular payments they get for their monthly rent and the delayed reconstruction.

Al-Khudari in a press statement called on donors to fulfill the financial pledges they made at the donor conference held in Cairo following the 2014 war, and stressed the need for pressuring Israel to lift the blockade and allow the entry of building materials into Gaza.

“We appreciate the donors’ efforts for the reconstruction of thousands of houses that were completely or partially destroyed during the war,” he added.

Al-Khudari asked Egypt and Norway, who sponsored Cairo’s donor conference, to follow up with donors and collect the pledged funds to end the tragedy of affected families in Gaza.

(Source / 09.09.2018)

Israeli officials warn of Gaza collapse without UNRWA substitute

Collapse of Gaza

Officials from Israel’s security establishment have concurred that the Israeli government must work to establish an alternative to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip to avoid a humanitarian disaster in the impoverished Palestinian enclave.

Israel’s Haaretz daily reported Sunday that Israeli officials concluded in a meeting last week that a substitute must be developed to channel much-needed aid into the blockaded Gaza Strip in order to avoid further deterioration.

The officials noted during the meeting that only three percent of Gaza’s water supply is drinkable and desalination projects are not being advanced rapidly enough to stave off a water crisis. As a result, many Gazan families are storing seawater for household use, Haaretz added.

According to the report, an Israeli delegation will attend a UN donor conference in New York later this month and encourage countries to supply the necessary funding to guarantee the continued delivery of food, education services and the salaries of some 30,000 UNRWA employees in the Strip.

But, in light of the US decision to de-fund the Palestinian aid agency, the Israeli delegation will instead focus on securing funding for the provision of basic needs, Haaretz further stated.

Humanitarian conditions in the blockaded Gaza Strip have steadily declined over the years, exacerbated by a limited power supply and lack of drinkable water.

US President Donald Trump announced at the beginning of this month that Washington would cut almost $300 million in planned funding for the organization which it claimed had become an “irredeemably flawed operation.”

Washington had long been the largest single donor to the agency, supplying nearly 30 percent of the total budget to UNRWA which provides healthcare, education and social service to almost five million Palestinians across the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

(Source / 09.09.2018)

Israeli military to close off vital roads across occupied territories

Closing vital roads

The Israeli army announced on Saturday that several closure days will be imposed on the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip during the month of September as Israelis mark several Jewish holidays.

A cordon is to be imposed at midnight Saturday until Tuesday to mark the Jewish New Year.

The army said another three-day closure will be imposed starting midnight Monday, September 17, as Israel marks Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).

Another closure will be enforced starting midnight Saturday, September 22, until the end of the month for Sukkot holiday or Feast of Tabernacles.

Palestinians will see their movement tightly restricted during these days and will not be allowed to cross checkpoints leading into occupied Jerusalem and territories occupied in 1948.

(Source / 09.09.2018)

Palestinian hospital in Jerusalem: US decision to cut aid catastrophic

Makassed Hospital

Responding to the US decision to cancel the $20 million grant allocated to the Palestinian Makassed hospital in occupied Jerusalem, the hospital administration on Saturday that the measure harms live-saving services and confuses political issues with medical and humanitarian ones.

The Hospital admin said in a statement that this decision comes at a time when the hospital is facing a severe financial crisis due to the large cash flow deficit and the outstanding debts of the Palestinian government.

“The hospital’s share of the total US grant is 45 million shekels ($12.5 million), which helps a great deal its various departments and the provision of services for its patients who come from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and occupied Jerusalem,” it said.

Depriving the hospital of these funds demands an immediate financial intervention from the Palestinian government to help the hospital pay the income tax, the property tax and the pension fund imposed by the Israeli government, said Makassed’s admin.

The statement slammed the US move, which it said makes part of US attempts to pressure the Palestinians to accept its dictates.

US President Donald Trump ordered that $25m earmarked for the medical care of Palestinians in East Jerusalem hospitals be directed elsewhere as part of a review of aid, a State Department official said on Saturday.

Trump called for a review of US assistance to the Palestinians earlier this year to ensure that the funds were being spent in accordance with national interests and were providing value to taxpayers, Reuters reported.

The aid cut is the latest in a number of sanctions by the Trump administration that have stirred the anger of Palestinians, including the recognition of occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the US embassy to occupied Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

“This is not a formula of peace-building, this is a complete inhuman and immoral action that adopts the Israeli right-wing narrative to target and punish Palestinian citizens to compromise their rights to independence,” AFP cited a Palestinian official as stating.

Human rights groups also condemned such an act of “political blackmail”, which they said goes against the norms of human decency and morality.

(Source / 09.09.2018)

Al-Hayat: Abbas foiled efforts to reach long-term truce in Gaza

Abbas truce

Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly frustrated Egyptian and UN efforts to broker a long-term truce agreement between Israel and Hamas.

According to a report Friday in the London-based daily Al-Hayat newspaper, Abbas threatened international and Arab parties that he would sever all ties with Israel if a long-term ceasefire deal bypassing the PA and Abbas’s Fatah party was reached with Hamas.

Abbas’s threat has prompted Egypt, which was making efforts recently along with the UN to cement a deal in Gaza, to redouble its efforts toward internal Palestinian reconciliation and set aside for the time being the Israel-Hamas deal.

(Source / 09.09.2018)

The debate on UNRWA takes focus away from the realities of refugees

Ramona Wadi

By Ramona Wadi

In the aftermath of the US decision to end its funding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the EU has pledged to continue its financial support. In terms of the agency being able to continue providing services to Palestinian refugees, the news is undoubtedly welcome. However, the EU is still failing Palestinian refugees in terms of why it has decided to continue funding UNRWA.

According to a statement partially published by Wafa news agency, “The EU is committed to securing the continuation and sustainability of the agency’s work which is vital for stability and security in the region”. For all diplomatic intents and purposes, Palestinian refugees are merely an appendage to be used and exploited politically. Building upon the absence of historic Palestine and speaking only about a hypothetical Palestinian state, the international community, including the EU, gave Israel a green light to claim, albeit while exonerating its colonial presence from accountability, that there is a perpetuation of maintaining the status quo for Palestinian refugees.

The EU has no vision for Palestinian refugees and does not care whether they will return to their homeland or not. While it will continue to support UNRWA, it must be said that the dynamics are those of institutions supporting other institutions. A viable way to do so without raising the ire of the victims is by emphasising the humanitarian intent. Depoliticising humanitarian aid, however, has opened avenues for political entities to coerce victims into remaining victims.

By promoting the provision, or withdrawal of, financial support for humanitarian aid depending upon the actors involved, Palestinian refugees are deprived from a collaborative political commitment to change the passiveness enshrined within UN Resolution 194.

Trump’s decision adds to the consequences of the earlier colonial ethnic cleansing and displacement, while the EU’s reiteration that it will continue funding UNRWA ensures that its provision of basic services for Palestinian refugees can proceed. Yet, common to both US and EU actions, is the underlying motive to ensnare refugees in perpetual dependency. The most convenient way to achieve that is to balance contrasting actions in a way that promotes and maintains refugee dependency upon international humanitarian aid. With that balance, obligations are forced upon Palestinian refugees to accept whatever the international community deems as suitable parameters. A Palestinian right of return that departs from the Palestinian narratives was never on the agenda for the complicit international community.

Currently, the only discourse that defines the existence of Palestinian refugees is eclipsed by UNRWA and the funding saga. The international community has willingly participated in the snare created by Israel and the US – that of amalgamating Palestinian refugee identity to the agency providing basic needs, instead of speaking about Palestinians in direct relation to historic Palestine. Israel’s plan, carried out by the US, seeks to disrupt UNRWA and, as a result, refute recognition of the Palestinian refugee condition and their right of return. A strong rebuttal from the international community is non-existent; the reason being that Palestinian refugees and their right of return are externally defined by a flawed, non-binding resolution endorsing Israel’s colonisation first and foremost.

(Source / 09.09.2018)

Army Summons Five Palestinians From Hebron For Interrogation

09 SEP
9:46 AM

Israeli soldiers invaded, on Sunday morning, the southern West Bank city of Hebron, before storming and violently searching homes, and summoned five Palestinians for interrogation in Etzion military base and security center, north of the city.

Media sources in Hebron said the soldiers invaded homes in several neighborhoods in the city, and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

They added that the soldiers summoned for interrogation five Palestinians, identified as Mohammad Yousef Borqan, Sa’id Abu Ramouz, Majdi Rajabi, Amin Hamed Rajabi and Azzo Raja Gheith.

The soldiers also installed roadblocks before stopping and searching dozens of cars, and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

On Sunday at dawn, the soldiers abducted two young Palestinian men from Qabatia town, south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin.

(Source / 09.09.2018)

IOF arrested four Palestinians in northern Gaza

GAZA, PALESTINOW.COM — Israeli occupation army on Saturday morning arrested four Palestinian youths who allegedly attempted to cross the border fence in northern Gaza and sneak into the 1948 occupied territories.

Israeli army in a brief statement said that four Palestinians tried to cross the border fence in northern Gaza before an Israeli military force arrived at the place and caught them.

The statement added that the four detainees were taken for interrogation and claimed that a knife and an ax were found in their possession.

(Source / 09.09.2018)

7 September 2018 – Khan Al Ahmar Demolition Decision by Israel

Flag Palestine


I write to you in follow up to previous letters regarding the human rights violations and war crimes being perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, in Occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem.

In particular, I am compelled at this time to draw urgent attention to the imminent threat of forcible transfer facing the Palestinian Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar Abu al-Helu, in the sensitive so-called “E-1 area” of the West Bank northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, as the occupying Power persists with its illegal policies and measures of aggression against this extremely vulnerable community and against our land.

On 5 September, the Israeli “Supreme Court” rejected an appeal against the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar and ruled in favor of forcibly expelling its 181 inhabitants. By such an unjust and unlawful ruling, the Court has determined that it is permissible for the occupying Power to destroy the entire village including all Palestinian civilian and livelihood structures within the next seven days. According to Israeli plans, the community, which has faced the repeated trauma of displacement and dispossession, will likely be forcibly relocated to an area adjacent a garbage dump in the area of Abu Dis in the West Bank, an area that is bereft of agricultural land on which these pastoral families have subsisted all their lives.

We condemn in the strongest terms the endorsement by the occupying Power’s illegitimate court system of yet another State-sponsored international crime. As stressed by Amnesty International in reaction to the so-called ruling, “Forcible transfer of people under occupation is a serious breach of the IV Geneva Convention. The deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory constitutes a war crime under Article 8 of the Rome Statute.”

Further in this regard, in a statement entitled “The Supreme Court in the Service of the Occupation”, the Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem has stated that: “this ruling shows once again that those under occupation cannot seek justice in the occupier’s courts. If the demolition of the community of Khan al-Ahmar goes ahead, the Supreme Court Justices will be among those who will bear responsibility for this war crime.”

It is telling that senior Israeli officials, persisting in their inflammatory rhetoric and incitement against the Palestinian people and their land, welcomed and praised this decision, with, inter alia, Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel declaring that this decision should set a precedent and should be applied to other areas in the future. Celebration of such a decision by Israeli officials regrettably comes as no surprise, as Israeli plans to forcibly transfer and ethnically cleanse the Bedouin population of the Khan Al Ahmar area have been pursued and advanced systematically, for years, including through the repeated demolition of the community’s homes,schools and farming structures by the Israeli occupying forces. In this regard, it must also be noted that 53% of this population are children and 95% are Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA.

As we have warned repeatedly in the past, Israel’s ultimate aim in causing the forcible transfer of the Khan Al Ahmar community, among other Bedouin communities, is to erase and eradicate Palestinian presence and continuity on the land and facilitate the expansion of Israeli settlements, including the so-called “E-1” settement plan, which aims at creating a continuous built-up area between the illegal “Ma’ale Adumim” settlement and occupied East Jerusalem, in grave breach of international law and countless United Nations resolutions, including Security Council resolution 2334 (2016). Such unlawful and destructive measures threaten to sever the West Bank in half, putting the final nail to the coffin of the international community’s two-State solution based on the pre-1967 lines, and are yet further proof of the Israeli government’s total rejection of the two-State solution and of all efforts towards a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.

Regrettably our appeals to the international community to address this critical matter have never been met with concrete international action aimed at deterring the occupying Power from the perpetration of these crimes. This lack of action has emboldened the occupying Power to persist with its illegal colonization of Palestinian land, including the destruction, theft and confiscation of Palestinian lands and properties, construction and expansion of both settlements and the Wall, and the forcible transfer of Palestinian communities, in full view of the international community, with no fear of consequence or accountability.

We continue to call upon the international community to hold the occupying Power accountable for its grave violations of international law, to prevent the forced dispossession and displacement of our vulnerable and defenseless civilians, including our Bedouin communities, and to ensure protection to the Palestinian people who continue to face constant repression and the worsening of humanitarian conditions at the hands of this illegal occupation.  It is imperative that a clear stand, including by the Security Council, be taken against these and all such illegal measures and that Israel be held to account for its continued contempt of the law and the international community.

This letter is in follow-up to our XXX previous letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the territory of the State of Palestine.  These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921) to XX August 2018 (___), constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000.  For all of these war crimes, acts of State terrorism and systematic human rights violations being committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators be brought to justice.

I should be grateful if you would arrange to have this letter made available to the members of the Security Council for their immediate and valuable consideration and also distributed as an official document of the Security Council.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Dr. Riyad Mansour

Ambassador, Permanent Observer

of the State of Palestine to the United Nations

(Source / 09.09.2018)