Israel ban on Gaza importing medical equipment condemned by rights group

A Palestinian patient undergoes kidney dialysis at al-Shifa hospital during the continuing crisis of power outages, in Gaza city on 28 August, 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]
A Palestinian patient receives medical care at a hospital in Gaza city on 28 August 2018 

Israel’s ban on Gaza importing urgently-needed medical equipment has been condemned by Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights. The group said on Wednesday that most of the medical equipment banned lately is needed for diagnostic purposes, including testing for Covid-19 and other illnesses.

This is nothing new. “The Israeli occupation authorities have been blocking the entry of urgent medical equipment to Gaza hospitals for ten years,” Al-Mezan pointed out. “However, the ongoing ban on such equipment complicates the deteriorating health sector in Gaza and undermines the work of medical staff.”

In the latest case, said Al-Mezan, Israel has blocked the import of 14 X-ray machines which are needed urgently by Gaza’s hospitals. Of the 22 machines in Gaza already, it added, eight no longer work because regular maintenance has not been possible due to the ban on spare parts imposed by Israel.

The health sector in Gaza has deteriorated throughout the Israeli-led siege in place since 2007. Al-Mezan called on the international community to bear its legal responsibility and move immediately to push Israel to end the siege before it is too late.

OPINION: The Gaza phoenix is rising, giving hope to Palestinian burns patients

(Source / 27.10.2021)

Israel navy confiscate, destroy Gaza fishing boat

Palestinians’ fishing boats are docked after Israeli army implemented maritime blockade over Gaza Strip claiming helium filled balloon thrown by Gaza Strip side in Gaza City, Gaza on 13 June, 2019 

The Israeli occupation’s navy this morning confiscated two fishing boats off the Gaza coast and destroyed a third.

According to the Head of the Fishermen’s Syndicate, Nizar Ayyash, the two fishing boats were owned by fishermen Abdullah Al-Bardaweel.

While the one that was destroyed was owned by Mohammad Al-Bardaweel, Ayyash said, noting that the Israeli navy also destroyed lights and other equipment used for fishing.

Ayyash noted that the Israeli navy’s attacks on Palestinian fishermen do not stop, noting that the attack was carried out at about seven nautical miles from the coast.

OPINION: Gaza fishermen are caught between a rock and a hard place

According to the Palestinian Fishermen’s Association in Gaza, there are some 4,000 fishermen working in Gaza’s fishing sector, who are looking after about 50,000 dependents.

The profession has been deemed dangerous by rights organisations due to Israel’s harassment of fishermen at sea.

Last year alone, Israeli occupation forces attacked Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip on at least 320 occasions, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) reported, 63 more attacks than the previous year. Israel also closed the fishing area altogether for 16 days in August.

Israel naval forces ‘escalate’ attacks on Palestinian fishermen
MEMO #Infographic by The White Canvas

(Source / 27.10.2021)

Soldiers Abduct A Former Political Prisoner Near Jenin

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Tuesday evening, a former political prisoner from Marka village, south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and confiscated a bulldozer near Hebron, in southern West Bank

Local sources said the soldiers invaded Marka village before storming and violently searching a shop, near the Arraba-Jenin junction.

They added that the soldiers abducted a former political prisoner, identified as Ala’ Yousef Abu Jalboush, 20, and took him to an unknown destination.

In related news, the soldiers invaded the as-Samoa’ town, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and confiscated a Palestinian bulldozer, owned by Hasan Hussein al-Mahareeq, during work in the Simia area of the western part of the town.

Also Tuesday, Israeli forces demolished four under-construction buildings in Deir Qaddis village, west of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank.

The Israeli occupation army also continued the defiling of the Islamic al-Yousofiyya cemetery in Jerusalem, for the second consecutive day.

On Tuesday at dawn, the soldiers abducted three Palestinians in Nablus, in northern West Bank.

Also Tuesday:

Israeli Colonizers Attack Red Cross Team Near Nablus

Army Detains Four Palestinians, Including Two Children, In Hebron

Soldiers Abduct A Wheelchair-Bound Palestinian On His Way To Hospital In Bethlehem

(Source / 27.10.2021)

Updated: Soldiers Abduct Eight Palestinians, Injure One, In Jenin

Updated: Israeli soldiers abducted, on Wednesday at dawn, eight Palestinians and assaulted one causing various wounds, in the Jenin governorate, in northern West Bank.

Media sources said several army vehicles invaded Bir al-Basha village, southwest of Jenin, before storming and ransacking the homes of the brothers and relatives of detainee Yacoub Qadri, who was one of six detainees who managed to escape from the heavily fortified Galboa’ Israeli prison before they captured a week later.

The sources added that the soldiers abducted Laith Hamza Ghawadra, and Mohammad Ghawadra, the brother of detainee Yacoub Ghawadra, after storming and ransacking their homes, causing serious property damage.

The soldiers also invaded the home of Ali Ghawadra, 63, the brother of Yacoub, and violently searched the property, leading to serious damage, and assaulted him causing serious cuts and bruises, before Palestinian medics rushed him to a hospital in Jenin.

Furthermore, the soldiers abducted two former political prisoners, identified as Sami Mohammad Ghawadra and Haitham Fayeq Ghawadra, in addition to Mohammad Ghawadra, Mohannad Fayeq Ghawadra, Ragheb Emad Ghawadra, Marwan Mohammad Ghawadra, Ahmad Ali Ghawadra, and Laith Hamza Ghawadra.

In addition, Israeli military helicopters were seen flying over the meadow of Marka village, near Bir al-Basha, before landing and deploying many soldiers in the area.

The soldiers also invaded the villages and towns, of Ya’bad, Arraba, Kafrit, Arrana, and Deir Ghazala.

On Tuesday evening, the soldiers abducted a former political prisoner from Marka village, south of Jenin, and confiscated a bulldozer near Hebron, in southern West Bank.

(Source / 27.10.2021)

Israeli Army Abducts Four Palestinians In Hebron

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Wednesday at dawn, four Palestinians from several parts of the Hebron governorate, in southern West Bank.

Media sources said several army vehicles invaded the Abu Kteila area, in Hebron city, before the soldiers stormed and searched homes, and abducted a young man, identified as Suheib Mohammad al-Qawasmi.

They added that the soldiers also invaded Karisa village, west of Doura town, south of Hebron, searched homes, before abducting Mohyeddin Sharawna and Hazem Hussein Sharawna.

In addition, the soldiers invaded Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron, searched homes, and abducted Montaser Yousef Abu Ayyash, 30.

Also at dawn, the soldiers abducted eight Palestinians and assaulted one causing various wounds, in the Jenin governorate, in northern West Bank.

(Source / 27.10.2021)

Army Abducts Four Palestinians, Including Two Children, In Qalqilia And Bethlehem

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Wednesday at dawn, four Palestinians, including two children, from their homes in Qalqilia and Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank. Sixteen Palestinians have been abducted by the sodliers across the West Bank at dawn.

Local sources in Qalqilia, in northern West Bank, said several army jeeps invaded Azzoun town, east of the city, searched several homes, and abducted two Palestinians, identified as Karim Omran and Mo’men Shello.

In Bethlehem governorate, south of the occupied Palestinian capital, Jerusalem, in the West Bank, the soldiers abducted two children, identified as Yazan Amer Sabah, 16, and Ibrahim Salim Sabah, 15, from their homes in Teqoa’ town, southeast of Bethlehem city.

In Hebron, in southern West Bank, the soldiers abducted four Palestinians from several parts of the governorate.

Also at dawn, the soldiers abducted eight Palestinians and assaulted one causing various wounds, in the Jenin governorate, in northern West Bank.

(Source / 27.10.2021)

ActionAid condemns Israel’s decision to label six Palestinian human rights groups ‘terrorist organisations’

Press Release By Action Aid: On October 19, 2021, the Israeli Defence Ministry issued a military order declaring six Palestinian civil society organisations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory(oPt) to be labelled as “terrorist organisations”.

The organisations are Addameer, Al-Haq, Defense for Children Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Bisan Center for Research and Development, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees.

This labeling authorises Israeli authorities to close their offices, seize their assets and arrest and jail their staff members, and it prohibits funding or even publicly expressing support for their activities.

These are organisations that actively document human rights violations committed by Israeli occupation in oPt and advocate for the rights of Palestinian people in national and international forums.

Ana Alcalde, Director of Programmes and Global Engagement at ActionAid International, says:

“This unjust decision aims to undermine the work of human rights organisations in Palestinian territories and seeks to prevent those organisations from exposing Israeli violations committed against the Palestinian people under the silence of international community.

“ActionAid is deeply concerned by this move and we condemn this labeling which criminalises human rights works and represses Palestinian civil society organisations and human rights defenders.”

ActionAid is concerned this form of attack is in contravention of international law and international humanitarian law to which Israel must be held accountable.

We stand in solidarity with Palestinian human rights organisations and defenders. We call on the third states members and the international community to oppose this decision, and practice pressures on the Israeli government to reverse it immediately.

About ActionAid:

ActionAid is a global federation working for a world free from poverty and injustice.

We want to see a just, fair and sustainable world, in which everybody enjoys the right to a life of dignity, and freedom from poverty and oppression. So we work to achieve social justice and gender equality, and to eradicate poverty. Read More

(Source / 27.10.2021)

Soldiers Confiscate Agrictural Tools In Northern Plains

Israeli soldiers invaded, Wednesday, Khirbat Hamsa al-Foqa village, in the Northern Plains of the occupied West Bank, and confiscated agricultural equipment from the Palestinians.

Mo’taz Bisharat, a Palestinian official who monitors Israel’s colonialist activities in the Northern Plains, said several Israeli army jeeps, and a big truck, invaded the village and confiscated agricultural tools, and tents, used by the shepherds in the area.

He added that the soldiers invaded and searched the homes and sheds, owned by Ismael Eferih Abu al-Kabbash, Nitham Natherm Abu al-Kabbah, Harb Suleiman Abu al-Kabbash, Walid Suleiman Abu al-Kabbash, and Mohammad Abu al-Kabbash.

The soldiers interrogated the Palestinians, and took their ID cards, in addition to confiscating their agricultural supplies and tools, used by the shepherds to plow lands, build sheds and barns for their livestock.

On Wednesday at dawn, the soldiers abducted four Palestinians, including two children, from their homes in Qalqilia and Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank.

In Hebron, in southern West Bank, the soldiers abducted four Palestinians from several parts of the governorate.

Also at dawn, the soldiers abducted eight Palestinians and assaulted one causing various wounds, in the Jenin governorate, in northern West Bank.

(Source / 27.10.2021)

Israeli Navy Opens Fire At Fishing Boats, Confiscate Two, In Gaza

Israeli navy ships opened fire, on Wednesday morning, at several Palestinian fishing boats, and confiscated two, in Palestinian territorial waters near Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

The Union for Agricultural Works Committees stated that the Israeli navy ships fired many live rounds at the Palestinian fishing boats less than seven nautical miles from the shore near Rafah.

It added that that the navy used water cannons while chasing the boats, in addition to firing many rounds of live ammunition, causing damage.

The Union stated navy confiscated two small boats that were docked west of the Rafah Seaport, bringing the number of confiscated boats this month alone to three.

Two days ago, the navy fired many live rounds at several Palestinian fishing boats in the Sudaniyya Sea area, northwest of Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the coastal region.

The attacks are part of frequent Israeli violations against the Palestinians, especially the fishermenfarmersshepherds, and workers in the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip, and have led to dozens of casualties, including fatalities, in addition to serious property damage and the confiscation of many boats after abducting the fishermen.

(Source / 27.10.2021)

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: Israel’s “terrorism” designation an unjustified attack on Palestinian civil society

GENEVA (26 October 2021) UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Israel’s decision to designate six Palestinian civil society organizations as “terrorist organizations” is an attack on human rights defenders, on freedoms of association, opinion and expression and on the right to public participation, and should be immediately revoked, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said on Tuesday.

The organizations concerned* are some of the most reputable human rights and humanitarian groups in the occupied Palestinian territory and for decades have worked closely with the UN.

The designation decisions under the Israeli Counter-Terrorism Law of 2016 are based on extremely vague or unsubstantiated reasons, including entirely peaceful and legitimate human rights activities, such as providing legal aid to Palestinians in detention, organizing activities for women in the West Bank and “promoting steps against Israel in the international arena.”

“Claiming rights before a UN or other international body is not an act of terrorism, advocating for the rights of women in the occupied Palestinian territory is not terrorism, and providing legal aid to detained Palestinians is not terrorism,” Bachelet said.

The High Commissioner reiterated that counter-terrorism legislation must not be applied to legitimate human rights and humanitarian work. The banning of organizations must not be used to suppress or deny the right to freedom of association, or to quash political dissent, silence unpopular views or limit the peaceful activities of civil society. The national authorities responsible for proscribing organizations must comply fully with the State’s international human rights obligations, including by respecting the principles of legal certainty, proportionality, equality and non-discrimination.

“The organizations, who include some of the key partners of the UN Human Rights Office, face far-reaching consequences as a result of this arbitrary decision, as do the people who fund them and work with them,” Bachelet noted. “And the crucial work they perform for thousands of Palestinians risks being halted or severely restricted.”

The published designation decisions by the Israeli Minister of Defence state that the organizations are, or have become, the “arm” of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and that they obtained financial resources, which in practice reached the “[PFLP] terror activity” or supported their activities. There is no evidence presented to support these accusations, no information on the type of alleged “PFLP terror activity,” nor has any public process been conducted to establish the allegations.

Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Law of 2016 sets out prison terms of between five and 25 years for staff and members of the designated organizations, provides for confiscation of assets, and closure of the organization. It also criminalizes the provision of support – including financial aid as well as publishing words of “praise, support or sympathy” – with between three to five years in prison.

“The designation decisions contravene the right to freedom of association of the individuals affected and more broadly have a chilling effect on human rights defenders and civic space. Any restrictions on the right to freedom of association must meet a strict test of necessity and proportionality,” the High Commissioner said. “In addition, these latest developments highlight how problematic Israel’s counter-terrorism law is, including its overly broad definition of terrorism, problems of due process and the manner in which it allows evidence to be kept secret.”

The designations against the six organizations on 19 October are the latest in a long-running series of actions to undermine and restrict human rights defenders and civil society organizations working for the human rights of Palestinians, including using military regulations to declare groups unlawful.

“Restricting the space for legitimate activities under international law is not only wrong but counter-productive, as it risks limiting the space for peaceful dialogue,” the High Commissioner said.

“Israel must ensure that human rights defenders are not detained, charged and convicted in relation to their legitimate work to protect and promote human rights. I call on the Israeli authorities to revoke their designations against Palestinian human rights and humanitarian organisations as terrorist organizations, as well as their declarations against those they deem to be ‘unlawful’,” Bachelet said.

*The organizations are: Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association; Al Haq; Defense for Children International – Palestine; Union of Agricultural Work Committees; Bisan Center for Research and Development; and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees.

Also available in Arabic and Hebrew.

(Source / 27.10.2021)