Additional $18.5m to improve Palestine infrastructure services

Entire buildings have been reduced to rubble after the air strikes unleashed by Israel. 14 November 2018, Gaza [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Entire buildings have been reduced to rubble after the air strikes unleashed by Israel. 14 November 2018, Gaza

Norway and Sweden contributed an additional total amount of $18.5 million to the Palestinian Partnership for Infrastructure Development Multi-Donor Trust Fund (PID fund) administered by the World Bank, Ma’an News Agency reports.

The World Bank Group said in a statement that “the funds contributed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) of $10 million, and the Norway Ministry of Foreign Affairs of $8.5 million, will support the Palestinian Authority implementing sector reforms and improving the quality and sustainability of infrastructure in water, energy and local government services provided to the Palestinian citizens.”

“The PID Fund was established in 2012 with the objective of improving the coverage, quality, and sustainability of infrastructure in the Palestinian territories through financial and technical support in the energy, water and urban development sectors.

“The statement added that with the new contributions, the total amount allocated to the PID fund is about $186.4 million. Currently, donors contributing to the fund include the governments of Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and United Kingdom.

READ: Palestine and its people will pay the price for the PA’s disloyalty

(Source / 20.12.2018)

Rights group: Israel deliberately neglicts Palestinian prisoners’ medical needs

Hundreds of Palestinians march at Yasser Arafat Square demanding the release of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails during the Palestinian Prisoners Day in Ramallah, West Bank on April 17, 2017. ( Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency )

Hundreds of Palestinians march at Yasser Arafat Square demanding the release of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails during the Palestinian Prisoners Day in Ramallah, West Bank on 17 April 2017

The Palestinian Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs said yesterday that the Israeli prison administration practices a policy of deliberate medical negligence against a number of ill Palestinian prisoners in Ashkelon Prison.

The commission said in a statement that as many as 12 Palestinian prisoners in the jail are ill and in need of medical care.

According to the commission, prisoner Bassam Al-Na’san, 21, from Al-Mughayyir village east of Ramallah, has been waiting for an urgent operation for many months but the prison administration is delaying his medical examinations and operation.

The commission also warned of the deterioration of the health condition of prisoner Muhammad Barash, 39, from Jalazun refugee camp north of Ramallah.

READ: Solidarity campaign launched in support of Palestinian Israa Jaabis 

According to the commission, Barash suffers from severe pains and ulcers caused by shrapnel in his left foot and needs the pieces to be removed in order for an artificial limb to be fitted.

Prisoner Rami Hijazi, 38, from Gaza suffers from severe back problems and has been waiting for physiotherapy to alleviate his pains.

The commission explained that the prison administration only provides prisoners with painkillers and refuses to perform the necessary medical tests for them or even to provide an accurate diagnoses of their diseases.

The commission said the Israeli prison administration “violates all international conventions that guarantee prisoners’ rights to treatment, health and good care.”

(Source / 20.12.2018)

Hamas: Demolition of homes of Palestinian fighters’ families won’t stop resistance

Palestinian youth watch the demolition of a building in East Jerusalem on 14 March, 2017 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian youth watch the demolition of a building in Jerusalem on 14 March, 2017

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas yesterday condemned an Israeli plan to demolish homes of families of Palestinian fighters, stressing it would not stop resistance, a statement said.

“Israeli violations against the families of Palestinian freedom fighters will never stop the Palestinian resistance against the Israeli occupation,” the statement said.

“The Israeli government’s approval of the bill to displace the families of the freedom fighter highlights the Israeli criminal and offensive policies against the Palestinian people.”

The statement, posted on Hamas’ official website, continued: “The Israeli government is seeking to satisfy the settlers through the policy of home demolition, reflecting the fascist mentality of the Israeli occupation, which is led by the extremist right-wing politicians.”

READ: In UN speech, Britain urges Israel to end demolition of Palestinian homes 

Hamas insisted that “the Israeli offensive policies would motivate the Palestinian people to move forward and escalate their resistance against the occupation.”

The bill, which was approved by the ministerial legislation committee, passed the first reading in the Israeli Knesset yesterday.

Arab MKs, who objected the bill, were dismissed from the Knesset plenum.

Razing the houses of Palestinian fighters is deemed illegal according to international law as it is classified as a form of collective punishment.

(Source / 20.12.2018)

Al-Aqsa TV to stop its broadcast on Thursday

GAZA, PALESTINOW.COM — Al-Aqsa TV announced that its broadcast will stop on Thursday at 5:00 pm Gaza time, due to the severe financial crisis, which followed the Israeli bombing of the building of Al-Aqsa headquarter

The Israeli occupation forces destroyed the building of Al-Aqsa TV during the last Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip last November

Al-Aqsa channel was repeatedly targeted by the Israeli occupation in previous wars and escalation rounds, and targeted the media crews, which resulted in the killing of a number of journalists

Following the recent Israeli bombing, which completely destroyed the building of al-Aqsa TV, they launched a campaign called “with your support re-build it” in an attempt to thwart the occupation’s attempt to blur the truth and silence the voice of the Palestinian resistance media

(Source / 20.12.2018)

Israeli MK: ‘Our life more precious than Palestinians’ life’

Commenting on burning Palestinian family in West Bank a few years ago, he said: ‘Burning a Palestinian family is not an act of terror’

Extremist right wing Israeli Member of Knesset Bezalel Smotrich has called for illegal Jewish settlers to attack Palestinians, claiming that “life of Jews is more valuable than Palestinians’ life.”

On his twitter account, Smotrich wrote: “I call on my heroic [settler] friends and pioneers to come out tonight and close Route 60 along its entire length to the movement of Arab vehicles.

“If there are [Palestinian resistance] attacks [against illegal Jewish settlers], there will be no Arabs on the roads. Our lives precede their quality of life.”

Consequently, the Israeli human rights organisation Yesh Din demanded that an investigation be opened into the Jewish Home politician as he tweeted a call for settler violence against Palestinians.

The organisation submitted this an official request to the Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, asking that he open a criminal probe into Smotrich’s call for violence against the Palestinians.

Illegal Israeli Jewish settlers responded to Smotrich’s tweet, gathered in the meant streets and attacked Palestinians.

Yesh Din says that, in the 24 hours after Smotrich’s tweet, it documented 25 attacks carried out by settlers against Palestinians.

The attacks included the shooting of live bullets at Palestinian homes in the nearby villages of Ein Yabrud and Beitin and the throwing of stones at Palestinian cars at Huwara and Kfar Qaddum junctions, all near Ofra on Route 60 of the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 20.12.2018)

World Food Programme Announces Cuts to Palestine

20 Dec 3:56 AM

The World Food Programme announced, today, cuts in food aid that will affect some 190,000 impoverished Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank – roughly half of all its recipients, there – citing a severe funding shortfall, PNN reports.

The U.N. agency said it would, as of January 1, suspend food assistance to 27,000 people in the West Bank. In addition, food aid to 165,000 people in the territory and in the Gaza Strip would be reduced by 20 percent.

On Monday, Jamie McGoldrick, UN Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East, described the provision of humanitarian assistance in Gaza as “a collapsing system in freefall”. He issued an appeal as part of the Humanitarian Response Plan for next year, for $350 million, to help 1.4 million people in the most need, across the occupied Palestinian territories, chiefly the the Gaza Strip.

(Source / 20.12.2018)

No Vaccination for Palestinian Children, Decides the Occupying Power, Israel

20 Dec 4:17 AM

by Ihab Rimawi

Updated from 12/12/18 Israel Restricts Vaccine Imports to Palestine

Lara Hamdan had no idea, when she went to the health services center in Ramallah, to vaccinate her one-year-old daughter, that the vaccination was not available and that she had to wait until Israeli authorities allow the vaccines to enter Palestine before her daughter can be vaccinated.

Hamdan was concerned that, if her daughter does not get the right vaccination for children on time, her health might be at risk.

Israel has halted admission of all vaccinations to the Palestinian territories, and has been holding them at its ports for over three months, claiming that a 1986 law allows the import of the vaccines from only 10 countries. However, the Palestinian Ministry of Health has been importing vaccines, ever since it was established in 1995, from the countries that were certified by the World Health Organization (WHO), and the vaccines were brought to Palestine by UNICEF.

Director general of the public health department, in the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Yasser Bouzieh, warned that barring or delaying the entry of vaccines will lead to the outbreak of many diseases which could lead to an epidemic, and will affect not only Palestine but the neighboring countries, and the region as a whole.

He said that many diseases have been eradicated in Palestine, due to the vaccination, and, by preventing them from reaching Palestine, it means that diseases such as polio, of which the last case discovered was in 1988, along with many other serious diseases such as chicken pox and measles. WHO had previously said that Palestine was free of these diseases, but it is now feared that they will come back to threaten the lives of the children.

Bouzieh said that the vaccination for tuberculosis will disappear from the stores of the Ministry of Health by the end of this month, and vaccine for pertussis, commonly known as “whooping cough”, has been unavailable for more than a month, as a result of the Israeli decision. Stockpiles of other vaccinations are also running out.

Undersecretary of the Health Ministry, Assad Ramlawi, wondered about the timing of the Israeli decision, particularly since this law has been in place for 32 years. “So, why now?” he asks.

He said that UNICEF has been bringing the vaccines to Palestine since 1995, and that they were all certified by WHO. He went on to say that the 10 countries which Israel allows the vaccines to be imported from may not be certified by WHO and, therefore, the ministry will not be able to get the vaccines from these countries.

Ramlawi further stated, according to WAFA, that efforts by UNICEF and WHO, to get Israel to change its decision, have not yielded any results thus far, expressing hope that pressure on Israel, at the United Nations, may persuade authorities to change their decision and allow the vaccines to reach Palestine before it is too late.

(Source / 20.12.2018)

54 Palestinian Children Killed, Over 900 Detained Since 2018

20 Dec 4:42 AM

The PLO’s Abdullah Hourani Center for Studies and Documentation has reported that 54 Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of this year.

Hourani Center mentioned, in a report about the blatant violations against Palestinian minors, that 44 of them were killed during the Great March of Return, along the borders of the Gaza Strip, while another three are still being detained in Israeli prisons.

The center affirmed, according to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, that these children posed no danger to the Israeli military; however, the soldiers deliberately targeted them with live-fire, and with the intent to kill.

In the same context, Hourani Center reported that Israel detained more than 900 Palestinian children in the West Bank and Jerusalem, and about 230 are still being detained under harsh, inhumane circumstances.

The report also mentioned that Israeli forces continue with systematic violations against Palestinian children with no regard for the humanitarian or psychological aspects of their actions. For instance, the military court of Ofer recently sentenced Ayham Sabbah, age 17, to 35 years in prison, for an alleged stabbing operation in 2016, when he was 14 years old.

These harsh sentences contradict the International Convention on the Rights of the Child and International Convention Against Torture, which Israel signed in 1991.

Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) stated that Israel aims at converting Palestinian minors into children with disabilities by deliberately targeting them with live and explosive bullets.

DCIP indicated several cases, in the Gaza Strip, of children suffering permanent disabilities, during their participation in the Great Return of March, due to direct targeting by Israeli forces.

DCIP further underlined that these practices are considered as flagrant violations of International Humanitarian law (IHL), the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

(Source / 20.12.2018)