Report: Saudi Arabia Tightens Grip on Palestinians, Hampers Remittances to Gaza

Report: Saudi Arabia Tightens Grip on Palestinians, Hampers Remittances to Gaza

TEHRAN (FNA)- Less than a week after Saudi authorities arrested more than 60 people, including Palestinian expatriates and Saudi nationals, on charges of supporting the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement, they have now blocked money transfers between the kingdom and the Gaza Strip.

The new step taken by the Riyadh regime against Palestinians involves official and non-official money transfers as the procedure has witnessed a marked decline over the past week and during the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, Al-Khaleej Online news website reported.

The report described residents of the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip as the main victims of the move.

Most of the bank transfers that used to be carried out normally in the past, were frozen just a few days before the start of the holiday.

Remittance transactions are taking much longer time than usual – something that used to be done in a matter of few hours.

Many Palestinians have complained of the move, and termed it as “unprecedented”. They argue that the process of transferring money between Saudi Arabia and the Gaza Strip has become extraordinarily difficult.

Abu Fuad, a resident of the Gaza Strip who refused to give his last name for fear that his family could be persecuted in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah, stated that he has experienced difficulty receiving money from his family.

“It is three days since the remittance has been made, but I have not received anything. Financial transfers used to be done in a few hours and without any obstacles in the past. But since the week before the Eid, the procedures have become complex and most of the transfers are frozen without any obvious reason,” he added.

Abu Fuad considered the measure as a “new crackdown on the Palestinian community living in Saudi Arabia”, stressing that it would aggravate their sufferings as students rely heavily on money transferred from their families living outside the kingdom.

He called upon the Palestinian Embassy in Riyadh to intervene immediately, and try to work out a quick and practical solution to the crisis, which has negatively affected the Palestinian community in Saudi Arabia.

Over the past two years, Saudi authorities have deported more than 100 Palestinians from the kingdom, mostly on charges of supporting Hamas resistance movement financially, politically or through social networking sites.

The Riyadh regime has imposed strict control over Palestinian funds in Saudi Arabia since the end of 2017.

All remittances of Palestinian expatriates are being tightly controlled, fearing that these funds could be diverted indirectly and through other countries to Hamas.

Money transfer offices are asking the Palestinians to bring forward strong arguments for conversion, and do not allow the ceiling of one’s money transfer to exceed $3,000.

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AL-QUDS BRIGADES REVEAL FIRST EVER VIDEO SHOWING DRONE ATTACK ON ISRAELI TANK, APC

South Front

30.05.2019

For the first time ever, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad Movement, the al-Quds Brigades, released a video showing its fighters targeting Israeli military vehicles around the Palestinian Gaza Strip with an armed drone.

The video, which was first broadcasted by the Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV in the noon of May 30, shows an armed drone targeting a Merkava IV main battle tank and an Achzarit armored personnel carrier (APC) of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The attack occurred during the recent Gaza–Israel clashes.

“Your fortresses don’t stand before us,” a message in Arabic and Hebrew in the video reads.

The drone used in the attack appears to be a small-size quadcopter, similar to the famous DJI Phantom. The drone dropped small projectiles, similar to submunitions usually used in cluster rockets and bombs.

Al-Quds Brigades Reveal First Ever Video Showing Drone Attack On Israeli Tank, APC
Click to see full-size image

ISIS was the first to arm commercially bought drones and use them in combat. The battle of Mosul in Iraq witnessed an extensive use of such drones with the Iraqi military losing several vehicles to drone attacks.

While the terrorist group was the first to use armed drones, Hezbollah was the first to arm them with submunitions. In late 2016, the Lebanese armed group attacked several militants’ positions near the city of Aleppo with drones armed with Chinese-made MZD2 submunitions.

Al-Quds Brigades Reveal First Ever Video Showing Drone Attack On Israeli Tank, APCClick to see full-size image

The accuracy of the armed drone used by the al-Quds Brigades appears to be poor. However, the acquisition of such weapon remains a threat to the Israeli military, especially that it can be improved.

More on the topic:

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism on Palestinians (09 May – 15 May 2019)

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (09– 15 May 2019)

Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

(09-15 May 2019)

  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against the peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip.
  • A Palestinian civilian was killed in the 58th Friday of Return and Breaking Siege March.
  • 182 civilians, including 63 children, 7 women, 2 journalists, and 3 paramedics, were wounded while participating in the Return March and commemorating the 71stanniversary of the Palestinian Nakbah.
  • Eight Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were wounded in the West Bank.
  • Israeli forces conducted 40 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 2 other limited incursions into the Gaza Strip.
  • 61 Palestinian civilians, including 15 children and a girl, were arrested in the West Bank.
  • Twenty-one of them, including 6 children and a girl, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.
  • Israeli forces arrested a child while sneaking into Israel, north of the Gaza Strip.
  • Shooting incidents were reported against the border areas of the Gaza Strip.
  • A Palestinian farmer was wounded in the northern Gaza Strip. 
  • Israeli authorities continued their settlement activities in the West Bank.
  • A barrack used for selling cars accessories was demolished in Hares village, northwest of Salfit. 
  • Nine Shooting incidents were reported against the fishing boats in the Gaza Strip Sea. 
  • Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 13thconsecutive year.
  • Israeli forces established 92 permanent checkpoints and 121 temporary checkpoints in the West Bank.
  • Five Palestinian civilians were arrested at military checkpoints in the West Bank.

 

Summary

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (09-15 May 2019).

 

Shooting:

  • In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against the participants in the peaceful protests organized along the Gaza Strip borders, which witnessed the peaceful protests for the 58th week along the eastern and northern border area of the Gaza Strip. They also continued to use force as well during the incursions into the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 182 others, including 63 children, 7 women, 2 journalists, and 3 paramedics, while participating in the Return March and commemorating the 71stanniversary of the Palestinian Nakbah. Moreover, a Palestinian farmer was wounded in northern Gaza Strip. In the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded 8 Palestinian civilians, including four children, in different shooting incidents.
  • In the Gaza Strip, on Friday, 10 May 2019, in excessive use of lethal force against Palestinian protestors participating in the 58th Friday of the Return March in eastern Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 48 others, including 11 children, 2 women, 2 journalists, and 2 paramedics. 
  • On 15 May 2019, Israeli forces wounded 134 Palestinian civilians, including 52 children, 5 women and a paramedic, while commemorating the 71stanniversary of the Palestinian Nakbah, which was organized along the Gaza Strip eastern borders. 

 

Injuries in the Gaza Strip between 09-15 2019 According to the Governorate

 

Governorate Injuries
Total Children Women Journalists Paramedics Critical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip 41 15 3 0 0 0
Gaza City 31 14 1 0 1 0
Central Gaza Strip 24 3 0 0 0 0
Khan Yunis 22 6 0 0 1 0
Rafah 64 25 3 2 1 0
Total 182 63 7 2 3 0

 

  • As part of targeting the Palestinian fishermen in the sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, indicating the on-going Israeli policy to target their livelihoods. During the reporting period, PCHR documented 9 incidents were as follows: 6 incidents adjacent to al-Waha resort, 2 off al-Sowdaniyia Shore and 1 off Rafah Shore.
  • As part of targeting the border areas, on 10 May 2019, Israeli forces opened fire at a group of Palestinian farmers in eastern al-Shuja’iyia neighborhood, east of Gaza City. As a result, a Palestinian farmer sustained moderate wounds.
  • In the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded 8 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children. Four of them, including 2 children, were wounded while participating in two peaceful demonstrations organized at the eastern entrance to Kafur Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyia. Moreover, 3 protestors, including a child, were wounded when the Israeli forces moved into Jenin refugee camp, north of the West Bank. Furthermore, a child was wounded after the Israeli forces stationed at Beit Eiel checkpoint opened fire at him and then arrested him.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 40 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 4 other incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 40 Palestinians, including 9 children, from the West Bank, while 21 other civilians, including 6 children and a girl, were arrested from Jerusalem and its suburbs. It should be noted that the arrested girl is an employee at the Prisoners and Ex-prisoner affairs committee.

In the Gaza Strip, on 13 May 2019, Israeli forces moved about 100 meters into the west of the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, southeast of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. The Israeli vehicles leveled and combed lands that were previously levelled amidst a sporadic Israeli shooting. After that, the Israeli forces redeployed along the border fence.

On 14 May 2019, Israeli forces moved about 100 meters into al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. The Israeli vehicles combed the area adjacent to the Return March before redeploying along the border fence.

 

Israeli Forces continued their settlement activities, and the settlers continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property

  • As part of the Israeli house demolitions and notices, on 14 May 2019, Israeli forces demolished a barrack used for selling cars accessories in Hares village, northwest of Salfit. The abovementioned barrack belongs to ‘Abed al-Naser ‘Abed al-Haleem Dawoud, whose loss was estimated at NIS 40,000.

Details

  1. Incursions into Palestinian Areas, and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. 

 

Thursday, 09 May 2019:

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into ‘Ourif village, south of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses, from which they arrested Oseid Mashhour Abdul Hfith Shehadah (25), As’aad Louis As’aad al-Safadi (26), and Feras Mohammed Husni Shehadah (21).

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (7) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Beit Ummer, Tarqumiya, Beit Marsam, al-Hadab villages and al-Fawar refugee camp in Hebron

 

Friday, 10 May 2019:

  • At approximately 11:00, Israeli forces stationed at the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, opened fire at a group of Palestinian farmers, east of al-Sheja’eya neighbourhood, east of the Gaza Strip. As a result, Mohammed ‘Ali al-Da’our (20) was hit with a live bullet to the right foot. Mohammed was taken to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City to receive medical treatment. Medical sources classified his injury as moderate.
  • At approximately 16:00, Israeli forces attacked ‘Awni (19) and his brother Mohammed Emad Abu Shamsiyah (17) when they were returning back to their house in Tal al-Ramidah neighbourhood in the center of Hebron. They then arrested them and took them to Israeli military camp in “Ramat Yishai” settlement outpost, which is about 150 meters away from their house. ‘Awni and Mohammed were released at approximately 19:00. ‘Emad Abu Shamsiyah said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“At approximately 16:00 on Friday, 10 May 2019, my son Saleh (12) told me that his mother headed quickly to the street, so I followed her. We then saw Israeli soldiers detaining my sons ‘Awni (19) and Mohammed (17), who work in al-‘Izariyah village, and didn’t come home for 2 months. The soldiers, who dressed like civilians, attempted to handcuff ‘Awni, so I approached them in an attempt to calm him down, but the soldiers beat him with their hands. The soldiers arrested my sons and took them to a military camp in “Ramat Yishai” settlement outpost. I wanted to know what happened, but then saw female soldiers taking my wife, Fayzah Abu Shamsiyah, to the abovementioned outpost. Moreover, the soldiers detained my son Saleh and broke his camera. Meanwhile, an Israeli officer, who introduced himself as military governor, came and wanted to shake hands with me, but I refused. I demanded him to release my wife and sons. The soldiers then attempted to attack me again, but a resident moved forward and spoke with the officer. After that, my wife was released. I stayed in front of the military camp until approximately 19:00 when my sons were released. After returning home, ‘Awni said that he met with the extremist settler “Baruch Marzel”, who started cursing him in Hebrew language, so ‘Awni cursed him too. When ‘Awni approached the house gate, a number of armed soldiers dressed like civilians attacked him. After the soldiers took him to “Ramat Yishai” settlement outpost, a soldier ordered him to drink water, but ‘Awni told him that he is fasting, so the soldier brought a bucket with water that smells bad and poured it on ‘Awni.”

 

  • At approximately 17:0, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the gaza Strip and Israel, east of Abu Safiyah area, northeast of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, arrested Qusai Amin Mohammed Abu al-Husain (15), from Jabalia, after he crossed the border fence. According to field investigation, Abu al-Husain participated in the March of Return and Breaking Siege before crossing the border fence.
  • At approximately 20:30, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, west of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 5 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 21:50, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah fired several flare bombs in the sky. However, no more incidents were reported.

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Tarqumiya, Raboud and Abu al-‘Asja villages in Hebron; and ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqiliya.

 

Saturday, 11 May 2019:

 

  • At approximately 10:30, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, adjacent to al-Waha Resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. The shooting recurred at approximately 19:00 on the same day at the fishing boats that were on an area of 2 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Sa’ir and Bani Na’im villages in Hebron; Beta and Howarah villages, south of Nablus.

 

Sunday, 12 May 2019

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Arabah village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Anas ‘Awad Hamran (30) and Waddah Khalil al-Sha’ah (29) and then arrested them.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Sa’ir village, north of Hebron, and stationed in Ras al-‘Aroud area. They raided and searched a house belonging to Bajes Suleiman al-Matour (44) and then arrested Bajes’s son Saleh (15). Meanwhile, another Israeli force raided and searched a house belonging to Yusuf Abdul Qader Jaradat (33) and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement”, south of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 07:50, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, adjacent to al-Sudaniyah area, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 5 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 08:00, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, adjacent to al-Waha Resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. The shooting continued form time to time until approximately 09:40 on the same day. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (5) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Beit Ummer, Surif and al-Burj villages in Hebron; Qalqiliya and ‘Azzoun village, east of the city.

 

Monday, 13 May 2019

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Yamoun village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Ala’a ‘Ali al-Badi (23) and then arrested him.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Walajah village, northwest of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ma’rouf Ahmed al-Atrash (15) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into ‘Ourif village, south of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to Abdul Qader As’aad Abdul ‘Aziz Sabbah (25) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses from which they arrested 3 civilians namely Wajdi Kathem Thawabtah (34), Anas Kathem Thawabtah (30) and Nidal Nabil Thawabtah (28).
  • At approximately 03:20, Israeli forces moved into Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ibrahim Ahmed ‘Arbas (25) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, Israeli forces moved into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin, to carry out arrest campaign. They raided and searched several houses from which they arrested 4 civilians namely Feras Mohammed al-Wehadah (30), Ahmed ‘Azmi Mohammed Husain (23), Ahmed Husain Abdul Hafith Abu ‘Abed (20), and Khalid Saleh Husain Abu Zainah (59). Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian civilians gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli forces. The Israeli forces fired live and rubber bullets, and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 3 civilians, including a child, were wounded. When the Israeli forces withdrew from the camp, they deliberately ran over Amin Mohammed Tawfiq Zakarnah (27), from Qabatia village, southeast of Jenin. As a result,  Amin sustained wounds and bruises to the chest and abdomen. The soldiers also heavily beat Wasim Ahmed Abu Jalboush (19). All the wounded civilians were taken to Dr. Khalil Suleiman Governmental Hospital in Jenin to receive medical treatment.
  • At approximately 10:00, Israeli forces accompanied with 6 military vehicles moved about 100 meters into the west of the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, adjacent to the memorial statute, southeast of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. The Israeli vehicles leveled and combed lands that were previously leveled amidst a sporadic Israeli shooting. At approximately 12:00, the Israeli forces redeployed along the border fence and neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 11:30, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, adjacent to al-Waha resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. The shooting continued until 12:40 on the same day. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqiliyah, Qarawet Bani Hassan village, northwest of Salfit; Howarah village, south of Nablus.

 

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Abu Shakhaidem village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested 3 civilians, including a child, namely Amir Naji Abdul Razeq (17), Hamdi Mohammed Qandah (19) and Anwar Mohammed Salem (19). 
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested 4 civilians namely ‘Ammar Mohammed Jawabrah (22) Ahmed Hassounah al-Badawi (21), Mohammed Nasser Mahfouth (21), and Mohammed Jamal Abu Sal (19).
  • At approximately 08:30, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, adjacent to al-Waha resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing between 2 and 4 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties not material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 11:30, Israeli forces accompanied with a number of military vehicles and bulldozers moved about 100 meters from the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel into al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. They leveled lands adjacent to the Return March. The Israeli forces then redeployed along the border fence.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Hebron, Yatta and al-Fawar refugee camp; Beit al-Roush al-Tahta village in Hebron.

 

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

  • On early morning, Israeli soldiers stationed at “Beit Eil” military checkpoint, north of al-Birah, opened fire at Mohammed ‘Emad Hasanain (17), from the Gaza Strip. As a result, Mohammed was hit with a live bullet to the right leg. The Israeli forces then arrested Mohammed and took him via a military vehicle to a hospital in Israel.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Jaber Wa’el al-Badawi (15) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Deir Abu Mash’al village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested Hasan Baker Zahran (15), Anwar Safi ‘Ata (15) and Mohammed Abdul Karim Zahran (15).
  • At approximately 08:40, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, adjacent to al-Waha resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 20:30, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, adjacent to al-Sudaniyah area, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (5) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Hebron, al-Burj, Deir Razeh and Beit Ummer villages in Hebron; Kufor Ne’mah village, west of Ramallah.

Use of Force against Demonstrations in Protest against the U.S. President’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel:

Israeli forces continued its excessive use of lethal force against peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and it was named as “The Great March of Return and Breaking Siege.” The demonstration was in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration to move the U.S. Embassy to it. According to PCHR fieldworkers’ observations, the border area witnessed large participation by Palestinian civilians as the Israeli forces continued to use upon highest military and political echelons excessive force against the peaceful demonstrators, though the demonstration were fully peaceful. The demonstration was as follows during the reporting period:

 

Gaza Strip:

During the 58th week of the March of Return and Breaking Siege activities, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 48, including 11 children, two women, two journalists, and two paramedics. The incidents were as follows:

  • Northern Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting, at Palestinian demonstrators, which continued from 17:30 to 18:30, resulted in the injury of 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child. Two of them were hit with rubber bullets and the two others were directly hit with tear gas canisters.
  • Gaza City: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators, which continued from 16:00 until 18:30, resulted in the injury of 2 Palestinian civilians. One of them was hit with a live bullet to the left foot and the other one was hit with a rubber bullet to the left hand. 
  • Central Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators, which continued from 16:00 until 19:00, resulted in the injury of 8 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children. Six of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel and 2 were hit with rubber bullets.
  • Khan Younis: The Israeli shooting at the demonstrators, which continued from 16:00 until 19:00, resulted in the injury of 4 civilians, including a paramedic. The wounded paramedic was identified as Mohammed Sobhi Abu Ta’emah (24), a volunteer paramedic at Watan Medical Team. 
  • Rafah: The Israeli shooting at the demonstrators, which continued from 16:30 until 18:00, resulted in the killing of Abdullah Jom’ah Ahmed Abdul ‘Aal (24), who was hit with a live bullet to the back at approximately 18:15. Medical sources at Gaza European Hospital, Khan Younis, announced Abdullah’s death. Moreover, 30 civilians, including 8 children, 2 women, 2 journalists, and a volunteer paramedic, were injured. Eleven of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel, 4 were hit with rubber bullets, and 15 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded journalists were identified as Abdul Rahim Mohammed Deeb al-Kahtib (42), who is a freelance journalist, was hit with a tear gas canister to the left leg; and Ramzi Hatem Jameel al-Shakhrit (34), who works at “Rowad Al-Haqiqa” Network. The wounded paramedic was identified as Bara’a Mohammed ‘Obeid al-Sufi (21), who was hit with a tear gas canister to the right hand.

 

At approximately 13:00 on Wednesday, 15 May 2019, thousands of Palestinian civilians swarmed to the five encampments established by the Supreme National Authority of Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege, east of the Gaza Strip, in commemoration of the 71st anniversary of the Palestinian Nakbah. The Israeli shooting at demonstrators resulted in the injury of 134 civilians, including 52 children, 5 women, and a paramedic. The incidents were as follows: 

  • Northern Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators, which continued until 17:00, resulted at the injury of 37 civilians, including 14 children and 3 women. Fifteen of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel, 5 were hit with rubber bullets, and 7 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. 
  • Gaza City: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of 29 Palestinian civilians, including 12 children, one woman and a paramedic. Eight of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel, 17 were hit with rubber bullets, and 4 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded paramedic was identified as ‘Adel Darwish Khalid al-Mashharawi (47), who works at Military Medical Services, was hit with a rubber bullet to the head. 
  • Central Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators, which continued until 18:00, resulted in the injury of 16 civilians, including 3 children. Seven of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel and 9 were hit with rubber bullets and tear gas
  • Khan Younis: The Israeli shooting at demonstrators, which continued until 19:00, resulted in the injury of 18 civilians, including 6 children. 
  • Rafah: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators, which continued until 18:00, resulted in the injury of 34 civilians, including 17 children and a woman. One of them was hit with a live bullet, 7 were hit with rubber bullet, and 26 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. 

West Bank:

  • At approximately 13:30 on Friday afternoon, 10 May 2019, a group of Palestinians organized a peaceful demonstration from the center of Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, into the eastern entrance to the village, which has been closed for 15 years in favor of “Kedumim” The protestors threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers. The soldiers immediately fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a child, was hit with a rubber bullet to the back.

(PCHR keeps the name of the injured child)

  • At approximately 16:30, on Saturday, 11 May 2018, a group of Palestinians organized a peaceful demonstration from the center of Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, into the eastern entrance to the village, which has been closed for 15 years in favor of “Kedumim” The protestors threw stones at Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand barriers. The soldiers immediately fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 3 civilians, including a child, were hit with rubber bullets.

(PCHR keeps the names of the injured civilians)

  1. Continued closure of the oPt

Israel continued to impose a tight closure on the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

 

Gaza Strip

Israeli forces continuously tighten the closure of the Gaza Strip and close all commercial crossings, making the Karm Abu Salem crossing the sole commercial crossing of the Gaza Strip, although it is not suitable for commercial purposes in terms of its operational capacity and distance from markets.

Israeli forces have continued to apply the policy, which is aimed to tighten the closure on all commercial crossings, by imposing total control over the flow of imports and exports.

Israeli forces have continued to impose a total ban on the delivery of raw materials to the Gaza Strip, except for very limited items and quantities. The limited quantities of raw materials allowed into Gaza do not meet the minimal needs of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli forces also continued to impose an almost total ban on the Gaza Strip exports, including agricultural and industrial products, except for light-weighted products such as flowers, strawberries, and spices. However, they lately allowed the exportation of some vegetables such as cucumber and tomatoes, furniture and fish.

Israel has continued to close the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for the majority of Palestinian citizens from the Gaza Strip. Israel only allows the movement of a limited number of groups, with many hours of waiting in the majority of cases. Israel has continued to adopt a policy aimed at reducing the number of Palestinian patients allowed to move via the Beit Hanoun crossing to receive medical treatment in hospitals in Israel or in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel also continued applying the policy of making certain civilian traveling via the crossing interviewed by the Israeli intelligence service to be questioned, blackmailed or arrested.

Beit Hanoun (“Erez”) crossing, in the north of the Gaza Strip, is designated for the movement of individuals, and links the Gaza Strip with the West Bank.

 

Movement at Beit Hanoun (“Erez”) crossing

(30 April – 07 May 2019)

Category 30 April 01 May 02 May 03 May 04 May 05 May 06 May 07 May
Patients 113 74 40 1
Companions 92 64 30 2
Personal needs 22 20 8 7 8
Families of prisoners
Arabs fromIsrael 14 4 17 42 36
Diplomats
Meetings in Erez
International workers 62 35 33 16 29
TravelersAbroad 58 52
Business people+ BMC 323 286 306 1 4
Economic and agriculture    interviews
Security interviews 4 2
Death cases
Companions’ Deaths
Return to the West Bank 8
Christians’ Holidays 47 21 7 8
Conferences and Training courses
Permits’ renewal 5
VIPs 1 1
AmbulancesPatient 2 2 1 1 1
Ambulancescompanion 2 3 3 1 1

 

 

Movement at Beit Hanoun (“Erez”) crossing

(08-13 May 2019)

Category 08 May 09 May 10 May 11 May 12 May 13 May
Patients 142 92
Companions 118 75
Personal needs 2 24 15
Families of prisoners
Arabs fromIsrael 14
Diplomats 2
Meetings in Erez 2
International workers 11 8 18
TravelersAbroad
Business people+ BMC 580 389
Economic and agriculture    interviews
Security interviews 1 7
Death cases 1
Companions’ Deaths
Return to the West Bank
Christians’ Holidays
Conferences and Training courses
Permits’ renewal
VIPs 1 1
AmbulancesPatient 1 2 1 5
Ambulancescompanion 2 2 3

 

  • Following table illustrates temporary and permanent checkpoints and arrests at these checkpoints in the West Bank between 09-15 May 2019:
Governorate Permanent temporary Temporary checkpoints Closed Roads Arrested persons
Jerusalem 13 11 1
Nablus 10 28 2 1
Jenin 5 5 1
Ramallah 11 10 4
Tulkarm 7 6 1
Tubas 2 3 1
Salfit 3 8 1 1
Qalqiliyia 5 5 4 1
Hebron 20 35 15
Bethlehem 11 9 2
Jericho 5 1
Al-Karama Crossing
Total 92 121 30 5

 

Arrests at Military Checkpoints: 

  • At approximately 15:30 on Thursday, 09 May 2019, Israeli forces arrested Khaled Dahes Ma’rouf Bani Fadel, from ‘Aqraba village, southeast of Nablus, near “Areil” settlement square, north of Salfit.
  • At approximately 18:30 on Friday, 10 May 2019, Israeli forces stationed at a military checkpoint established on al-Moraba’ah road, south of Nablus, arrested Mahmoud Khaled Sa’ied Yameen (26), from Tal village, southwest of the city.
  • At approximately 18:00 on Saturday, 11 May 2019, Israeli forces stationed at a military checkpoint established at the intersection of ‘Araba village, south of Jenin, arrested Fares ‘Abed al-Rahman ‘Awwad (28), from the abovementioned village.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Sunday, 12 May 2019, Israeli forces stationed at Qalandia military checkpoint, north of occupied East Jerusalem, arrested Hamza ‘Abed al-Kareem Sa’ayidah (26) while passing through the checkpoint and heading to al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 17:30 on Sunday, 12 May 2019, Israeli forces stationed at a military checkpoint arrested Ahmed ‘Isaa Abu Libdah, from Qalqiliyia, while returning from Ramallah. It should be noted that Ahmed is an officer at the Palestinian National Security Service.
  • Efforts to Create A Jewish majority

 Israeli forces escalated their attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property. They have also continued their raids on al-Aqsa Mosque and denied the Palestinians access to it:

 

Arrests and Incursions:

  • At approximately 01:00 on Thursday, 09 May 2019, Israeli forces moved into ‘Aqbat al-Sarayia neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Hatem Abu ‘Asab and then arrested his two sons Mohamed (19) and Mahdi (16), taking them to an unknown destination.
  • On Friday, 10 May 2019, the Israeli authorities handed the director of al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Omar Al-Kiswani (57), a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “al-Qashlah” investigation center in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. Local sources stated that the Israeli police summoned the director of al-Aqsa Mosque, calling him to prevent Palestinian worshipers from staying in the al-Aqsa Mosque for a certain number of days (I’tikaf). On Saturday night, 11 May 2019, a large force of Israeli soldiers raided the al-Aqsa Mosque yards and forcibly ordered the worshipers to get out of the mosque. The worshipers were repeatedly prevented from performing I’tikaf inside the mosque over this week.
  • On Friday, Israeli forces arrested ‘Ali Rafeeq Mohamed Shawahna (39), from Qalqiliyia, while he was near al-‘Amoud Gate area in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. ‘Ali’s wife, Amina al-Taweel, the spokesperson of the Palestinian Media Center for Studies, said that the Israeli forces arrested her husband while they were heading to perform al-Jum’a prayer at al-Aqsa Mosque. She added that after they passed through Qalandia checkpoint, north of the city, and approached al-‘Amoud Gate area, the Israeli forces arrested her husband and then taken him to “’Ofer” prison, southwest of Bitoniyia village, west of Ramallah. It should be noted that Shawahna served 15 years in the Israeli jails.
  • Following al-Taraweeh prayer, Israeli forces raided al-Aqsa Mosque’s yards in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, for 3 consecutive days, and forcibly got the worshipers out of the mosque. Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli forces raided al-Aqsa Mosque from al-Magharebah Gate side, deployed in the mosque’s yards, surrounded and raided al-Qibli and al-Marwani Mosques from all sides, and then ordered the worshipers to get out of them. The eyewitnesses added that following al-‘Isha and al-Taraweeh prayers, clashes erupted between dozens of Palestinian young men and the Israeli soldiers in al-‘Amoud Gate area in the center of Jerusalem. The Israeli soldiers fired sound bombs at the Palestinians and then pursued them. Seven Palestinians, including four children, were arrested by the Israeli forces. The arrested persons were identified as ‘Isam Abu Nab (16), Mohamed al-Ghazzawi (16), ‘Ali Anas al-Taweel (17), Mahmoud Khaled Tahhan (16), Mo’tasem Abu Nab (18), Khaled al-Showiki (37), and Mohamed al-Ghoul. Few hours later, the Israeli authorities released the children on one condition that they will expel from Jerusalem’s Old City, al-‘Amoud Gate area and al-Sultan Suliman Street, in addition to imposing a house arrest on them for 5 days, a fine estimated at NIS 500 and a third party bail. The Israeli police also decided to refer Mohamed al-Ghoul and Khaled al-Showiki to the Israeli Court.
  • At approximately 03:00 on Wednesday, 15 May 2019, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched dozens of houses and then arrested 10 civilians, including a girl. The arrested civilians were identified as Ghadeer al-‘Amori, an employee at the Prisoners and Ex-prisoner affairs committee; Yaser Darwish, Secretary of the Fatah Movement in the village; Mahmoud ‘Ali Naser; Fadi Mahmoud; Wael Mohamed Mahmoud; Mansour Mahmoud; Mahmoud Abu Riyalah; Malek Darwish; Hussain Abu Irmilah; and Loai Mansour. Moreover, the Israeli forces handed Fares Shafiq ‘Obaid (19) and Mofeed Mohamed ‘Obaid (21) two notices to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in al-Maskobiyia investigation center in West Jerusalem.

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

Israeli forces’ attacks:

  • At approximately 21:40 on Tuesday, 14 May 2019, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles, 2 bulldozers and officers of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Hares village, northwest of Salfit. They stationed in the western area of the village and then surrounded a barrack used for sellings cars accessories. The workers immediately vacated the barrack contents and then the bulldozers demolished it completely, under the pretext of non-licensing and being in area classified as Area C. The abovementioned barrack belongs to ‘Abed al-Naser ‘Abed al-Haleem Dawoud, whose loss was estimated at NIS 40,000.
  • Recommendations to the International Community

PCHR warns of the escalating settlement construction in the West Bank, the attempts to legitimize settlement outposts established on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and the continued summary executions of Palestinian civilians under the pretext that they pose a security threat to the Israeli forces. PCHR reminds the international community that thousands of Palestinian civilians have been rendered homeless and lived in caravans under tragic circumstances due to the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that has been under a tight closure for almost 11 years. PCHR welcomes the UN Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334, which states that settlements are a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions and calls upon Israel to stop them and not to recognize any demographic change in the oPt since 1967.  PCHR hopes this resolution will pave the way for eliminating the settlement crime and bring to justice those responsible for it. PCHR further reiterates that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation in spite of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan of 2005.  PCHR emphasizes that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and international humanitarian law.  Israel is bound to apply international human rights law and the law of war, sometimes reciprocally and other times in parallel, in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for the victims.

  1. PCHR calls upon the international community to respect the Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334 and to ensure that Israel respects it as well, in particular point 5 which obliges Israel not to deal with settlements as if they were part of Israel.
  2. PCHR calls upon the ICC this year to open an investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and the 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip.
  3. PCHR Calls upon the European Union (EU) and all international bodies to boycott settlements and ban working and investing in them in application of their obligations according to international human rights law and international humanitarian law considering settlements as a war crime.
  4. PCHR calls upon the international community to use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.
  5. PCHR calls upon the international community and United Nations to take all necessary measures to stop Israeli policies aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem and at voiding Palestine from its original inhabitants through deportations and house demolitions as a collective punishment, which violates international humanitarian law, amounting to a crime against humanity.
  6. PCHR calls upon the international community to condemn summary executions carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinians and to pressurize Israel to stop them.
  7. PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
  8. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under article (1) of the Convention to ensure respect for the Conventions under all circumstances, and under articles (146) and (147) to search for and prosecute those responsible for committing grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions to ensure justice and remedy for Palestinian victims, especially in light of the almost complete denial of justice for them before the Israeli judiciary.
  9. PCHR calls upon the international community to speed up the reconstruction process necessary because of the destruction inflicted by the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
  10. PCHR calls for a prompt intervention to compel the Israeli authorities to lift the closure that obstructs the freedom of movement of goods and 1.8 million civilians that experience unprecedented economic, social, political and cultural hardships due to collective punishment policies and retaliatory action against civilians.
  11. PCHR calls upon the European Union to apply human rights standards embedded in the EU-Israel Association Agreement and to respect its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when dealing with Israel.
  12. PCHR calls upon the international community, especially states that import Israeli weapons and military services, to meet their moral and legal responsibility not to allow Israel to use the offensive in Gaza to test new weapons and not accept training services based on the field experience in Gaza in order to avoid turning Palestinian civilians in Gaza into testing objects for Israeli weapons and military tactics.
  13. PCHR calls upon the parties to international human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to pressurize Israel to comply with its provisions in the oPt and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the relevant committees.
  14. PCHR calls upon the EU and international human rights bodies to pressurize the Israeli forces to stop their attacks against Palestinian fishermen and farmers, mainly in the border area.

 

………………………………………………………

Public Document

For further information please visit our website www.pchrgaza.org or contact PCHR’s office in Gaza City, Gaza Strip by email pchr@pchrgaza.org or telephone +972 08 282 4776 – 282 5893.

The Enemy Is Not Resistance

By Stanley L.Cohen
Source

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The Islamic Resistance Movement began more than thirty years ago at an historical moment in time which it knew to be fraught with absolute peril for their people. The founders of this national liberation struggle examined the overwhelming military capabilities of Israel, fostered by its global superpower sponsor, the United States. They looked at Israel’s expansionist programs–the Zionist project of illegal settlements erasing their homes and villages, dispossessing mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers–and at the failure of the international community to stop them.  They  knew then that within a generation Palestinians would lose it all –their motherland and patrimony and their nation–leaving them homeless captives to the whims of another man’s door.  In that moment, resistance was not a lifestyle choice or a revolutionary pose. It was existential necessity, just as it is now.

Everything Hamas predicted then has come to pass. Here, a generation later, it should take no comfort reminding the world that they were right in their analysis. Israel has grown only stronger and more rapacious, more intransigent and murderous in its deeds.  Its “democracy” did not save it from becoming a racist, apartheid state presiding over a military occupation of millions of Palestinians. Israel’s policy of creating “facts on the ground”– that is, the illegal settlement project – has transitioned from a de facto expulsion and annexation policy into a de jure one, as its prime minister calls for the removal of Palestinians and the annexation of the West Bank, and the American president and congress pre-emptively applaud the crime-to-be. The Golan Heights–sovereign territory of another nation– is now Israel’s by force, cynically annexed, while Syria struggles in the throes of war.  And Jerusalem (al Quds) is ringed by new, fortified suburbs and restricted highways demolishing Palestinian neighborhoods and cutting off their city from them. America now calls Jerusalem Israel’s capital–in direct violation of international law. Since 1967, successive U.S. administrations have told Palestinians to trust in their good faith as brokers of a just peace.  This has been a lie, as Hamas anticipated then, America was running cover, a stalling tactic, for the slow-motion destruction of Palestinian national aspirations.  Tragically, tens of thousands of Palestinians have been killed and maimed and many more imprisoned by Israeli state violence since Hamas began. The international community has done little to stop the monstrous crime unfolding.

Palestinians were right to resist then. The world surely can see that now.  The tragedy of retrospection should, at the very least, accord Palestinians their due: resistance is morally right, history has proven it so.  Yet, even last month, in the pages of America’s official paper of record, the New York Times, the U.S. administration through its craven spokesman Jason Greenblatt, a Zionist real estate lawyer from New York, charged with shepherding the “peace process” for the President as the Special Representative for International Negotiations, heaps insult upon injury, twisting history and recent events in a grotesque parody of a policy statement, adopting the Likud Party platform as the publicly declared U.S. position. None of us should be surprised by the falsifications in the Trump Administration’s official pronouncements. It has proven itself, after all, to be a presidency built on lying.  Yet only the most gullible American readers could possibly believe its juvenile “blame Hamas” refrain.

Hamas did not create the thirteen-year siege of Gaza, cutting Palestinians off from the world.  It did not commence any of the three wars launched by Israel against Gaza in 2008, 2012 and 2014 or it’s countless other attacks and outrages since. It did not destroy their industries, their water treatment plant, their power generation, their hospitals, houses, mosques, schools, television stations and roads–Israeli missiles and bombs did that.  Hamas does not keep two million people penned in an open-air prison, with a prison economy in tatters–Israel does that.  The cynicism of the Administration’s statement is unparalleled: “The countries of the world have attempted to help the people of Gaza,” but their good works have been destroyed by Hamas, according to the Special Representative.  Perhaps he had in mind the post-Oslo airport, built by multinational leadership, attacked in 2001 by Israeli air forces, with its runways bulldozed by Israel a few years later?  Or the catastrophic damage wrought upon the water system by Israeli air strikes during Operation Cast Lead in 2008?  Or the extensive bombing of the sanitation system in Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012? Or Gaza’s only power plant, attacked in 2006, 2008 and finally leveled by Israeli missiles in 2014’s Operation Protective Edge?  All of these key infrastructure projects, indeed, were funded by international donors, but destroyed by American jet planes, flown by the Israeli armed forces. Empty-headed slogans, scribbled by a huckster and moral fraud that has no more business posing as a diplomat than he does as a man of sincere religious belief, cannot smother the truth. The continuing tragedy of Gaza, indeed, all of Palestine, is not so easy to conceal… and Palestinian resistance continues. There is no choice.

Israel daily blocks some 650 basic goods from entry to the Gaza Strip for alleged “security” reasons, including medicines, hospital equipment and even some types of baby formula.  Israel denies fishing nets to Gaza’s fishermen, or materials to repair boats. Infrastructure materials– from pumping equipment to water and sanitation piping, to electrical supplies and cement– are all but forbidden.  Communication supplies and the technology of the internet (server and switching equipment) are embargoed, leaving Gaza lagging behind in poverty and despair, cut off from the world.  A United Nations-approved system instituted after the cease-fire in 2014 exists for monitoring so-called “dual use” materials, yet, Israel continues to ignore it as it stifles the free flow of goods needed to rebuild Gaza… in a deliberate policy of attrition.  Hundreds of Palestinians die annually, per the World Health Organization, because they cannot travel for medical treatment and the health care infrastructure and supply chain is destroyed.

Gaza suffers, but not because of Hamas and its administration. Hamas has done everything in its power to spare the Palestinian people in Gaza the devastating effects of the Israeli siege. It opened the doors wide to facilitate international support reaching Gaza’s residents. It accepted that infrastructure and public health projects should be implemented under full international supervision in coordination with government agencies. It has sought to ensure the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt will be open in both directions as an alternative to the dehumanizing caged passageway at Beit Hanoun (Erez). It has worked in coordination with the United Nations and Egypt to reach understandings that can achieve calm with the occupation and avoid escalation, a step on the road to lifting the siege and alleviating the hardships facing the people in Gaza.

At the strategic political level, Hamas has made great efforts to bring about Palestinian reconciliation, achieve unity, end the division and form an internationally recognized Palestinian unity government. But these efforts have been thwarted by the American veto and Israeli sabotage. Moreover, Hamas has worked with all its Palestinian partners to reach a consensus and internationally recognized formula on the national vision,  in order to find a way out of the current crisis, as expressed most recently in May 2017, wherein it again accepted a state configured upon the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital, while simultaneously preserving the right of return for the millions in the Palestinian Diaspora.

Hamas is a national liberation movement, democratically elected by a majority of Palestinians in 2006 under the watchful eye of the world community. At its core it promotes and fights for the fundamental right of Palestinian self-determination fueled by full equality, independence and return. It does not embrace gratuitous violence. Nor, however, does it leave the people of Gaza defenseless at the mercy of an occupation force that has proven itself unworthy of trust and unwilling to exercise even a modicum of respect for international law. A long settled tenet of that law is the right of the occupied to engage in resistance, that includes armed struggle.  Palestinians continue to resist legally. They do not owe their occupier passive surrender.

Not long ago, Israel sent an assassination-squad surreptitiously into Gaza to kill Palestinian leaders. In the weeks since, it has repeatedly attacked civilian targets and infrastructure. It has been met by Palestinian defensive measures; and Israel responds, predictably, with F-16 attacks and tank shelling throughout Gaza, killing some two dozen including three children and two pregnant women, one who was clutching her 14 month old in her arms as both perished.  More than a hundred and fifty other civilians were wounded over several days of Israeli attacks. Almost a thousand civilian housing units, schools and businesses were damaged or destroyed. This latest assault does not yet have an operational name to sell it to the world–marketing Israel’s “bravery” narrative–but surely they’ll think of something catchy to disguise the carnage.

This past year, the Palestinian people, with all its factions and vital forces, including Hamas, took part in peaceful demonstrations… as affirmed by UN monitoring, along the separation fence at the eastern part of the Gaza Strip, demanding the lifting of the siege on Gaza and the right of return. How did the occupation respond?   With live ammunition and sniper fire intended to kill and maim.  Approximately 280 Palestinians have died and more than 28,000 have been wounded during this time, many of whom will live the rest of their lives disabled.  Not one Israeli on the other side was killed because of the demonstrations.   These protests also persist on a smaller scale in the West Bank where Israel continues to steal Palestinian land, destroy Palestinian homes and imprison Palestinian women and children at a pace second to none.

To the Greenblatts and Trumps and their Zionist choir, no amount of campaign sloganeering in puerile public statements can rewrite the palpable facts of Israeli aggression and its deadly occupation or recast Hamas from a lawful indigenous defense force into a mercenary political outlier.   Nor can the soon to come US “deal of the century” entice millions of Palestinians to surrender an age-old history and tradition to the cheap ring of a common real estate cash box.

Hamas is no rogue militant group, with anonymous, shadowy operators.  It will not disappear or shirk its leadership responsibility.  It remains an authentic and powerful part of the Palestinian experience, for over thirty years, much older than some of the current Israeli political parties in the Knesset. While many of its founders, all those years ago, have been killed by Israel, Hamas continues to speak on behalf of the dignity and hope of millions of Palestinians worldwide. Like them, it carries the kindle of resilience and self-determination of a People rendered stateless but neither hopeless nor powerless by a European colonial project. Like them, it will not cease to exist or fade into silence.

ثورات معقَّمة

مايو 10, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– لا يمكن إلا الشعور بالفرح لعدم انزلاق الأوضاع في الجزائر والسودان نحو الفوضى أو الخيارات الدموية، ونجاح المعنيين في الشارع والحراك الشعبي والقوات المسلحة معاً في إيجاد مساحة للخلاف والتفاهم تحول دون الخيارات التي عصفت بالبلدان التي عرفت النسخة الأولى من الربيع العربي.

– الأسئلة الكبرى التي يطرحها وضع النسخة الجديدة من الربيع العربي تتصل بغياب كامل لأي إشارة جدية لرؤية جناحي الأحداث في الحراك الشعبي وقواه من جهة والجيش من جهة مقابلة تجاه الخيارات الكبرى للدول التي تتصل بالسياسات كأن الثورة تقول إن لا مشكلة لها مع سياسات النظام السابق وقضيتها تقتصر على الشأن الداخلي. وهذا يعني أنها حركة من داخل النظام رغم الكلام المعاكس عن ثورة لأن الثورة تُعيد صياغة كل شيء وترفع صوتها على كل ما هو نافر في السياسات السابقة تجاه القضايا المتصلة بالهوية. وحتى الآن لم نسمع كلمة عن موقف من السياسات الأميركية في المنطقة وسوق النفط وثروات الجزائر الهائلة وعلاقاتها بالشركات العالمية الكبرى، ولا عن الوضع العربي ومكانة الجزائر فيه، ولا عن فلسطين التي لم تغب يوماً عن هموم الجزائريين واهتماماتهم، وقد شكلت حضوراً منذ أيام استقلال الجزائر، مع أحمد بن بلة والهواري بومدين.

– في السودان تبدو الأمور أشدّ وضوحاً، فالغريب العجيب أن السودان الذي يشارك في حرب اليمن منذ عهد الرئيس عمر البشير، لم يرد طلب عودة قواته إلى الوطن في حركة الشارع والاعتصام المستمر أمام قيادة الجيش منذ شهر ونيّف. وهو مطلب عادي طبيعي إنساني يرد في أي حركة احتجاجية في أي بلد تشترك قواته المسلحة في حرب ليس له فيها يد ولا مصلحة وترتكب فيها المجازر ويساءل قادة العالم على درجة مسؤولياتهم فيها، ويموت فيها الجنود والضباط بلا قضية. ولا يمكن إنكار العلاقة بين هذه المشاركة والمال الخليجي الذي يصل إلى السودان بما يسيء للجيش السوداني والحركة الشعبية فيه بقبول صيغة تبدو أقرب لتحويل الجيش إلى قوات مرتزقة تشارك في الحروب الخارجية لقاء المال بدلاً من القضية، والأشدّ غرابة ومصدراً للعجب أن الإعلان الوحيد الصادر عن المجلس العسكري المتصل بمكانة السودان العربية والدولية جاء لتأكيد بقاء الجيش في حرب اليمن، والأغرب أن الحراك الشعبي الذي علق بالسلبية على الكثير الكثير مما قاله المجلس العسكري التزم الصمت تجاه هذا الإعلان.

– أما فلسطين التي نثق أنها في مكانة خاصة في عقول وقلوب السودانيين والجزائريين فقد شهدت حرباً إسرائيلية دموية خلال الأيام التي كان الآلاف من شباب الحراك الشعبي يملأون شوارع السودان والجزائر، من دون أن نشهد علماً فلسطينياً أو إعلان تضامن أو هتافاً أو خطاباً يتصل بما يجري فيها، والأمر لا علاقة له بالاشتغال بالشأن الداخلي، ولا بمفهوم الانتماء للعروبة أو للإسلام، فما تشهده فنزويلا من مخاطر داخلية أكبر بكثير، ولا صلة تربطها بهوية قومية أو دينية بفلسطين، لكن فلسطين تحضر في كل محطات الحضور الشعبي فيها، ولهذا تفسير واحد هو الضوابط التي لا تلتزمها القيادة الفنزويلية كقيادة حرة، بينما تتقيّد بها القيادات الشعبية والعسكرية في الجزائر والسودان، لالتزامها بسقوف تحول دون حضور فلسطين، وتلزمها بحصر السياسة ضد النظام السابق وفي التنافس في ما بينها والنظر للنظام الجديد، بقضية واحدة هي تقاسم السلطة، ولذلك لا يعنينا ما يجري إلا بمقدار عدم الانزلاق نحو الفوضى وعدم المساس بوحدة البلاد وسلمها الأهلي، ونشدّ على أيدي المعنيين لهذا الالتزام، لكننا نعتذر عن وصف ما يجري بالثورة أو بالتغيير الجذري، طالما أن مسائل الاستقلال الوطني والمواجهة مع مشاريع الهيمنة، والالتزام بفلسطين تشكل شأناً ثانوياً لا يستحق الذكر.

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What I Saw in Gaza Changed Me Forever

What I Saw in Gaza Changed Me Forever
By Ned Rosch

My true liberation as a Jewish person is bound up with the liberation of Palestinian people.

gaza.jpg

The city of Gaza during a dust storm.

Photo by Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism is a powerful collection of 40 essays by Jews from diverse backgrounds. Each describes a personal journey from a Zionist worldview to activism in solidarity with Palestinians and Israelis striving to build a society founded on justice, equality, and peaceful coexistence. In this excerpt from the essay “Palestine and my Journey of Self-Discovery,” Ned Rosch describes the deep impact of a visit to Gaza in 2014, shortly after the intensive bombings of Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge.”


The great Indian writer Arundhati Roy wrote, “The trouble is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There’s no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.” There were numerous times in my life when I “saw” it and felt the strongly reinforced foundations of my Zionist upbringing eventually crack wide open and ultimately turn to dust, but perhaps nothing more deeply touched me and cemented my perspective than a trip to Gaza in November 2014.

For a brief but remarkable week and a half, I had the amazing privilege of being part of a health delegation to this small strip of historic Palestine that is one of the most crowded places on earth because its population is literally sealed in by the Israelis—with the assistance of the Egyptians. To be there just two months after Israel’s murderous 2014 war on the people of Gaza was to catch a glimpse—through the painful stories I heard and the overwhelming destruction I witnessed—of the grotesque horror of that 51-day war. The bombed-out structures were everywhere, the grief universal, the trauma intense.

Rawya, who translated for a training that I did in Gaza with 15 school counselors, shared with me over a hot cup of tea, “Scared our turn might be next, my husband and I sat our four children, ages nine through fifteen, down, and we and our kids each talked about what we would do if a bomb hit and we were the only survivor of our family. I felt I needed to have that conversation because the possibility seemed so real, and as a mother, I needed to know that our children had a plan.” She, the counselors, the children they see, and—according to the counselors, it’s safe to say—everyone in Gaza is traumatized. When Israeli jets were heard overhead one evening while we were in Gaza City, the restimulated fear was palpable. 

On the way into Gaza City, we saw haunting skeletons of homes, people living in bombed-out buildings, and mosques, hospitals, and factories reduced to rubble. Etched in my mind probably forever will be what we witnessed in heavily bombed civilian neighborhoods. It’s hard to find words that even begin to describe the utter devastation.

Palestinian people were living in makeshift structures of cardboard and blankets, surrounded by rubble. Even though I’d seen these images online, somehow the impact of witnessing families squatting next to what was everything they had owned and what in a matter of seconds had been absolutely wiped out took my breath away, as did a large busted-up slab of concrete with names spray-painted on it of family members buried under the mounds of debris, a woman sitting on the rubble staring vacantly off into the distance, and a wedding party celebrating amid ravaged buildings.

In a refugee camp, a vivacious Palestinian woman named Reem told me she just couldn’t think about the future any more. “All I have,” she said, “is today and that’s OK as it’s filled with opportunities to help people.” Reem was opening centers in some of Gaza’s most destroyed areas, centers where children play, read, sing, learn French, plant seeds in paper cups—to maybe get a taste of what a “normal” childhood might be like. Nothing is normal in Gaza. A decade of siege and three wars has ravaged the economy, snuffed out the lives of thousands of people, wrecked the environment, and ripped apart people’s hopes that things will someday get better, that maybe there is a future.

Yasser, a gentle soul and the executive director of Gaza’s Community Mental Health Program, lost 28 members of his extended family in the 2014 war. No one in Gaza was spared from knowing someone who was killed or injured in the brutal and relentless Israeli assault. Yasser said his family speaks of 28 empty chairs.

Mohammed’s family is now 10 people fewer. One of the deceased was a young girl who was rescued after somehow surviving for 10 days under a massive pile of concrete and rebar, only to die in the hospital two days later. Her name was Yasmin. “I can’t get Yasmin and the thought of what her last days were like out of my mind,” Mohammed said, tears wetting his shirt.

Everyone yearns for the borders to open so they might be able to breathe, work, travel, study abroad, or get medical care not available in Gaza due to the shortage of everything caused by the Israeli siege. Still, most assert they would return. “Just like a fish can’t survive out of water, we can’t live out of Gaza for too long. At some point, we need to return,” said Walaa, a young woman with two graduate degrees who was unemployed in Gaza’s shattered economy.

Imad, a nurse who works full time and had not been paid for over a year, invited me to meet his wife and eight children in their extremely modest but comfortable apartment. When asked how they survive with no income and so many mouths to feed, Imad explained that everyone in Gaza does what they can to help others out, since they are all pretty much in the same boat. He then shrugged his shoulders and pensively posed the question we heard so often: “What can we do?” It’s striking that 2 million Palestinians in Gaza are imprisoned in an area that is only 25 miles long and 5 to 8 miles wide—smaller than the Portland metro area.

A marvelous facilitator, who does support groups for children in Gaza, invited me to a group she runs for 5-year-olds who lost their homes, family members, their innocence—and so much more—in the bombings. I sat in the circle with the children as they chose happy or sad faces to represent how they felt. One girl said she took a sad face because her grandfather was killed by a bomb. Others took sad faces because they had bad dreams. The facilitator told me that her own 10-year-old daughter pleaded with her during the war, “Don’t leave me alone. I want to die together.”

 

So, there’s more than enough stress, grief, pain, and sadness to go around, but there is also a remarkable amount of love, generosity, and determination. Ramadan, who translated for one of my workshops and who is working on a Ph.D. in psychology, pointed out that just as lots of folks may only appreciate their health when they become sick, Palestinians may feel the lack of a homeland more intensely, having so brutally lost it. “Others have a physical homeland, a place they live in or visit. Our homeland lives in our hearts,” Ramadan told me over coffee to the sound of the waves beating on the shore.

While walking through an area of Gaza that was heavily bombed by the Israelis, witnessing homes, apartment buildings, and a school totally leveled, I was approached by a middle-aged man who politely offered me a large manuscript covered with the dust of a blown-up neighborhood. When I asked him what it was and why he wanted to give it to me, he motioned for me to follow him across the street to a huge mound of debris. As we climbed up the pile, avoiding broken glass, twisted rebar, and busted up concrete, he pulled out his phone and showed me a picture of quite an attractive and well-maintained home—his home. He explained that we were standing on that home and that absolutely everything had been destroyed except for the manuscript, his doctoral dissertation, which was a literary critique of the works of Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot.

This professor, who had lost it all, was insisting that I take what remained of a life. I will never know for sure why. Maybe it was Palestinian hospitality that required him to give this guest something, and that was all he had to give. Perhaps he wanted me to take it to a safe place, as he well knew that nothing was safe in Gaza. Possibly this professor was saying that in spite of all the destruction the Israelis could unleash at will, there is one thing they can never destroy: ideas—not only about Pound and Eliot, but also about the restoration of justice to a people who have suffered unimaginable brutality and dispossession.

I continue to struggle with many things now, not the least of which is finding words to adequately express the intensity of the experience of getting to know, in some small but profoundly meaningful way, a number of unforgettable and beautiful people in Gaza, and catching a glimpse into the unbelievably harsh reality of their lives. It’s difficult to make sense of how the occupation and siege of Gaza, which is slowly but very steadily crushing the life of 2 million people, can be happening, and how the world is doing so little to stop it. Imad’s question, “What can we do?” echoes in my head. Some of what I can do is clear: a stronger commitment to, as Arundhati Roy says, speaking out, asserting the Palestinian struggle more broadly and more often, as we Americans are so deeply complicit in the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. More of what I can do will surely emerge with time as I continue to think about the people I met who want nothing more than to live. In Gaza, I left behind friends and a piece of my heart—a heart that was broken many years earlier by the conflict between what I had been raised to believe about Israel and what I had learned was the darker reality of Israel.

Years ago, I sincerely believed I was being more than open-minded when I tried to hold to the conviction that there were two legitimate and distinctly different narratives—one Jewish and one Palestinian, two fundamentally irreconcilable claims to the same piece of land, and that was why the conflict was so unresolvable. But what was really unresolvable was the battle that thunderously raged in my head and even more vigorously in my heart. You see, I had become a progressive on every issue, except one. I marched for civil rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, everyone’s rights, and an end to war. But when it came to Israel-Palestine, I was extraordinarily torn up. Even if what my Palestinian friends were telling me were true, how could I turn my back on my own people and my own upbringing, especially after the thousands of years of suffering that Jews had endured? Wasn’t the Jewish history of pogroms, anti-Semitism, and the horrors of the Holocaust at least as compelling, if not more so? After all, as someone named after a Holocaust victim, I was a link in a long chain. How could I contribute to undermining the Jewish struggle to reconstruct a post-Holocaust decimated people and the state of Israel that had so recently come into existence?

With time and introspection, my dual narrative world began to fray at the edges, and eventually completely unravel. Probably the crushing blow came when a Palestinian friend asked me why Jews have such a hard time incorporating the Palestinian experience into the Jewish understanding of history. I didn’t quite grasp his question and, with trepidation, asked him to explain. He challenged me to see not two separate conflicting narratives, but one history—one history of what actually happened. That question and challenge—and exploring and reexploring their answers— took me on one of the deepest and most rewarding journeys of my life. It was the struggle of fundamentally wrestling to reconcile my politics around Israel-Palestine with my bottom-of-my-heart core values, and ultimately understanding, in the very essence of my being, that my true liberation as a Jewish person is now intrinsically bound up with the authentic liberation of the Palestinian people. My sense of freedom and wholeness will only be achieved when every Jew—and every Palestinian—is free. Zionism imprisons not only Palestinian bodies but Jewish minds as well.

I came to comprehend that the wonderful Jewish tradition of “Justice, justice thou shalt pursue” required me to take a stand with others of goodwill, including many Jews, to support my Palestinian sisters and brothers in their pain, struggle, and resistance. The breakthrough for me was the ultimate realization that standing up for the Palestinian people was not turning my back on my own people. Rather, in supporting the Palestinian struggle for freedom, I was upholding Judaism’s highest values and reclaiming them for myself, in—for me—a profoundly new and personally meaningful way. Nelson Mandela said, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

Excerpted from “Palestine and my Journey of Self-Discovery,” an essay by Ned Rosch in Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism: Stories of Personal Transformation, edited by Carolyn L. Karcher. Published 2019 by Olive Branch Press, an imprint of Interlink Publishing Group. Copyright Carolyn L. Karcher and contributors.

This article was originally published by Yes” –

 

Israelis Question Effectiveness of Iron Dome: Of 700 Gaza Rockets, 240 Intercepted

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Source

May 9, 2019

Following the latest Israeli aggression on Gaza, military figures in the Zionist entity raised questions about the strength of the occupation regime’s missile defenses, including the Iron Dome.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad Palestinian resistance movement fired nearly 700 rockets in the latest escalation.

According to Haaretz Israeli daily, of the 690 rockets launched from Gaza, Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted 240. However, the occupation military claimed it had managed to knock down 86 percent of the rockets and that only 35 projectiles landed in populated areas.

The two Palestinian resistance movements were quick to declare that it had achieved victory, overwhelming Israeli defenses with concentrated barrages of projectiles.

Meanwhile, The Jerusalem Post said: “The number of unintercepted rockets and Israeli fatalities sparked inquiry about the effectiveness of Iron Dome, and whether Hamas and Islamic Jihad have found a way to thwart the system.”

The daily reported that the number of Israelis killed in the two-day conflict was only one fewer than during 2014’s war, a struggle of nearly two months, when Palestinian factions lobbed more than 4,500 projectiles at Israeli cities.

Speaking with The Jerusalem Post, Maj. Gen. Yaakov Amidror, a former national security adviser and retired head of the Military Intelligence’s Research Department, said Iron Dome had gaps in its coverage, especially when it came to short-range rockets landing within a few kilometers of the border.

“We don’t have enough time to intercept it,” he said.

Amidor also said that in the case of a car hit by an anti-tank missile near the so-called settlement of Kibbutz Yad Mordechai on Sunday, killing its Israeli driver, Iron Dome wouldn’t have helped.

“From the point of view of the system, this was an open area without people. We don’t intercept such rockets,” he said.

Meanwhile, s former deputy military intelligence chief, Brig. Gen. Meir Elran, said that while “Iron Dome has proven to be an effective means of saving lives, which also improves the flexibility of decision makers in Israel.”

“It is clear that the system as currently constituted cannot provide Israel with sufficient protection in the event of a wider conflict,” Elran added, according to JPost.

Source: Israeli media

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