Euro-Mediterranean: Gaza is almost unlivable after 15 years of blockade

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor called for putting an end to the 15-year-old tragedy of the Gaza blockade; stressing that the current arrangements for holding general Palestinian elections require serious international guarantees that the blockade will end without conditions related to the election results.

In its annual report on the repercussions of the Gaza blockade, entitled “suffocation and isolation”, Euro-Med Monitor examined the Israeli blockade effects on the lives of Gazans. The report compares Gazans’ living conditions before the blockade on one hand, and the current situation (15 years after) on the other.

We are now entering 2021, the fifteenth year of Israel’s naval blockade and land siege, and the global community seems unfazed by the unlivable conditions in the tiny coastal enclave .

Noura Erakat, Euro-Med Monitor’s member of Board of Trustees

The report confirms that during the past decade, the per capita economic losses in Gaza has reached about $9,000 due to the long-term closure and the military operations to which the Gaza Strip is subjected too. A United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report issued on November 25, 2020, concluded that the economic cost of the Israeli occupation on the Gaza Strip during the past decade is estimated at %16.7 billion.

Read More: Two Palestinian brothers from Hebron enter new years in the occupation prisons

Noura Erakat, Euro-Med Monitor’s member of Board of Trustees, said that “We are now entering 2021, the fifteenth year of Israel’s naval blockade and land siege, and the global community seems unfazed by the unlivable conditions in the tiny coastal enclave or the fact that an entire generation has grown up isolated from the world – save for its contact with advanced weapons technologies raining down on them from Gaza’s skies.

“These conditions are unconscionable and have no moral, legal, or policy justification. The siege must end without preconditions and condemned to the history of atrocities never to be repeated again”.

Read More: Israel arrests a young Jerusalemite after assaulting him

The report indicated that unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip is still among the highest in the world. After it reached 23.6% in 2005, in 2020, it reached 49%, while the per capita share of the GDP shrank by 27%.

Poverty rates also jumped from 40% in 2005 to 56% in 2020. Poverty gap increased as well from 14% to 20%, and the cost of lifting the Gaza population out of poverty quadrupled, from $209 million to $838 million.

The report stated that in 2020 the monthly rate of goods trucks entering the Gaza was about 7,000. This number is not enough for half of Gaza’s needs, taking into account the population increase since 2005 and the number of trucks entering in that year.

Before the blockade was imposed on the Gaza Strip, the monthly rate of Palestinians traveling via Erez crossing, run by Israel, was about 30,000 travelers. In 2019, the number was about 14,960 travelers, while in 2020, it dropped to 4,600 cases – a decrease of about 85% from the rate before the blockade in 2006.

As for the Rafah crossing bordering Egypt, in 2019, the monthly rate of travelers via the crossing was about 12,172 cases, while in 2020, the monthly average was only 4,245 cases.

The report confirmed that the crossing work was mainly affected by the outbreak of the Coronavirus. It was closed for extended days, while hundreds of thousands of patients, students and businesspeople remained waiting for the opening of the crossing.

As for the health sector, it remains the most affected, showing a clear indication of the deteriorating humanitarian conditions. In addition to the acute shortage of medicines and medical equipment, hospitals and primary care centers are still operating at low levels of capacity. The situation further exacerbated after the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

The ongoing arrangements for holding the general Palestinian elections require local, regional and international mobility to end the blockade and provide guarantees that it will not be repeated in the future if it was lifted.

The right approach to ensure the upcoming elections success is the issuance of a binding international resolution to end the blockade, which international legal references agree to constitute as war crimes. Guarantees should be provided that the blockade will not be repeated (if it was ended), the will of the Palestinian voters will be respected, and a peaceful and democratic circulation is ensured in a way that achieves stability and prosperity for the Palestinians.

Full Report

(Source / 25.01.2021)

Haniyeh discusses with Miladnov the path of the Palestinian elections

Days of Palestine – Gaza – Hamas Cheif, Mr. Ismail Haniyeh held an online meeting with Mr. Nikolai Miladnov, the Special Coordinator of the United Nations Secretary-General in the Middle East, during which there was an extensive discussion about the course of the Palestinian elections.

At the beginning of the meeting, Mr. Haniyeh expressed his thanks and appreciation for the role that Mr. Miladnov played throughout his tenure as Special Coordinator for the Secretary-General of the United Nations in the Middle East throughout the past period, as Mr. Meladnov will end his work in this position.

Read More: Haniyeh sends messages to world leaders to support the Palestinian unity

During the meeting, Mr. Haniyeh stressed the important role of the United Nations and the international community in the upcoming Palestinian elections file, especially in ensuring the integrity of procedures, arrangements, and freedom of voting, and pressuring the Israeli occupation so that it does not constitute an obstacle to the electoral process and its conduct, especially in the occupied city of Jerusalem, stressing the need to recognize the election results whether related to the institutions of the authority or the organization, and the consequent formation of a government and executive committees, and not to repeat the 2006 mistake that led to the division in the Palestinian arena.

Mr. Haniyeh explained that Hamas made great efforts to reach this moment, which led to the issuance of presidential decrees on the dates of the legislative and presidential elections and the National Council so that the people would say their word in choosing its leadership on democratic grounds, reviewing the steps prior to issuing the decrees and the steps that must be taken during the next stage including the issues around which national dialogues will take place in the coming days in Cairo.

Read More: Haniyeh offers condolences to the Indonesian president for the victims of the crashed plane

Mr. Haniyeh affirmed that Hamas sees the elections as an entry point for arranging the internal Palestinian home, ending the division, strengthening the principle of partnership, and protecting the national project, which is going through great challenges, and the re-engagement of our people abroad in the leading institutions.

For his part, Mr. Meladnov praised Hamas’s position on holding elections and the need to move forward in achieving this democratic option, pointing to some possible obstacles that must be overcome, and affirming readiness to support all steps that would enhance Palestinian democracy.

(Source / 24.01.2021)

Two Palestinian brothers from Hebron enter new years in the occupation prisons

Days of Palestine – Ramallah – The two prisoners, Hazem Sadiq Al-Qawasma (42 years) and his brother Hatem (40 years), from Hebron, have entered new years in the Israeli occupation prisons.

The prisoner club said in a statement on Sunday, that the prisoner, Hazem, sentenced to 25 years, has entered his 20th year, while his brother, Hatem, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment, has entered his 19th year in the occupation prisons.

Read More: Two Palestinian prisoners enter their 19th year in the Israeli occupation prisons

The prisoner club stated that the prisoner Hatem was shot and suffered over the years of his detention from a difficult health situation, as a result of the occupation prison administration procrastinating in providing him with treatment. He was also subjected to solitary isolation for about a year in isolation in “Gilboa” prison.

It is to be mentioned that the two prisoners lost their mother and brother while they were under arrest.

Read More: The Palestinian prisoner, Muntaser Abu Ghalyoun, enters his18th year in Israeli prisons

(Source / 24.01.2021)

Coronavirus in Palestine claims 11 lives, 533 new infections

Days of Palestine – Ramallah – Coronavirus in Palestine claimed the lives of 11 people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the last 24 hours, while 533 new cases were recorded and 740 patients have recovered, today said Minister of Health Mai al-Kaila.

In her daily report on the COVID-19 pandemic, she said seven people died in the West Bank, one in the Gaza Strip, and three in occupied East Jerusalem.

Read More: Coronavirus claims 30 lives in Palestine, 978 new infections

Alkaila said 219 new infections were registered in the West Bank, 125 in occupied Jerusalem, and 189 in the Gaza Strip.

On recoveries, 298 cases were registered in the West Bank, 127 in occupied Jerusalem, and 315 in the Gaza Strip.

Read More: Coronavirus in Palestine claims 14 new victims, 1088 new cases, and 1585 recoveries in 24 hours

Alkaila pointed out that 71 COVID-19 patients are currently receiving treatment in the intensive care units, of whom 18 are on ventilators.

She said 93.4 percent of the corona cases since the outbreak in Palestine in March have recovered, 5.5 percent remain active, and 1.1 percent have died.

(Source / 24.01.2021)

Hamas to hold internal elections in parallel with national elections preparations

Palestinians come together to celebrate the 32nd anniversary of Hamas in Gaza on 16 December 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinians come together to celebrate the anniversary of Hamas in Gaza on 16 December 2019

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas is planning to hold its internal elections at the same time as preparing for national elections, Anadolu Agency reported on Friday.

Reporting informed sources, Anadolu Agency said that the Hamas Shura Council turned down a proposal for delaying the internal elections for several months in order to prepare for the national elections.

Last Friday, Palestinian Authority (PA), Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas issued a presidential decree ordering the Elections Committee to hold the parliamentarian elections on 22 May, presidential elections on 31 July and the Palestinian National Council on 31 August.

An informed source told MEMO that Hamas had already started its preparations for the internal elections, noting that they are expected to be completed by 25 February.

Other sources informed MEMO that Hamas prisoners inside Israeli jails have already completed their elections. The source did not reveal names because this remains confidential until the end of the elections in Gaza, West Bank and abroad.

The Palestinian factions are holding a joint meeting in Cairo on 5 February to discuss a mechanism that will guarantee the success of the elections.

READ: As Abbas seeks a safe exit, who’s waiting in the wings?

(Source / 23.01.2021)

Dozens Of Palestinians Injured In Beit Hanoun Explosion

Updated: The Interior Ministry in Gaza has reported that dozens of Palestinians were injured, on Saturday morning, in an explosion, east of Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza.

The Ministry said the causes of the explosion are still under investigation and added that the medics moved at least 27 Palestinians to the Indonesian Hospital, in northern Gaza.

The explosion caused severe damage to many homes and buildings, in the eastern part of Beit Hanoun.

The Interior Minister added that the explosion apparently took place in one home but was powerful enough to cause damage to surrounding buildings.

(Source / 23.01.2021)

Palestinian Journalist Released After Seven Months in Prison Without Charges

Israeli military authorities, which govern the Palestinians in the West Bank under martial law, released Palestinian journalist Mujahed al-Saadi Friday after he was imprisoned for seven months without charges.

Al-Saadi was held in so-called ‘administrative detention’, a euphemism used by Israeli authorities used when they hold Palestinians for extended periods with no charges against them. He had been abducted by Israeli occupation forces on June 24th, 2020 from his home in Jenin, in the northern part of the West Bank.

Al-Saadi is a freelance journalist who contributes to a number of different local and international news outlets, including Palestine Today.

Israeli authorities never informed him of the reason for his abduction, nor did they afford him access to a lawyer. On June 28, 2020, the Palestinian Red Crescent society informed Al-Saadi’s family that he had been taken to an Israeli military base near Nablus, and was then moved to the Russian Compound in Jerusalem for questioning.

His case was reported by MADA, The Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedom, which noted that the the Israeli occupation has a long history of targeting journalists, intentionally detaining Palestinian journalists, and delaying their court hearings in an attempt to stop their footage and reporting from being released.

Al-Saadi had previously been targeted for his journalistic work. In 2016, he was sentenced to seven months in jail and a fine of 5,000 NIS (US$1,400), according to Palestine Today TV.

In response to his release Friday, the Palestinian Committee for Supporting Journalist called for the release of 25 Palestinian journalists who are still in Israeli jails.

The committee said in its statement that it “views with extreme seriousness the attempts to restrict freedom of media work through repeated campaigns of arrests by the Israeli occupation against journalists, their prosecution and violation of the freedom of their professional work.”

The committee also affirmed the right of journalists to work freely and convey their reports about the situation in the Palestinian territories without intimidation, blackmail and confiscation of freedoms, and without being prevented by Israeli authorities from carrying out their journalistic duties.

The committee’s statement called on humanitarian and human rights institutions to intervene to pressure Israel to release all journalists, and called on the UN Security Council to implement Resolution 2222 on providing protection for journalists, and to hold Israel accountable for its violations against Palestinian media professionals.

The Israeli occupation authorities are currently holding in prison about 4,400 Palestinian prisoners. They include 40 women, 170 children, and about 380 administrative detainees (those held without charge), according to official Palestinian data.

(Source / 23.01.2021)

Mosque dating back to the Prophet Muhammad revealed in Galilee

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Archaeologists believe they have found the remains of one of the world’s oldest mosques on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, reported the Times.

The mosque, found under the ruins of a building originally identified as from the Byzantine period, could have been founded as early as 635AD by a companion of the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century.

The mosque is located on the outskirts of Tiberias, overlooking the western shore of the lake.

The discovery was announced last week at an academic conference after 11 years of excavation by a team led by Katia Citrine Silverman of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

She explained that the excavation of the site took place in the 1950s, when a columned structure was found and identified as a market from the late Byzantine era. However, recent excavations have discovered pottery and coins from the early Islamic era. Besides the multi-level design of the foundations, this indicates that the site was an Islamic site.

Archaeologists believe that the discovered mosque in Tiberias was built decades ago, and may have been founded by Sharhabeel bin Hasna.

Israeli scientists have been carrying out several excavations throughout occupied Palestine as part of the occupation state’s efforts to support the Zionist narration that claims ownership of Palestine.

(Source / 23.01.2021)

Hundreds of Palestinians protest against a decision to demolish a school and a mosque in Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron

Deze afbeelding heeft een leeg alt-attribuut; de bestandsnaam is 1MWXo.jpeg

Days of Palestine – Hebron – Hundreds of Palestinian citizens participated, today, Friday, in a protest against the decision of the Israeli authorities to demolish a school and a mosque in Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron Governorate.

Local sources said that hundreds of citizens performed the Friday prayer in the yard of the “Umm Qissah” primary school, which is threatened with removal, and organized a protest to reject the removal decision and the Israeli occupation violations against the the Masafer’s families.

Read More: Israeli settlers attack Palestinian homes in Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron

The protesters raised the Palestinian flag and slogans rejecting the occupation’s policy of displacement. They called on the international and humanitarian institutions to commit to their responsibilities and work to provide international protection for our people.

Last week, the occupation authorities had notified for the demolition of the “Umm Qissah” elementary mixed school, and a mosque under construction there.

Read More: Israeli settlers attack Palestinian farmers in Masafer Yatta

The school includes 50 male and female students, and it is one of the challenge and steadfastness schools that were opened by the Ministry of Education in Al-Musafir.

(Source / 23.01.2021)

Palestinian journalist released after serving seven months in Israeli jail

Palestinian journalist Mujahed al-Saadi was released today after serving seven months in Israeli jail.

Palestinian journalist Mujahed al-Saadi was held in administrative detention after being arrested without charge or trial by Israeli occupation forces on June 24.

Al-Saadi is a freelance journalist who contributes to several broadcasters and news agencies, including Palestine Today TV.

On June 24, Israeli forces arrested al-Saadi at his home in Jenin in the occupied West Bank without informing him of the reasons for his arrest.

On June 28, the Red Crescent informed Al-Saadi’s family that he had been taken to an Israeli military facility south of Nablus and subsequently moved to the Russian Compound in Jerusalem for questioning, according to MADA, The Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms.

Al-Saadi have been previously targeted for his journalistic work. In 2016, he was sentenced to seven months in jail and a fine of 5,000 NIS (US$1,400), according to Palestine Today TV.

Israeli occupation has a long history of targeting journalists and intentionally detains the Palestinian journalists and puts off their hearings in an attempt to block the reality they report to the world.

(Source / 22.01.2021)