Youssef Al-Akkad, director of the European Gaza Hospital, warned this evening, Tuesday, that the hospital was unable to accommodate more patients with the Coronavirus, with the number of people infected with severe cases increasing in recent days.
In a statement to the local Al-Aqsa radio in Gaza, Al-Akkad stated that the hospital has become almost full, and if the situation of injuries remains high, within days the hospital will not be able to accommodate more patients.
He pointed out that two young men arrived at the hospital last night with difficulty breathing, and had not previously suffered from any diseases, indicating that this led to an increase in the number of young people in the care department to 5, and this sounds a great alarm and requires everyone without exception Adhere to safety and prevention measures.
Akkad said: “In the past, mild symptoms appeared on Corona patients, and the percentage of those in danger did not exceed 3 percent, and they were mainly elderly and people with chronic diseases.”
He added: “This wave of Corona is the most dangerous and deadly of the first wave.”
He continued: “The fall and winter seasons are abundant in viruses and colds, and if the patient meets the Corona virus and other viruses, then the patient is in a state of greater danger than the danger that was in the first wave of Corona.”
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Executive Committee of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) issued a statement mourning the death of a Palestinian detainee in an Israeli prison and held Israel responsible for his death by failing to provide him with the urgently needed medical treatment, especially since he was a cancer patient and recently became infected with the coronavirus.
Dr. Ashrawi stated that the detainee of Kamal Abu Wa’er, 46, from Qabatia town, south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, died after being denied access to professional medical treatment, and added that his death is part of the ongoing suffering of the Palestinian detainees, especially those who have serious illnesses and conditions.
She added that the detainees face numerous Israeli violations, including torture, extremely poor living conditions, in addition to being denied basic rights guaranteed by International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.
“The failures of the international community in holding Israel accountable for its crimes, and shedding a blind eye on these violations, continue to encourage it to commit more crimes and violations,” Dr. Ashrawi said, “By failing to expose its apartheid policies, the world is granting Israel a green light to escalate its crimes against the Palestinian people.”
She added that 226 Palestinian political prisoners have died in Israeli prisons since the year 1967, including patients and those who were tortured to death.
Dr. Ashrawi voiced an appeal to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the International Red Cross, the World Health Organization, in addition to all legal and human rights groups around the world to intervene and stop the seriously escalating Israeli crimes.
Israeli soldiers abducted, on Wednesday at dawn, six Palestinians, including one woman, after the army stormed and ransacked many homes in Kobar town, and Umm as-Sharayet neighborhood in al-Biereh city, in the central West Bank governorate of Ramallah.
Several army jeeps invaded Kobar town, northwest of Ramallah, and searching many homes, causing property damage, before abducting five Palestinians.
Media sources said the soldiers stormed the house of a former political prisoner, identified as Ra’ed Zeebar, after wiring and detonating the front door of his property, in an attempt to abduct him, and when they failed to locate him, the army abducted his wife, three sons and one of his nephews.
The sons and nephew have been identified as Shadi Mahmoud Zeebar, Mohammad Yousef Zeebar, and Mahmoud Yousef Zeebar, in addition to Wa’el at-Taqaz.
In addition, the soldiers invaded the home of Ayman Abu Sarea’, in Umm as-Sharayet neighborhood in the al-Biereh city, and searched the property before abducting him.
Protests were reported during the invasion, especially while the army was withdrawing from the invaded communities, and the soldiers fired a few live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs.
Israeli soldiers abducted, on Wednesday at dawn, five Palestinians, after the soldiers invaded and ransacked many homes in the al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and Sa’ir town, southeast of the city.
The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that the soldiers abducted Jawad Ziad Hdeib, Ibrahim Ali Abu Warda and Hasan Akram Zaghmout, from their homes in the al-Fawwar refugee camp.
It added that the soldiers also abducted Ali Mousa Jaradat, after storming and ransacking his property, in addition to the homes of his parents and his brother, Shadi.
In addition, the soldiers abducted Mo’tasem Yousef Madi, 28, from the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, while he was working in Jerusalem.
It is worth mentioning that, on Tuesday evening, illegal Israeli colonists invaded Palestinian orchards in Tal Romedia area, in the center of Hebron city, before harvesting many olive trees and stealing the produce.
In related news, the soldiers abducted six Palestinians, including one woman, after the army stormed and ransacked many homes in Kobar town, and Umm as-Sharayet neighborhood in al-Biereh city, in the central West Bank governorate of Ramallah.
In the Governorate of Hebron, in the southern West Bank, on Tuesday, separate attacks by Israeli soldiers and Israeli paramilitary settlers targeted Palestinian olive farmers and their lands — during a time of year when the olive harvest is at its height.
The first attack took place Tuesday morning, as Israeli forces bulldozed Palestinian farmland south of Hebron, in the villages of ad-Dhahiriya and Idhna.
The Palestinians whose land was destroyed were all members of the al-Jabareen family. Israeli forces carried out the destruction despite the fact that the Palestinian owners hold legal title deeds to their land.
In addition to bulldozing the farmland, the Israeli troops also destroyed a water irrigation system in the al-Layya area in the north of Idhna village.
According to the Wafa News Agency, the Director of Public Relations in Idhna municipality, Abdel-Rahman Tamizi, said forces bulldozed the same area and destroyed the water network more than ten times, claiming that the water network must be destroyed in revenge for Palestinian residents allegedly damaging the water network that feeds nearby settlements.
Also in Hebron, Tuesday, Israeli paramilitary settlers invaded a Palestinian home in the Old City of Hebron and began occupying it to take it over for colonization.
The Youth Against Settlements group published videos documenting the settlers’ storming of a house in the Old City, located in the area of the old vegetable market in Hebron, where Palestinian citizens are prevented from accessing it, due to the occupation closure policy.
He also published a video explaining the settlers’ theft of the olive harvest in the Tel Rumeida area, and that the land belongs to the Al-Bakri family, which extracted a final decision from the Israeli Supreme Court to evacuate the house from the settlers.
According to the Ma’an News Agency, Dr. Ahmed Amr, coordinator of the Youth Against Settlements Association, told their reporters that they have been told by the Israeli settlers in Hebron that the colonizers will try to use the remaining two months in the administration of US President Donald Trump to steal Palestinian lands and homes and escalate attacks on Palestinian citizens and their property.
In addition, Amr told reporters that the Israeli army facilitates the theft of land and property by Israeli colonial settlers, and prevents Palestinian residents from defending themselves and their property from the Israeli settler invasion.
Amr told Ma’an that it is up to the Palestinian leadership and international supporters to develop a plan that will ensure the protection of Palestinians and their property.
Israeli soldiers demolished, Wednesday, an under-construction Palestinian residential building, owned by a former political prisoner in the at-Tour town, in occupied Jerusalem, before abducting the owner and his son.
The soldiers, accompanied by bulldozers, invaded the town, before surrounding the entire area and completely isolating it.
Local sources said the soldiers then demolished the under-construction building, before abducting the owner, a former political prisoner identified as Ahmad Abu al-Hawa, along with his son, and moved them to an interrogation facility.
The army claims the 350 square/meter building was being constructed without a permit from the City Council, in occupied Jerusalem.
It is worth mentioning that, in the year 2016, the soldiers demolished a residential building, which consisted of four apartments, owned by Abu al-Hawa, under the pretext of being constructed without a permit.
Ahmad Abu al-Hawa is a former political prisoner, who was imprisoned by Israel for ten years.
While Israel continues to build and expand its illegal colonies in the occupied territories, in direct violation of International Law, it continues to deny construction permits to the Palestinians in Jerusalem and other large areas of the West Bank.about:blankFacebook URL
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Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Palestinian reactions to Joe Biden’s election have varied. From official positive expectations to skeptic positions expressed by different political factions, to a mixture of irony and disillusion circulating social media, the latest race to the US presidency has proved to be at the forefront of Palestinians’ attention.
Following the announcement of Biden’s victory, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas issued an official congratulation to the US president-elect, stating that he is “looking forward to strengthening relations between Palestine and the US, hoping to achieve freedom and independence to the Palestinian people, in addition to working together towards peace”.
On his side, the head of Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyah, called upon the new president to “make a historical correction of the US unjust policies towards our people. Policies which have made the US an accomplice in the injustice and the aggression, jeopardizing world stability”.
The Popular Front for the liberation of Palestine, on the other hand, seemed more dismissive in a press release it issued, stating that “The election of Biden does not promise any change towards the Palestinian cause or any of the Arab causes”. The PFLP also warned against “any false illusions that Biden may give about returning to negotiations, which can not achieve any of our people’s rights”.
In a similar position, the Islamic Jihad Movement’s spokesperson, Daoud Shihab, said his movement “does not hold any hopes from the election of a new president, and does not expect any changes in the US policies towards the Palestinian cause”. Adding that “there is so much that the US should do if it wants to correct its black history in relation to Arab and Islamic nations, and the Palestinian people in particular”. Shihab also said that “the Palestinian people will never forget what the Trump administration did, by moving its embassy to Jerusalem, falsely claiming it to be the capital of Israel”.
In addition to official reactions, Palestinians on social media have been commenting on the elections in a more satirical way. Memes and posts portraying Donald Trump’s electoral defeat have overwhelmed Facebook and Twitter, often comparing Trump’s attitude of denial to that of despotic Arab leaders. Some memes showed trump asking Netanyahu if he could offer him a job, or in a popular market place selling vegetables, a work that in Palestinian popular culture is an indication of being jobless.
“From the edge of the clif to the edge of disaster”
On a more serious tone, Palestinian Facebook accounts have been expressing different points of view regarding the change in the White House, all focusing on the possible impact of the new US presidency on the Palestinian cause. Palestinian journalist Mohamad Hamayel journalist wrote on his Facebook account “To those who are celebrating the US election results, I can understand if you are happy for Trump’s defeat. But if you expect Biden to liberate Al Aqsa, I have bad news for you. Biden will serve his own people and no one else, and those who expect magical solutions to come from Biden are misled”.
الذي أسقط ترامب ليس تدخل اجنبي ولا حنكة سياسية من أي جهة غير الحزب الديمقراطي الأمريكي و حلفائه، الذي أسقط ترامب ما هو إلا جزء بسيط من الانتخابات الديمقراطية الحرة و الحاجة الشعبية لمساءلته أمام صندوق الاقتراع، بالنسبة إلى البعض “المبسوطين” أن كانت شماتة في ترامب ذلك مفهوم و لكن أن كانت تتوقع أن بايدن سوف يحرر الأقصى لدي اخبار سيئة لكم… بايدن سوف يخدم شعبه ليس شعباً آخر، و الذي يتمنى من بايدن حلول سحرية فهو واهم.
Palestinian academic in birzeit University, Hunaida Ghanem, explained on her facebook account her view of the US president change; “Moving from Trump to Biden is moving from the edge of the clif to the edge of the disaster. It’s a little different of course, but things are relative”.
اذا سقط ترامب ونجح بايدن راح نطلع من مواجهة الهاوية الى مواجهة الكارثة. بتفرق الامور بالطبع ..كل شيء نسبي في الحياة.
In more direct words, Palestinian filmmaker Ala Hamdan commented on Biden’s election; “Frankly, Biden’s victory isn’t a goal in itself, but rather the defeat of Trump, and all those who with his support have wreaked the earth with injustices! Biden has won, the title of this new phase is: May God help us!”
Past experiences and the continuity of occupation
While historical experiences give Palestinians very little hopes of any change in Washington’s policy towards Palestine, Biden’s stands and declarations during his campaign seem only to reinforce this skepticism. He has vowed to maintain the US embassy in Jerusalem as well to maintain the US military aid to the occupation state. He also made it clear that he will keep his differences with the Israeli leaders, namely concerning Israeli plans of annexing parts of the West Bank, behind closed doors.
Simultaneously, on the other hand, the Palestinian Authority leadership does have something to hope for, after being effectively excluded by Trump from any discussions regarding his policies towards the conflict. Although Biden has made it clear that he will not publicly push against Israeli annexation plans, he did promise to “reverse” the distancing between the US and the PA, caused by Trump’s policies. For many Palestinian officials, this could mean a chance to return to negotiations. On the ground, however, the reality of occupation and settlement expansion seems to be the only thing unaffected by the change in the White House.
Ramallah (QNN)- The cancer patient prisoner Kamal Abu Wa’er (46 years old) died in Israeli jails on Tuesday following a year of medical neglect.
Abu Wa’er was diagnosed with throat cancer at the end of 2019 but he was medically neglected although of the repeated calls to protect his life.
The Prisoners’ Society stated that Abu Wa’er, born in 1974, was a cancer patient and he urgently needed medical treatment.
The NGO added that the situation of Abu Wa’er’s condition deteriorated due to the harsh treatment and inhumane conditions inside Israeli jails.
Last July, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) announced that he tested positive for COVID-19, which spread inside Israeli jails amid the Israeli negligence of international calls to provide whatever prisoners need to protect their lives from the pandemic.
Abu Wa’er died on Tuesday, raising the toll of prisoners’ martyrs since 1967 to 226. He was born in 1974 in Kuwait then he moved back with his family to Jenin. Israeli forces chased him for three years over his political activism before arresting him in 2003 when he was sentenced to six life sentences and 50 years after harsh torture. His family was prevented from visiting him for three years after his arrest. He took part in all mass hunger strikes.
Israel’s settlers threaten Palestinian farmers all year long, but during harvest season, the attacks increase in intensity and number, with devastating impact
Walking between what remains of the 300 olive trees waiting to be harvested, 69-year-old Khaled Mashaaleh breaks down in tears.
In one day, on 14 October, Israelis from a nearby illegal settlement attacked his land, cut down andsabotaged the 300 trees he planted 20 years ago. Settlers also cut down six 1500-year-old olive trees from the Roman period.
“I cry for my trees,” said Mashaaleh, standing on his land in the Palestinian village of Jabaa on the southern outskirts of Bethlehem. “I feel that I lost the children that I’ve been raising for the past 20 years.”
He told Middle East Eye that only a couple of days prior to the Israeli settler attack, he visited his land and inspected his trees in preparation for olive picking with his family.
“I was surprised when I got a call from one of the village residents telling me that my trees had been cut down,” said Mashaaleh, explaining that he thought it was a joke.
“I headed straight to my land, only to find 25 dunams [25,000 square metres] of trees in my land cut down and destroyed.”
It was not the first time that Mashaaleh’s land was targeted. In 2006, the Israeli army razed parts of his land and cut down 980 of his olive trees, claiming he did not own the land, despite the presence of documents in the family’s possession that prove ownership.
Olive harvest season attacks
Israeli settler attacks take place throughout the year, but they consistently increase in number and intensity during the annual olive season in Palestine, usually from mid-September to mid-November.
In the Palestinian village of Al-Mughayyer, east of Ramallah, Israelis from the nearby settlement of El-Ad attacked the land of 60-year-old Saeed Abu Alia.
“Our land is attacked on an annual basis by settlers. They target the land by cutting down or burning trees,” Abu Alia told MEE.
He and his father planted 600 trees in 1982. “Today, there are only 15 olive trees left,” he said, explaining that each year they would lose a number of trees due to settler attacks.
Two months ago, settlers cut down 120 of the family’s olive trees.
Most recently, on 26 October, he and his family visited their land, which they are only allowed access to twice a year and only through coordination with the Israeli army that dictates the days, time and the period the families are allowed on their land.
Abu Alia said that when they arrived, they saw that “there were no trees left to pick”.
“This land was a source of income for us. Today, it has become barren,” he said.
In March, added Abu Alia, when the family went to plough the land, they found that about 20 dunams had been razed by settlers, who also took soil and rocks.
Abu Alia believes settler attacks are aimed at “taking over the land to prevent us from accessing it,” adding that he and his family are determined to win the fight.
“We will not give this land up – I will always try to be present there, and to keep replanting it,” he said.
Between 7 October, the start of the olive harvest, and 19 October, Israeli settlers wounded 23 Palestinian farmers, burned down or otherwise damaged 1,000 of their olive trees, and “large amounts of produce were stolen” in 19 different incidents across the West Bank, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
OCHA has said that settler attacks in the occupied West Bank have consistently been on the rise since 2016, and particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. The agency reported that in the first five months of 2020, Israeli settlers committed 143 attacks, resulting in the “injury of 63 Palestinians, including 13 children, and damage to over 3,700 trees and saplings, various field crops, and more than 100 vehicles, among other assets.”
‘I feel that I lost the children that I’ve been raising for the past 20 years’
– Khaled Mashaaleh
In Jaloud, south of the northern city of Nablus, local council head Abdullah Haj Mohammed told MEE that residents of the village, which is surrounded by 10 settlements and settler “outposts”, faced various kinds of obstacles in tending to their lands by both the Israeli army and settlers.
Haj Mohammed said that settlers stole the olive crops of a 300-dunam plot of land, which the Israeli army only allows residents to access once a year, during the olive harvest season.
“On 19 October, we saw the settlers harvesting the olives before we managed to obtain a permit from the Israeli army to access the land,” he explained, adding that the army returned only a portion of the crops.
This year, said Haj Mohammed, the Israeli army prevented several families in the village from reaching their land in Jaloud under the pretext of security. He pointed out that this was unusual, as residents are allowed to access their fields once a year, which he said suggests that the new settlement outpost close to the olive groves will soon present a new set of obstacles to them reaching their land.
The council head added that settlers also stole ladders, tools and mattresses belonging to farmers, while trees belonging to other residents were cut down, and the army prevented the families from reaching their lands and assessing the damage.
Hafeth Saleh, local council head of the Asira al-Qibliya village, southwest of Nablus, told MEE that the village has witnessed a significant rise in settler attacks recently, targeting Palestinian homes and property, as well as razing and taking over village land.
“We were in the midst of implementing a land rehabilitation project on about 50 dunums of village land, which are in Area B near the settlement of Yitzhar, but the Israeli army blocked us from completing it and prevented us from paving agricultural roads,” Saleh said.
“We were also prevented from hooking up electricity to the land.”
Israeli soldiers walk past cut-down olive trees on lands belonging to Palestinians from al-Sawiyah village south of Nablus city in the occupied West Bank, on 2 May 2020 (AFP)
He explained that the illegal settlement of Yitzhar sits on 2,500 dunams of confiscated Palestinian agricultural land from Asira al-Qibliya. Yitzhar besieges the village, he added, and its settlers carry out daily attacks against residents of the area.
“They say that the annexation plan has been frozen, but we see this plan proceeding in full swing every day with the seizure of more land and the establishment of more [settler] outposts,” said Saleh.
Against the backdrop of increased settler attacks, there have been renewed Palestinian popular campaigns to support farmers who are most at risk during the olive season.
One such campaign, and the oldest of them, is the Aounah campaign, which was established in 1986 under the slogan “we protect our land and support our farmers” with the aim of helping farmers harvest their crops and plant olive trees
Aghsan Barghouti, media coordinator at the Ramallah-based Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), which organises the campaign, told MEE that it is carried out annually with the participation of tens of solidarity activists from different countries around the world, particularly from social movements in Europe and Latin America, and in coordination with local Palestinian volunteer groups and universities.
“The main goal of the campaign is to revive the values of aiding farmers and protecting the land, and providing social incubation for farmers,” said Barghouti.
She explained that the campaign focuses on working in areas that are consistently targeted and are seen as hotspots, in an effort to reduce the intensity of the attacks and the isolation of the farmers.
While many international solidarity activists usually come from abroad to protect farmers during the olive harvest season, she said, the outbreak of Covid-19 and restrictions on travel hindered the process this year, and the campaign relied mainly on local participation.
“Farmers need permanent support in the face of the daily attacks of settlers. The corona epidemic has increased the burden on farmers due to the damage caused to marketing and production in the agricultural sector,” said Barghouti.
“Despite the threats and dangers we face, we continued our work with the support of Palestinian farmers.”
One of the prisoners was identified as a 17-year-old child
Israeli occupation forces detained on Wednesday night 15 Palestinians, including former minister, from various areas across occupied West Bank, Palestine Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said.
The PPS said in a statement, the Israeli forces detained former Jerusalem Affairs Minister Khaled Abu Arafeh after he appeared before the Israeli intelligence in Ofer, a notorious detention facility, west of Ramallah.
Abu Arafeh, 59, served as the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs in March 2006 following Hamas sweeping victory in elections, and was detained in Israeli military sweep against the movement on 29 June 2006, and his Jerusalem residency permit was revoked on 30 June of the same year.
Meanwhile, Israeli police detained a 17-year-old teen from the vicinity of Bab al-Rahma prayer area inside Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
Police also summoned four Fatah officials for interrogation after storming their houses in Jerusalem.
Three of the four officials were identified as Director of the PPS Office in Jerusalem Nasser Qaws, Fatah Secretary-General in Jerusalem Shadi Mtour, Ahed al-Risheq and Raed Hijazi.
In Ramallah district, PPS confirmed that Israeli military vehicles raided Kobar town, northwest of Ramallah city, where soldiers searched many houses, turning them upside down and detained five Palestinians.
Soldiers stormed the house of Raed Zibar, a former prisoner, after detonating the front door of his property, in an attempt to detain him. When they failed to locate him, they detained his wife and four of his extended family members.
PPS confirmed that soldiers detained two other Palestinians, including one from the al-Bireh city neighborhood of Umm al-Sharayet.
In Hebron district, Israeli forces barged their way into al-Fawar refugee camp, south of the city, where they rounded up three Palestinians.
PPS confirmed a similar raid in Sa‘ir town, northeast of the city, resulting in the detention of another.
Another Palestinian, identified as a resident of al-Arroub refugee camp, was detained while inside Israel, and a former prisoner was too from Jenin district.