Healthcare for isolated Palestinian communities in West Bank at risk from funding shortfall

A doctor belonging to the American medical team that succeeded in removing a bullet from head of 7-month-old Palestinian infant who was shot by Israeli fire while in the lap of her mother

A doctor belonging to the American medical team that succeeded in removing a bullet from head of 7-month-old Palestinian infant who was shot by Israeli fire while in the lap of her mother

Basic health care provision for vulnerable Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank is under threat due to a shortfall in funding.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in an update published this week as part of periodic reporting by UN OCHA, at the end of 2019 “mobile clinic coverage of communities in Area C fell from 85 to 60 per cent of people in need”, due to “severe funding shortages”.

More than 100 Palestinian communities which are home to some 162,000 residents in ‘Area C’ of the occupied West Bank – which is under full Israeli civil control – “have limited or no access to primary healthcare and are therefore in need of mobile clinics services”.

As noted by the WHO update, this critical absence is “primarily because of the restrictive Israeli planning regime, which prevents the construction of the necessary facilities, as well as the prevailing access and movement restrictions, which impedes access to main service centres.”

READ: A Terrifying Scenario of coronavirus in ‘Quarantined’ Gaza

“These restrictions on access to basic health services are one component of a coercive environment affecting many Palestinians across the West Bank, particularly in Area C,” the WHO added.

According to the report, “other elements” include “the demolition and threat of demolition of homes, schools and livelihoods lacking issued building permits; denial of service infrastructure; access restrictions on farming and grazing land; poor law enforcement on violent settlers; the active promotion of ‘relocation’ plans; and revocation of residency rights, among others.”

For 2020, WHO and its partners are seeking $2.7 million “to ensure access to essential primary health care services, through mobile clinics, in the West Bank”.

“These resources would enable WHO to deliver services to 176 communities and expand coverage to more than 120,000 out of the more than 160,000 in need.”

Mahmoud, a resident of Frush Beit Dajan in the Jordan Valley, told the WHO how “due to Israeli planning policies, we haven’t been able to build a proper clinic”.

A mobile structure, originally provided as a children’s play area, must double both as a clinic and a village meeting room. We’re surrounded by three settlements and a checkpoint and there is no public transport, so it’s challenging getting to the nearest hospital, a 40-kilometer drive away.

“The most important thing for humans is access to health for life. It’s about securing dignity, access to health and education and life saving measures,” he added.

READ: Israel settlers uproot hundreds of trees in Bethlehem

(Source / 04.03.2020) 

Israel minister calls Palestinian citizens ‘ingrates’

Israeli minister Bezalel Smotrich

Israeli minister Bezalel Smotrich

An Israeli minister slammed elected representatives of the country’s Palestinian citizens as “ingrates”, in a social media post yesterday evening.

According to right-wing news outlet Arutz Sheva, Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich was responding to an earlier tweet by Joint List chair Ayman Odeh.

Odeh, whose alliance looks to have secured a historic 15 seats in the Knesset, was himself responding to comments by Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) chair Benny Gantz, who had said that only a “Jewish majority” would be able to beat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Gantz, the leader of Israel’s largest opposition faction, has consistently ruled out sitting in a coalition government with the Joint List, which largely represents Palestinian citizens.

Israel: Joint List receive 87.2% of votes in Arab cities

After Israel’s third election in a year produced a boost for Likud, but no clear majority for either the right-wing bloc or opposition bloc, Odeh tweeted: “Nobody has a Jewish majority”.

Following Odeh’s tweet, Smotrich – a notorious hard-right nationalist and supporter of the West Bank settlement enterprise – wrote: “Ayman, you know very well that you and your ingrate friends live here in a prosperous democracy with civil rights and a good life just because there is a Jewish majority here.”

Smotrich added that “otherwise your life would look like the lives of most of your brethren in the surrounding Arab countries.”

“Maybe if you try a little you will start to appreciate the Jewish majority here,” he added.

(Source / 04.03.2020) 

Thousands of shekels stolen from Palestinian homes in occupied West Bank

A Palestinian man holds News Israeli Shekels' bills marked with stickers reading "Free Palestine" on March 7, 2011 in the West Bank city of Ramallah, as part of a campaign aimed to peacefully express opposition to Israel's occupation. [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images]

A Palestinian man holds Israeli Shekels’ bills marked with stickers reading ‘Free Palestine’ on March 7, 2011 in the West Bank city of Ramallah

Israel security forces stole thousands of shekels from Palestinians in Al-Zawiya in the Salfit district of the occupied West Bank last night.

According to the Palestinian news agency WAFA, around 50,000 shekels ($14,500) were seized during raids that were carried out overnight in the houses of Palestinian citizens and former prisoners.

The Israeli authorities often claim that money has been “confiscated” because the Palestinians “supported acts of terror” and received the money from unknown sources. As a result, soldiers are rarely charged with such thefts.

This is not the first time that Israel has taken money from Palestinian homes during night raids condemned by the Palestinian Authority and international rights bodies.

READ: Israel demolition truck topples in West Bank

Such accusations have been made on hundreds of occasions, with soldiers pocketing Palestinians’ cash and valuables during the raids that take place nightly across the West Bank.

A similar raid was carried out in December, for example, when Israeli soldiers used dogs to ransack the family home of Mohammed Rayhan in the town of Yabod, south-west of Jenin.

After the soldiers had left without making any arrests, the family realised that money and gold jewellery were missing, he told Wafa. The family accused the soldiers of stealing the money and valuables.

Heavily armed Israeli soldiers, often with large dogs, regularly raid Palestinian homes, wake the children and arrest one or more family members.

The occupation state’s policy of night raids against the people of occupied Palestine has been condemned repeatedly by international rights bodies as it leaves victims feeling unsafe in their own homes.

(Source / 04.03.2020) 

3 Palestinians receive demolition, stop-work orders in Bethlehem

Israeli forces intervene in Palestinians who are trying to prevent the razing as Israeli army demolishing a restaurant belongs to Palestinians, at Beit Jala neighborhood in Ramallah, West Bank on August 26, 2019

The Israeli occupation army yesterday delivered demolition and stop-work orders against three homes in Nahalin town, west of occupied Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

The Palestinian Information Centre reported Nahalin Deputy Mayor Hani Fannoun saying the Israeli army’s civil administration notified Ahmed Mahmoud of its intent to demolish his home in Al-Bakoush area of the town.

Two others citizens, Adel Najajera and Ra’ed Sawad, received stop-work notices ordering them to halt construction works at their homes, which are located in the same area.

A few days ago, the Israeli army confiscated two concrete mixers and forced citizens to stop construction works in the area.

READ: Palestinian teen killed by Israel forces during home demolition

(Source / 04.03.2020) 

Israeli Forces Demolish Palestinian Home in Jerusalem, Family Homeless

The Israeli occupation authorities demolished the second floor of a Palestinian-owned house in the town of Hezma, northeast of the occupied city of Jerusalem, on Tuesday, under the pretext that it was built without Israeli permission, according to Hezma mayor, Musallam Abu Hilo.

Abu Hilo told WAFA Palestinian News Agency that the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem, escorted by a bulldozer, evacuated the home, and proceeded to demolish the second floor of a two story home.

The house, located near the Israeli annexation wall and built on top of a house constructed 40 years ago, was inhabited by Rami Khatib, his wife and six children, whom are now homeless.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states that the occupying power [Israel] is forbidden from forcibly transferring the protected population already living in the occupied territory [Palestine].

(Source / 04.03.2020) 

One Palestinian Receives Demolition Order, Two Receive Stop Construction Orders

Palestinians in the village of Nahalin, were informed by the Israeli military that one house will be demolished as two others were ordered to stop construction of their homes, according to the village’s deputy mayor, Hani Fannoun.

Fannoun told WAFA that one resident of the village, located in the southern occupied West Bank, received a demolition order, while two others were ordered to stop work on building their homes, under the pretext they were lacking an Israeli permit.

The village in question is in Area C, under full Israeli military and administrative control, where Palestinians are denied permits to build on their own land.

One home in Jerusalem was demolished Tuesday, leaving 8 people including 6 children.

(Source / 04.03.2020) 

Israeli Troops Invade West Bank; Abduct 21 Palestinians

Israeli forces invaded several parts of the West Bank in pre-dawn raids Wednesday March 3rd, abducting 21 Palestinian citizens from their homes while they were asleep in bed.

In addition, the troops seized funds from the homes of several freed prisoners.

According to the Palestinian Wafa News Agency, the occupation forces abducted three citizens from the Jalazoun camp, namely: Bajes Nakhleh, Ahmed Zaid, Shadi Hajir.

Also in the Ramallah district, the troops abducted Saed Abu Al-Baha from his home in Betonia, west of Ramallah, and Fadi Abdel Dayem in the city of Ramallah. They also seized Ziad Farraj from the village of Ain Sinaia, north of Ramallah.

In Nablus, Israeli forces abducted three Palestinian citizens: the freed prisoner Ahmed Bassam Nassar from the village of Madama, Hazza Amouri from the village of Awarta, and Salah Dweikat from the Askar camp.

In Tulkarem, the occupation forces abducted two young men, namely: Jihad Khraiwesh and Ibrahim Al-Sawadni, after they raided their homes in the city.

In Hebron, the occupation forces abducted Ahmad Kamel Masalmeh from the town of Kharsa after they raided his house and ransacked its contents.

In addition, several military checkpoints were installed at the entrances to towns and camps in the Hebron Governorate, and the vehicles of the Palestinians driving in those areas were searched and their identities checked.

In Jerusalem, the occupation forces arrested eight Palestinians from the town of Al-Issawiya: Mohammad Amir Mahmoud, Adam Kayed Mahmoud, Saed Yousef Ubaid, Mahmoud Awni Mahmoud, Mansour Muhammad Mahmoud, Mansour Ali Nasser, Saleh Dari and Majd Bashir. In addition, the soldiers abducted  Mohammad Hazina from Jerusalem. Mounir Kayed Mahmoud, a young man, was summoned to the Israeli police station for interrogation.

In a related context, the occupation forces raided several houses of freed prisoners in the town of Zawiya, west of Salfit, and seized funds from them, including: the house of the freed prisoners Raafat Rashid Abdullah Muqadi, Alian Rashid Abdullah Muqadi and Ahmad Hamdan Ali Musleh.

The occupation forces also raided the house of a young man, Ahmad Musleh, in the city of Nablus, and seized a sum of money from inside it. They also raided the house of the captive Kanaan Zalmout in Beit Furik, east of the city.

Earlier on Tuesday afternoon, young Mohammad Bassan Manassra  was abducted by Israeli troops at the entrance of the village of Husan West Bethlehem.

Image from Shehab News Agency of the abduction of Manassra (photo taken by a passenger in a passing car):

(Source / 04.03.2020) 


Occupied West Bank (QNN)- The Ministry of Telecom and Information Technology said Wednesday that Amazon will now be shipping to customers in the occupied Palestinian territories for free, reversing a previous policy of charging Palestinians in the West Bank unless they choose ‘Israel’ as their address instead of Palestine.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Ministry stated that this comes as an early response after legal actions were taken by the Ministry of Telecom and Information Technology, Ministry of National Economy, Ministry of Finance, the Universal Postal Union and others, against Amazon over its discrimination policy that favors illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories over the indigenous Palestinian population.

Last month, a Financial Times report revealed that Amazon was delivering free to Israeli illegal settlements while charging Palestinian customers for the same services.

The report said that Palestinians who select their address as being in Israel get free shipping from the company.

Palestinians who select their address as being in the “Palestinian territories” when placing orders can expect to pay $24 or more

There was no comment from Amazon on the report.

(Source / 04.03.2020) 


Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- “The class was over, so I went for a break to the courtyard. Suddenly, I felt a hard hit in my hand”, Muhammad told QNN.

Muhammad Awni Mahmoud (16 years old) told QNN how Israeli soldiers opened fire at his school on the morning of Tuesday and how he was shot in his hand with a rubber-coated metal bullet.

“We were heading to buy breakfast. Suddenly, we saw behind the gate a GMC police vehicle. Soldiers got out of the vehicle and started shooting at us intensively with rubber-coated metal bullets”, Muhammad said.

He added that a soldier shot at him wounding his hand before he was carried inside the school building.

“I didn’t know it was a bullet,” Muhammad said. “My hand swelled up and became bluish.”

The school contacted Muhammad’s family before sending him to a medical center in Issawiyyeh then Hadasah hospital in Jerusalem.

Muhammads mother told QNN that the principal told her that he was with Muhammad when he was shot.

Muhammad confirmed that Israeli forces deliberately target schools in Issawiyyeh, narrating another incident that happened in his school when Israeli soldiers broke into his school and attacked the guard and principal before beating and arresting a student.

It wasn’t the first incident and it will not be the last, said the chief of Issawiyyeh Darweesh Darweesh. The occupation will continue to assault native Palestinians, trying to establish control on Palestinians.

Darwish explained that Israeli forces systematically target Palestinian young men and children in Issawiyyeh noting that last year was the worst and hardest for locals.

The Committee of Students’ Parents in Issawiyyeh has organized several demonstrations, protesting against the Israeli targeting of students and school with poisonous tear gas canisters and bullets.

(Source / 04.03.2020) 


Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Israeli vehicles on Wednesday leveled several dunums of agricultural land in Beit Jala and the Jordan Valley.

Local sources said that Israeli bulldozers raided Makhrour in Beit Jala and leveled five dunums of land belonging to the citizen Ramzi Qaisiyyeh.

In the Jordan Valley, Israeli forces expelled shepherds from Shwei’er in the northern Jordan Valley and leveled agricultural land.

Israeli authorities have been working hard to expel native Palestinians from the Jordan Valley, as a step to annex the West Bank area.

(Source / 04.03.2020)