Over 30,000 Palestine refugees face ‘dire’ conditions in southern Syria, UNRWA says

A girl looks through abandoned belongings in the rubble on the streets of the Palestinian Yarmuk camp, on the southern outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus, on November 25, 2020 [LOUAI BESHARA/AFP via Getty Images]
A girl looks through abandoned belongings in the rubble on the streets of the Palestinian Yarmuk camp, on the southern outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus, on November 25, 2020

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) yesterday warned that more than 30,000 Palestinian refugees have become more “vulnerable” following the recent fighting in Daraa, southern Syria.

On 25 June, Syrian regime forces and affiliated militias besieged the town of Daraa after opposition groups refused to hand over light weapons in accordance with a 2018 agreement, which was limited to handing over heavy and medium weapons.

UNRWA said in a statement that heavy shelling and fighting since 29 July have caused loss of life, injury, and the displacement of many hundreds of vulnerable families and reduced its ability to provide vital services.

According to the statement, more than 600 Palestinian refugee families – 3,000 individuals – now reside in or around the camp, with more than half the families living inside the camp where humanitarian conditions are dire.

The statement said the closure of the main humanitarian crossing – Saraya – on 30 July, depleted medical and food stocks, including bread, since 2 August, adding that water and electricity are also said to be completely cut off inside the camp, which led to halting the work needed to prepare for children to return to UNRWA schools.

The UN agency called on all parties to the conflict to ensure unimpeded humanitarian access and to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, including UNRWA services and facilities in the governorate.

“The Saraya crossing point, which allows the passage of people and goods, must remain open to allow Palestine refugees’ access to basic services,” it added.

READ: Iran militias violate Daraa ceasefire in Syria

(Source / 17.08.2021)

Hamas official: Situation in Gaza is leading to escalation

Pictures of Palestinian children killed in the Israeli attack on Gaza in May 2021 are placed outside the UNDP office on 13 July 2021 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Pictures of Palestinian children killed in the Israeli attack on Gaza in May 2021 are placed outside the UNDP office on 13 July 2021

The difficult living conditions under which Palestinians in Gaza are living will lead to an escalation of tensions with the occupation state of Israel, a senior Hamas official has said.

Mohammad Al-Madhoun said he expects a new escalation of tension “if Israel did not fulfil the demands of the Palestinian people, including lifting the Israeli siege imposed on Gaza since 2007.”Death toll in Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip keeps rising...- Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Death toll in Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip keeps rising…- Cartoon

He noted that the ongoing calm in Gaza is a response to mediation efforts of certain parties, including the United Nations and Egypt.

Al-Madhoun reiterated that the living conditions in Gaza are worsening day by day as Israel continues its policy of imposing tight restrictions on Gaza, including the ban on the entry of Qatari aid, as well as on hundreds of basic commodities needed for daily life.

He called for all the Palestinian factions and groups to unite and work towards running one political process in a manner that serves the interests of the Palestinian people.

READ: Israel, Hamas closer to conflict than calm, report warns

(Source / 17.08.2021)

Israel confiscates chocolate heading to Gaza

Preparing all the sweets to sell on Eid day! [Anadolu Agency]
Preparing all the sweets to sell on Eid day! 

Israeli Defence Ministry yesterday confiscated a large number of chocolate bars which were destined for the besieged Gaza Strip, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The chocolate bars, the Israeli occupation claimed, were meant to serve as an alternative currency to fund Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip.

According to the Israeli daily, officials had been noticing suspicious imports of food products to Gaza, claiming that Hamas was trying to gain funding by operating a broad network of food imports, including chocolate bars.

“We were able to hit a number of [Hamas] funding networks and to confiscate goods, thanks to an Executive seizure order signed by Benny Gantz,” the defence minister’s press representative said according to the Jerusalem Post.

“Israel will continue acting to prevent the empowerment of Hamas, who is building up military force instead of taking care of the people of the [Gaza] Strip who are collapsing from the economic burden,” Gantz said, adding: “We will continue to hunt down networks that fund terror, no matter what method they choose.”

READ: Israel bans entry of fuel for Gaza power plant

(Source / 17.08.2021)

Israel still banning computers from entering Gaza

Palestinian students at a computer laboratory on March 22, 2015 in the village of Khuzaa, east of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip [SAID KHATIB/AFP via Getty Images]
Palestinian students at a computer laboratory on March 22, 2015 in the village of Khuzaa, east of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip 

Since the end of the Israeli offensive on Gaza in May, Israel has continued to ban the entry of building materials along with hundreds of other basic commodities into the besieged enclave.

“The Israeli occupation has been putting tight restrictions on the entry of basic materials, including construction materials since the end of its war on Gaza three months ago,” an economist expert at the Gaza Chamber of Commerce Maher Al-Tabba said.

According to Al-Tabba, the Israeli occupation continues the closures of the crossings between Israel and Gaza and only “allows the entry of nonessential materials.”

“Israel allowed the entry of washing machines, fridges, and equipment for solar energy systems,” he said, adding: “The Israeli occupation allows the entry of commodities which do not have an actual impact on the Gaza residents.”

However, according to Al-Tabba, the occupation continues its ban on computers which are necessary for students and other sectors.”

READ: Israel raids office of children’s rights group, confiscates computers, files

(Source / 17.08.2021)

WAFA: “Israeli bulldozers demolish kindergarten in Jerusalem-district town”

JERUSALEM, Tuesday, August 17, 2021 (WAFA) – The Israeli occupation authorities today demolished a kindergarten in Beit Sfafa town, southwest of the occupied city of Jerusalem, local sources said.

The sources told WAFA that the Israeli forces escorted a Jerusalem municipality bulldozer to al-Safeh area in the town, where the heavy machinery tore down a kindergarten belonging to Mohammad Jum‘a.

The kindergarten, adjacent the Jum‘a family’s house, was supposed to open its doors with the beginning of the new school year.

Using the pretext of illegal building, Israel demolishes houses on a regular basis to restrict Palestinian expansion in occupied Jerusalem.

At the same time, the municipality and government build tens of thousands of housing units in illegal settlements in East Jerusalem for Jews with a goal to offset the demographic balance in favor of the Jewish settlers in the occupied city.

Although Palestinians in East Jerusalem, a part of the internationally recognized Palestinian Territory that has been subject to Israeli military occupation since 1967, they are denied their citizenship rights and are instead classified only as “residents” whose permits can be revoked if they move away from the city for more than a few years.

They are also discriminated against in all aspects of life including housing, employment and services, and are unable to access services in the West Bank due to the construction of Israel’s separation wall.

According to a report by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, the Israeli High Court could be liable for war crimes for their policies that led to the dispossession of Palestinians from their properties in Area C of the West Bank.

The report, Fake Justice, shows that the court’s support of Israeli planning policy is tantamount to support for dispossession and forcible transfer of Palestinians, a war crime under international law.

(Source / 17.08.2021)

Israeli Vehicles Invade Palestinian Lands In Central Gaza

Several Israeli military vehicles, including bulldozers, invaded Palestinian agricultural lands east of the al-Maghazi refugee camp, in central Gaza, and bulldozed them in addition to firing live rounds and smoke bombs.

Media sources said at least three tanks and three armored bulldozers invaded the Palestinian lands near the perimeter fence east of the al-Maghazi and the al-Boreij refugee camps, in central Gaza.

They added that the soldiers bulldozed sections near the fence and installed sand hills, in addition to firing live rounds and smoke bombs.

It is worth mentioning that the army frequently attacks farmersshepherds, workers, and fishermen along the easter parts of the coastal region and in Palestinian territorial waters, leading to dozens of casualties, including fatalities, in addition to preventing the Palestinians from tending to their lands and from fishing to provide for their families.

In March of this year, the Palestinian Interior Ministry in Gaza said Israeli mines were responsible for an explosion that led to the death of three fishermen.

(Source / 17.08.2021)

WAFA: “Cancer-stricken patient among ten Palestinians detained from West Bank”

RAMALLAH, Tuesday, August 17, 2021 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Tuesday overnight and morning detained at least ten Palestinians, including a cancer-stricken patient, from various parts of the West Bank, according to local and security sources.

They said that Israeli forces rounded up three Palestinians after breaking into and ransacking their houses in al-Biereh city.

In Jenin district, soldiers manning Mavo Dothan checkpoint, southwest of Ya’bad town, stopped and detained a resident of Kafr Ra’i town, as confirmed by the Director of the Palestine Prisoner’s Society (PPS) Office in Jenin, Montaser Samour.

In East Jerusalem, police rounded up two others after stopping them at a checkpoint at the entrance of the al-Isawiya neighborhood.

They also rounded up another from inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound as scores of settlers made their way to the site.

In the southern West Bank, the soldiers conducted a similar raid in Daheyat Iskan al-Baladiya (Municipality Housing Suburb) in Hebron city, resulting in the detention of another.

They also barged their way into Beit Ummar town, north of the city, where they thoroughly searched several houses.

Meanwhile, the Director of the PPS Office in Jericho, Eid Barahma, said that Israeli forces re-arrested a university student and seized his computer after ransacking his family house in Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, southwest of the city.

This came as a cancer-stricken patient was detained after appearing at an Israeli liaison office at one of the West Bank checkpoints to receive an entry permit to receive medical treatment at Jerusalem’s Augusta Victoria Hospital.

Israeli forces frequently raid Palestinian houses almost on a daily basis across the West Bank on the pretext of searching for “wanted” Palestinians, triggering clashes with residents.

These raids, which take place also in areas under the full control of the Palestinian Authority, are conducted with no need for a search warrant, whenever and wherever the military chooses in keeping with its sweeping arbitrary powers.

Under Israeli military law, army commanders have full executive, legislative and judicial authority over 3 million Palestinians living in the West Bank. Palestinians have no say in how this authority is exercised.

(Source / 17.08.2021)

Including A Cancer Patient, Soldiers Abduct Two Palestinians In Jericho

Israeli soldiers abducted, Tuesday, two Palestinians, including a cancer patient, in Jericho city, in northeastern West Bank.

Eid Barahma, the head of the Jericho office of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said the soldiers invaded Aqabat Jabr refugee camp, at the southern entrance of Jericho city, before storming the home of a university student, identified as Aysar Samhouri, and abducted him.

He added that the soldiers violently searched the property and confiscated the young man’s personal computer.

The soldiers also abducted a cancer patient, identified as Mohammad Badawi Eid who was heading to a military base to obtain a permit for medical treatment in occupied Jerusalem.

Barahma said Abu Eid has lung cancer and has been receiving treatment at the Augusta Vitoria hospital, in Jerusalem.

(Source / 17.08.2021)

Army Invades Northern Plains Village, Hands Demolition Orders

Israeli soldiers invaded, on Monday at night, Khirbet Ibziq Bedouin village, in the Northern Plains of the occupied West Bank, before handing two families demolition orders targeting their homes and barns.

Mo’taz Bisharat, a Palestinian official who monitors Israel’s colonialist activities in the Northern Plains, said the soldiers handed two demolition notices targeting residential structures, and barns.

Bisharat added that the soldiers also demanded another family to demolish and remove their tents and barns within one week.

The soldiers also informed a family that they needed to leave their structures on August 22nd, 25th, and 31st, as the army intends to conduct live-fire training.

It is worth mentioning that, this month alone, the army destroyed and seized 17 structures in the Bedouin community, displacing 27 people, including 19 children.

Read: “OCHA: Protection of Civilians Report” for July 27 – August 9, 2021

(Source / 17.08.2021)

Israeli Soldiers Uproot Dozens Of Olive Trees In Northern Plains

Israeli soldiers uprooted, Monday, dozens of Palestinian olive trees in Bardala village, in the Northern Plains of the occupied West Bank.

Zayed Sawafta, the head of Bardala Village Council, said several army jeeps and bulldozers invaded the village, before storming an olive orchard.

Sawafta added that the soldiers uprooted dozens of olive trees, in an orchard owned by Khaled Roshdi Sawafta, in the western area of the village.

In Hebron, in southern West Bank, the soldiers abducted a young Palestinian man from his home and installed many roadblocks.

The soldiers also abducted three Palestinians, including a father and his son, in Qusra town, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and at the southern entrance of Nablus city.

In addition, the soldiers shot and injured, on Monday at dawn, three Palestinians and abducted one, in Tammoun town, south of Tubas city, in northeastern West Bank.

Furthermore, the soldiers killed four Palestinians and seriously wounded at least one, in Jenin, in northern West Bank, after the army and its undercover forces, invaded Jenin city and Jenin refugee camp, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 17.08.2021)