Gaza Fuel Crisis Threatens Hundreds of Patients amid “Israeli” Blockade

Local Editor

Warnings over a possible health crisis in the Gaza Strip under the “Israeli” blockade escalated with the ongoing fuel shortage that lacks hundreds of patients’ treatment in hospitals, threatening their lives.

Al-Mezan, a Palestinian human rights group, stated that 128 dialysis machines are non-operational due to the ongoing fuel crisis. This situation led to 30 children, out of 800 kidney dialysis patients, being unable to receive treatment, it also noted.

The ongoing crisis will also lead to cancellation of more surgeries in the besieged Gaza Strip, the statement added, urging to stop the humanitarian crisis under the “Israeli” blockade.

Meanwhile, Gaza’s Health Ministry also warned that a continued shortage of fuel would have “catastrophic consequences” for hundreds of patients. Officials at the ministry in Gaza warned Wednesday that medical services at the Beit Hanoon Hospital in northern Gaza would soon stop completely due to the fuel shortage.

“This means that 450,000 people will be deprived of the services and medical care that the hospital provides,” said Abdulatif al Hajj, director of the hospitals in the Gaza Strip. He also said the hospital had already been forced to stop doing surgical operations.

Earlier this week, Ashraf al-Qedra, the Health Ministry spokesman, warned that generators would stop in the coming days, threatening the lives of 800 patients with renal failure who are dependent on dialysis machines.

Home to more than 2 million people, Gaza, which continues to suffer under an “Israeli” occupation’s siege, has struggled with severe electricity shortages since 2006.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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Who gets to vote in israel’s (apartheid state) version of democracy?

Who gets to vote in Israel’s democracy

Michael Omer-Man

Israel is about to hold elections, but not everyone living under Israeli rule gets to vote. A breakdown of who has rights and who doesn’t.

Archive photo of a Palestinian citizen of Israel casting a ballot in Abu Gosh, a village outside of Jerusalem, February 10, 2009. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Archive photo of a Palestinian citizen of Israel casting a ballot in Abu Gosh, a village outside of Jerusalem, February 10, 2009. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

On April 9, 2019, Israel will hold general elections. Israelis will head to the polls to choose their elected leaders and representatives. If they are unhappy with the way things are going, like citizens of democracies around the world, their votes will help shape the ideological and political direction of the government and the institutions it controls.

In a vacuum, that sounds like fairly standard democratic practice. But there is nothing standard about Israel’s democracy.

Israeli citizens get to vote in Israeli elections, choosing elected leaders and how they rule the country. But the Israeli government doesn’t just rule over Israeli citizens, or just over Israel, for that matter.

Nearly 14 million people live under Israeli rule. The extent of that control varies, as does the ability of those 14 million people to exercise control over the policies, personalities, and institutions that determine so much about their day-to-day lives.

At the end of 2018, the population of Israel was approximately 8,972,000 people. That includes more than 330,000 Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem who do not have Israeli citizenship and thus do not have the right to vote in national elections. It also includes more than 214,000 Jewish Israeli citizens who live in occupied East Jerusalem and more than 435,000 Jewish Israelis who live in the occupied West Bank

Then there is the West Bank, which has been governed undemocratically by the Israeli military since it occupied the territory in 1967. Prime Minister Netanyahu has vowed again and again, the Israel will not give up military control over the West Bank — ever.

In that territory, over which Israel plans to rule in perpetuity, live more than 2,623,000 Palestinians — over 2,953,000 including East Jerusalem Palestinians — who do not have the right to vote in Israeli elections. In the West Bank, Israel and its army are responsible for everything from road infrastructure, deciding who may live where, who may build where and what, who is allowed to move between different parts of the territory and when, who is allowed in and out of the West Bank, who is allowed to hold a political protest (only Jews), what the laws are and how they are enforced, and whether they will ever be granted independence.

Israeli soldiers and Border Police officers arrest a Palestinian woman after she allegedly tried to cross a checkpoint with a knife, Hebron, West Bank, on September 27, 2017. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

Israeli soldiers and Border Police officers arrest a Palestinian woman after she allegedly tried to cross a checkpoint with a knife, Hebron, West Bank, on September 27, 2017. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

The 435,000 Jewish Israelis who live in the West Bank have the right to vote in elections that can determine every one of those policies. They have elected representatives who can work to rectify any grievances they might have regarding how those policies affect their lives. The 2,623,000 Palestinians living in the same territory do not have the right to vote in elections that determine any of those policies. When their lives are negatively affected by the democratic country that rules over so many aspects of their lives, they have zero recourse within that democratic system to address their grievances.

Then there is the Gaza Strip. Despite having withdrawn its troops from inside the Gaza Strip in 2005, Israel and its military still control a great number of significant aspects of life in the strip and the way it is governed. Israel determines what may be imported and exported; who can come in and out of the territory; and who can travel between the West Bank and Gaza. It has unilaterally claimed a buffer zone of farmland inside Gazan territory and enforces who may enter it; it determines and enforces limits to where Palestinian fishermen can fish; it controls the flow of electricity; and even had to give its permission for cash from a third country to be brought into Gaza to pay civil servants’ salaries.

None of the 1,961,000 people living in Gaza get to vote in the democratic elections that could affect those policies, including how much violence Israel uses against them.

Palestinians participate in the Great Return March near the Gaza-Israel fence, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, November 30, 2018. (Abdel Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Palestinians participate in the Great Return March near the Gaza-Israel fence, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, November 30, 2018. (Abdel Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

So when Israel goes to vote this April, when everyone is talking about democracy, remember that out of the more-than 13,556,000 people whose lives are directly affected by Israeli policy, only 8,642,000, or around 64 percent of them have the right to participate in that democracy.

In the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, where Israel exercises absolute and direct control on a daily basis, 650,000 Jewish settlers can vote while 2,953,000 Palestinians in the exact same territory cannot. Put differently, of the 3,603,000 people living in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, only 18 percent, or fewer than one in five can vote in the elections that affect almost every aspect of their lives.

And of the 6,463,000 Palestinians living under varying degrees of Israeli rule in territory fully or partially controlled by Israel, only 1,548,000 — 24 percent, or fewer than one in four — have the right to vote in Israeli elections.

Some statistical notes: Aside from the numbers of Jews and Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem, which are from the end of 2016, and therefore can be assumed to be lower than the actual figures, all of the numbers given are official end-of-2018 projections published by the Palestinian Census Bureau and the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, respectively. Both agencies include Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem in their figures, so the aggregate numbers were adjusted accordingly in order to not double count. Lastly, the figures do not refer only to the population of voting age, but the entire population, and therefore does not technically refer to voter eligibility in the current election but rather to whether someone will ever have the right to vote under the current regime’s rules of suffrage. In addition, there is a small number of East Jerusalem Palestinians who have acquired Israeli citizenship over the years, in addition to a small number of Palestinian citizens of Israel who have moved to West and East Jerusalem

Gaza: Great Return March Protests to Continue until End of Blockade

Local Editor

Co-founder of Hamas resistance movement Mahmoud al-Zahar said Palestinians will continue the Great March of Return rallies until the end of the “Israeli” siege on the Gaza Strip.

Al-Zahar made the remarks in a Sunday interview with Al-Alam News Network in the Iranian capital.

He said the anti-occupation rallies, known as the “Great March of Return,” have produced important results, and will not be stopped before the “Israeli” regime’s siege on the enclave is lifted.

Tensions have been running high near the fence separating Gaza from the occupied territories since March 30, which marked the start of the protests.

Palestinian protesters demand the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.

The confrontations in Gaza reached their peak on May 14, the eve of the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day, or the Day of Catastrophe, which coincided this year with Washington’s relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied al-Quds.

More than 220 Palestinians have so far been martyred and over 20,000 others wounded in the renewed Gaza clashes, according to the latest figures released by the Gaza Health Ministry.

Gaza has been under Zionist siege since June 2007, causing a decline in living standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty.

Relatively, Hamas’ military wings warned in a joint statement on Sunday that the coming Friday will be “decisive” in determining their response to the killing of four people during recent border protests.

They declared they had prepared retaliation steps, and that their use will be dependent upon “Israel’s” occupation policy.

It will be “a decisive day in examining the Zionist enemy’s behavior and intentions toward our people in the March of Return,” the Sunday statement said.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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Islamic Jihad: The Unexpected Retaliation Is Coming, Fire Range to Be Expanded

November 13, 2018

Islamic Jhad's Al-Quds Brigades spokesman

Islamic Jihad Palestinian resistance warned on Tuesday that the resistance’s upcoming retaliations for the Israeli aggression on Gaza will be unexpected.

In a statement issued on Tuesday the movement’s military wing, Al-Quds Brigades, noted that “so far, our retaliations have been traditional and expected,” stressing that the “unexpected is coming in the upcoming hours.”

“The painful strikes caused by the resistance rockets are normal response to the Zionist enemy’s crimes and arrogance which targeted our people,” Abu Hamza, Al-Quds Brigades’ spokesman said in the statement.

Meanwhile, the spokesman said that the resistance command decided to expand the fire range of the rockets in response for targeting residential areas and civilian targets in Gaza.

“The resistance’s decision now concerns Zionist settlers in Tel Aviv: Stay in your shelters,” Abu Hamza addressed Israeli settlers in Tel Aviv.

Source: Al-Manar Website

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What Gaza Wants

By Haidar Eid
Source

150518_ASH_00-19.jpg

Four years after the Israeli Occupation Forces perpetrated a massacre upon the population of Gaza, the third in 5 years, Apartheid Israel insists on committing more crimes by targeting civilians protesting peacefully every Friday demanding their internationally-sanctioned right of return to the towns and villages from which they were ethnically cleansed back in 1948. The latest round of Israeli war crimes has resulted in a new massacre ; since March 30th, when the first of a series of marches took place at the eastern fence of the Gaza Strip, more than 220 innocent civilians, including 34 children and 5 women, have been murdered brutally as they demonstrated non-violently.  More than 2000 have been injured, some very critically. (Statistics taken from Gaza Ministry if Health)

As we, Palestinians of Gaza, embark on our long walk to freedom, we have come to the conclusion that we can no longer rely on governments; instead, we request that the citizens of the world oppose these ongoing deadly crimes. The failure of the United Nations and its numerous organizations to condemn such crimes proves their complicity. We have also come to the conclusion that only civil society is able to mobilize to demand the implementation of international law and put an end to Israel’s unprecedented impunity. Our inspiration is the anti-apartheid movement. The intervention of civil society was effective in the late 1980s against the apartheid regime of White South Africa. Nelson Mandela, before his eminent death, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, amongst other anti-apartheid activists, did not not only describe Israel’s oppressive and violent control of Palestinians as Apartheid, they also joined this call for the world’s civil society to intervene again.

In fact, we expect people of conscience and civil society organizations to put pressure on their governments until Israel is forced to abide by international law and international humanitarian law. It did work last century; without the intervention of the international community which was effective against apartheid in South Africa, Israel will continue its war crimes and crimes against humanity.

We need to be more specific about our demands. We want civil society organizations worldwide to intensify the anti-Israel sanctions campaign to compel Israel to end to its aggression.

It has become crystal clear that the international conspiracy of silence towards the incremental genocide taking place against the 2 million civilians in Gaza indicates complicity in these war crimes.

It is high-time that the international community demand that the rogue State of Israel, a state that has violated every single international law one can think of, end its medieval siege of Gaza and compensate for the destruction of life and infrastructure that it has visited upon the Palestinian people. But this should also come within a package of demands to be made by all Palestine solidarity groups and all international civil society organizations that still believe in the rule of law and basic human rights:

  • An end to the siege that has been imposed on the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip since 2006 for voting against the fictional two-state solution and the Oslo Accords;
  • The protection of civilian lives and property, as stipulated in International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law such as The Fourth Geneva Convention;
  • That Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip be provided with material support to cope with the immense hardship that they are experiencing at the hands of Israeli Occupation Forces;
  • Immediate reparations and compensation for all destruction carried out by the IOF in the Gaza Strip;
  • Holding  Israeli generals  and leaders accountable for  war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against the civilians of Gaza;

And

  • An end to occupation, Apartheid, and other war crimes committed by Israel.

Why is that too much to ask? Were the anti-apartheid and Civil Rights movements too demanding for calling for an end to all forms of racism, institutional and otherwise ? And was the international community wrong to heed their calls?

israeli (apartheid state) Forces Kill 4 Civilians and Wound 236 Others, including 51 Children, 8 Women, 3 Journalists, 6 Paramedics and 16 Sustaining Serious Wounds

For the 31th Friday of Return and Breaking Siege March, Israeli Forces Kill 4 Civilians and Wound 236 Others, including 51 Children, 8 Women, 3 Journalists, 6 Paramedics and 16 Sustaining Serious Wounds

Ref: 116/2018

On Friday, 26 October 2018, in excessive use of force against peaceful protesters on the 31th Friday of the March of Return and Breaking the Siege, Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians and wounded 236 others, including 51 children, 8 women, 3 journalists and 6 paramedics, with live bullets and directly hit tear gas canisters in eastern Gaza Strip.  Sixteen of those wounded sustained serious wounds.

According to the fieldworkers of Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), the Israeli forces increased the use of live bullets against peaceful demonstrators, especially in eastern Khan Younis, where demonstrations moved to a new location in the east of Khuza’a and 3 demonstrators were killed in addition to dozen others were wounded.

 PCHR’s investigations and fieldworkers’ observations emphasize that though limited attempts to approach the border fence were reported in the demonstration areas, there was no imminent threat posed to the life of the Israeli soldiers and the protests were totally peaceful.  PCHR’s fieldworkers did not witness any armed manifestations while the Israeli soldiers continued to position on the top of sand berms and hills, in military jeeps and tanks along the border fence.

This proves that Israeli forces continue to use excessive force against the protestors upon highest Israeli military and political echelons despite no danger or threat posed to the life of Israeli soldiers.

The incidents today, 26 October  2018, were as follows:

At approximately 15:00, thousands of civilians, including women, children and entire families, started swarming to the 5 encampments established by the Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking Siege along the border fence, east of the Gaza Strip governorates. They raised flags and chanted national songs. Hundreds, including children and women, approached the border fence with Israel, set fire to tires and gathered 300 meters away from the main border fence. Some of them attempted to throw stones at the Israeli forces, limitedly threw Molotov Cocktails and pulled parts of the second barbed-wire few meters away from the fence established inside the Palestinian territories few meters away from the border fence and in limited cases, they threw Molotov Cocktails along the border fence. However, there was no threat posed on the lives of Israeli soldiers stationed behind barracks and sand berms, 70 meters away the border fence.

The Israeli shooting, which continued until 18:30, resulted in the killing of 4 civilians; 3 of them were killed in eastern Khan Yunis, east of Khuza’ah, where demonstrations moved to a new location near the border fence in eastern Khan Yunis. The death of civilians killed was declared few hours after their arrival at the European Hospital and they were identified as:

  1. Nassar Eyad Nassar Abu Tayyim (19), from Bani Suhiylah, east of Khan Yunis, was hit with a live bullet to the head in eastern Khan Yunis.
  2. Ahmed Sa’ied ‘Abed al-‘Aziz Abu Lebda (22), from Bani Suhiylah, east of Khan Yunis, was hit with a live bullet to the chest in eastern Khan Yunis.
  3. ‘Ayish Ghassan ‘Ayish Sha’at (23), from al-Fukhari neighborhood, east of Khan Yunis, was hit with a live bullet to the head in eastern Khan Yunis.
  4. Mohamed Khaled Mahmoud ‘Abed al-Nabi (27), from Jabalia, was hit with a live bullet to the head at approximately 15:20, in eastern Abu Safiyia area, northeast of Jabalia. His death was declared at approximately 16:30 in al-Shifa Hospital after referring him from the Indonesian Hospital.

Moreover, 236 civilians, including 51 children, 8 women, 3 journalists, and 6 paramedics, were wounded with live bullets and directly hit with tear gas canisters. Sixteen of those wounded sustained serious wounds in addition dozens suffering tear gas inhalation and seizures after tear gas canisters were heavily fired by the Israeli soldiers from the military jeeps and riffles in the eastern Gaza Strip.

Table of Civilian Casualties due to the Israeli Suppression since the Beginning of the Great March of Return on 30 March

Notes Medical Crews Journalists Women Children Total Casualties
Among those Killed, there are 5 Persons with Disabilities and a girl 3 2 1 33 168 Killed
Among those wounded, 495 are in serious condition and 76 had their lower or upper limbs amputated.  The number of those wounded only include those wounded with live bullet and directly hit with tear gas canisters as there have been thousand others who suffered tear gas inhalation. 128 116 247 1586 9073 Wounded

 

PCHR hereby condemns the crimes committed by the Israeli forces, believing it is as a result of Israel’s enjoying impunity thanks to the U.S. and so encouraging the Israeli forces to commit further crimes upon an official decision by the highest military and political echelons.

PCHR emphasizes that continuously targeting civilians, who exercise their right to peaceful assembly or while carrying out their humanitarian duty, is a serious violation of the rules of international law, international humanitarian law, the ICC Rome Statute and Fourth Geneva Convention. Thus, PCHR calls upon the ICC Prosecutor to open an official investigation in these crimes and to prosecute and hold accountable all those applying or involved in issuing orders within the Israeli Forces at the security and political echelons.

PCHR also reiterates its call upon the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances and their obligations under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

PCHR calls upon Switzerland, in its capacity as the Depository State for the Convention, to demand the High Contracting Parties to convene a meeting and ensure Israel’s respect for this Convention, noting that these grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions regarding the guarantee of Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in the occupied territories.

New MAP fact sheet: Addressing Gaza’s humanitarian emergency

Source

Photo: MAP

Further to the article by Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) New Cold War posted on June 29, 2018 MAP has released a new fact sheet, which discusses the humanitarian emergency in Gaza and recommends how the UK Government can address the unprecedented crisis.

First published by MAP on Oct 10, 2018
_____________________________________________________________________________

The UK Government has announced three main aid responses to humanitarian needs in Gaza in 2018:

  • £2 million funding for UNICEF to provide water tanks, water drums and chlorine treatment to ensure access to safe drinking water
  • £1.5 million for the ICRC to support restocking of medical supplies and physical rehabilitation for 4,000 people in Gaza
  • £38 million over five years to support economic activity in Gaza and the West Bank, through support for the construction of a desalination plant in Gaza; finances to install solar panels for electricity; and technical assistance to increase Palestinian exports and tax collection

In addition, the UK brought forward its funding to UNRWA in the face of severe cuts by the US administration and the UN Agency’s prolonged budgetary shortfall.

Such support is vital and should expand. Development of a desalination plant is particularly welcome, and similarly future aid to Gaza’s health system should develop infrastructure and its human resources.

UK aid programmes should always be developed in meaningful consultation with the Palestinian communities they seek to serve. British Parliamentarians should be supported to enter Gaza to assess the situation for themselves and provide democratic oversight of the UK’s aid spending.

Ultimately there are no humanitarian solutions to political problems. The UK’s aid programmes are not matched by adequate political will to address the root causes of the needs they seek to address. The unlawful closure is just one symptom of a chronic, global failure to ensure adherence to international humanitarian and human rights law in Israel’s 51-year military occupation of Palestinian territory.

When an opportunity to pursue accountability was presented in May this year – in the form of a UN Human Rights Council vote to establish an independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate violations of international law in the context of the protests since 30 March – the UK abstained.

In 2012, the UN warned that Gaza would be unliveable by 2020. In July 2017, then-UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities, Robert Piper, revised the projection, stating: “[T]hat unlivability threshold has been passed quite a long time ago.”

MAP shares that view. Chronic needs and injustices must be addressed now. The people of Gaza cannot wait for a successful “Peace Process” for the closure to be lifted and international law adhered to.

Read the fact sheet

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