Ignore the spin, the siege of Gaza endangers everyone, israelis included, so end it now

Ignore the spin, the siege of Gaza endangers everyone, Israelis included, so end it now

By Alastair Sloan | MEMO | September 16, 2017

Palestinian children sit on a horse cart in Gaza [file photo]

Save the Children reckons that the Israelis have delivered a major project in record time, with the Gaza Strip described in the NGO’s latest report as “unliveable.” The United Nations made its own prediction in 2012, giving the territory until 2020 before it would be at that inhospitable stage.

As autumn wears on and some three years ahead of the UN deadline, the Israeli government has turned basic essentials such as food, water, hospital access, education and shelter into luxury items in an enclave that the state and its supporters still claim somewhat disingenuously to have “withdrawn” from in 2005.

Of course, Save the Children and the UN aren’t to be trusted; it you pay heed to the pro-Israel lobby you will know this. The lobby has a convenient conspiracy theory that the UN is engaged in “anti-Semitism” rather than reasonable criticism of the Israeli state and its policies. Much of this lobby nonsense comes from mysterious pro-Israel organisations like “UN Watch”, which routinely derides UN predictions and announcements the moment that they are made public.

Another such group is “NGO Monitor”; it has already dismissed the Save the Children report as a “renewed anti-Israel campaign.” Which, of course, it is, and rightly so. This group condemns the respected NGO for daring to publicise the suffering of children, and suggests that Save the Children “should return to a policy of providing aid without adopting the Palestinian political narrative.”

Telling NGOs what they can and cannot do and say is in vogue in Israel, much as it is in autocratic Turkey or Hungary, but the illogical positions of NGO Monitor are still worth exposing. Consider this: “[Save the Children] also called on Israel to blindly ‘lift the Gaza blockade’ without acknowledging the rationale behind it.” NGO Monitor claims that the siege is in place, “to prevent weapon smuggling into Hamas-controlled Gaza.”

We should test this thesis that it is all the fault of Hamas, and the Israeli-led blockade of Gaza is simply the state acting in self-defence.

Fifteen year old Ali suffers from cerebral palsy, and is an example of the kind of problems engulfing a Palestinian youngster which NGO Monitor cannot have missed because his story was included in the press release which accompanied the charity’s report. Ali’s mother Yara told Save the Children:

“My son is dying in front of my eyes. He can’t sleep most nights, and suffers from continuous pain. We don’t have enough power to get his electric wheelchair and mattress fully charged. If his wheelchair doesn’t get charged, he suffers psychologically, as he sees people around him move and walk but he can’t. He feels depressed and often fights with other children. When the wheelchair runs out of battery, Ali becomes totally paralysed. He also needs constant showers as he is wearing diapers, but there is no water. We don’t get water unless there is electricity. If I don’t change his diapers and wash him regularly he will suffer from skin rashes and other problems. We have not had any tap water for two days. I feel suffocated.”

The problem here then, as with so many of the problems outlined in the report, is primarily one of electricity, or the lack thereof. This is why Ali is growing up soaked by his urine and faeces, is unnecessarily paralysed and is suffering psychologically as he grapples with one of the world’s most cruel medical conditions.

In April, Gaza’s sole power plant was forced to shut down after completely exhausting its fuel reserves; the company which runs the plant was unable to obtain fuel due to a shortage of funds. How this makes Israel any safer is unclear, but its government claims that the blockade is all about security. Having 2 million Palestinians living in Gaza in darkness surely doesn’t make Israelis more secure, does it?

Likewise the contamination of Gaza’s water supply. The Palestinian Water Authority and the UN have now warned that the territory’s fresh water aquifer, shared by Israel and Egypt, may be “completely contaminated” by the end of this year. Israel says it won’t let in more aid or spare parts to repair the water treatment plants that it destroyed in its 2008/9 military offensive. Why? Because of Hamas. That, though, doesn’t explain why Israel has repeatedly refused to allow UN Environment Programme inspectors to assess the water situation and try to improve it.

As yet another curious pro-Israel lobby organisation – the American-Israeli Co-operative Enterprise (AICE) – puts it, “There is indeed a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, but it is not to be blamed on Israel.” Thus does the lobby acknowledge the pain that is being caused, and yet it denies that its favoured state, Israel, has anything to do with it, despite controlling everything that goes into or comes out of the Gaza Strip. “Israel has consistently sent aid in many forms through the border,” claims AICE, “and the blockade will be lifted once the violent Hamas government is ousted and the people of the Gaza Strip are ready to live in peace with Israel as their neighbour.”

There is no suggestion by the lobby that Israel, which is the relative newcomer in the neighbourhood, might decide to live in peace with the Palestinians. It is, after all, Israel which has repeatedly broken ceasefires, before telling the world that Hamas started firing rockets. It is also a fact that Hamas can be remarkably quiet when given the choice. Every few years, however, the Israelis re-invade Gaza unnecessarily, launching massive military offensives with accompanying death and destruction, and then withdraw, killing, maiming or traumatising a million children in the process.

The reality is that the siege of Gaza is a manifestation of Israeli military weakness. There is no chance that Israel will re-take Gaza from Hamas by force; the resistance movement not only enjoys general popular support amongst Palestinians but, more importantly, is also expert in the kind of guerrilla warfare that the founders of Israel used to such devastating effect themselves not so many years ago. Conventional armies of the kind that Israel deploys never, ever, win against Middle Eastern militias, particularly those with a religious mindset faced with a Western-backed enemy.

The siege tactic is the only option that the Israeli government can resort to. Ten years on, it appears to be working. As making somewhere “unliveable” is essentially a form of ethnic cleansing by what claims to be a democracy, a coterie of propaganda organisations and lots of media-spin groups are required to defend Israel and gloss over that very distasteful fact.

Perhaps these spin doctors should be asking their government why it can’t defend its citizens, who all pay for the Israel Defence Forces. The answer – or their own conclusion – might then be, because the increasingly right-wing governments of Israel which control the military are stubborn and stupid. They alone are endangering the people of Israel every day through their thankless and pointless siege. So ignore the spin, the siege needs to end now, not in 2020; that will be too late for all concerned.

Read also:

Poverty rate hits 80% in Gaza

Oslo: 24 years of Palestinian losses

WHO: Israel hinders 40% of Gaza patients’ access to health care abroad

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israel denies aid workers visas

Source

MEMO | September 5, 2017

Humanitarian aid sent by Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of Turkey (AFAD) and Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) are being distributed in Gaza City, Gaza on 16 July, 2017 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Israel has suspended granting work visas to foreign charity workers delivering aid to Palestinians, according to AFP. Humanitarian organisations have noted numerous refusals or delays on the part of the Israeli government for over a year, affecting dozens of aid workers as they try to enter the country.

“This situation could escalate into crippled humanitarian operations,” a senior aid worker told AFP. “A country director who is waiting outside the country for months means timely delivery of aid will be affected.”

Israel has suspended various visas since August 2016, and in June of this year stopped issuing the B1 work visa, the most common documentation sought by those working with NGOs. Many are left working illegally on tourist visas only and fear that they could be expelled at any time.

Israeli authorities deny that the delays have been intentional and the Ministry of Social Affairs has attributed them to “ongoing inter-ministerial considerations regarding the applications approval procedure”.

Read: 15 Gazans die after Israel denies them treatment

Aid workers however, cite the length and extent of the refusals as evidence of other motives, pointing to the recent Israeli decision that would give the government the right to deny entry to those who support the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement. They argue that the right wing stance of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government have resulted in their work being curtailed.

In the past, Israel has accused aid workers of supporting Hamas, and the Gaza head of the international Christian charity World Vision Mohammed El-Halabi, is currently on trial after facing such allegations. He denies all charges.

In February, Israel also refused a visa to the US head of Human Rights Watch, claiming the group was “fundamentally biased” towards Palestinians. The authorities were forced to reverse the decision following international condemnation.

Palestinians in the occupied territories and the besieged Gaza Strip are heavily dependent on aid, the vast majority of which is distributed by international charities crossing through Israel. Such dependency has only increased in recent months as the situation in Gaza deteriorates even further. The coastal enclave faces an energy, water and healthcare crisis prompting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on his visit to the region last week to label conditions as “one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises that I’ve seen”.

 

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism against the State of Palestine (24 – 29 August 2017)

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory  (24 – 29 August 2017)

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

(24 – 29 August 2017)

 

  • 5 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
  • Israeli forces conducted 39 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one into the Southern Gaza Strip.
  • 50 civilians, including 10 children and a woman, were arrested in the West Bank.
  • Eighteen of them, including 3 children and a woman, were arrested in Jerusalem.
  • Israeli forces continued efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • A Jewish synagogue was opened in Silwan village.
  • Students of al-Aqsa Sharia School were denied access to their school in the mosque under the pretext of receiving the Palestinian curriculum books.
  • Israeli forces raided Yabus Cultural Centre and banned a Research Seminar, claiming it was organized by Hamas Movement.
  • Israeli forces continued to target the Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip Sea.
  • Seven shooting incidents were documented against Palestinian fishing boats in the northern Gaza Strip. Neither causalities nor arrests were reported.
  • Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 10th
  • Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.
  • 2 Palestinian civilians were arrested at the checkpoints in the West Bank.
  • Israeli forces arrested a Palestinian worker at Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing in the northern Gaza Strip.

 

Summary

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (24 – 29 August 2017).

 

Shooting:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 7 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Five of them, including 2 children, were wounded in the West Bank, and the 2 others, including a child, were wounded in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip continued to chase the Palestinian fishermen in the sea.

 

In the West Bank, on 25 August 2017, Israeli forces wounded 3 civilians, including a child, with rubber-coated metal bullets during Kafr Qaddoum protest, northeast of qalqilya, against the closure of the eastern entrance to the village since the beginning of al-Aqsa Intifada with an iron gate.

 

On 29 August 2017, two Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded with bullets when Israeli forces moved into Nablus to accompany dozens of settlers while entering “Josef Tomb” in the eastern side of the city to perform religious rituals. A number of children and young men gathered at the entrance to Balatah refugee camp and threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli vehicles.  The Israeli soldiers in response opened fire at them, wounding both of them.

 

In the Gaza Strip, border areas witnessed protests against the unjust closure imposed on the Gaza population.  During these protests, Israeli forces used force against the protestors, particularly when dispersing them.  As a result, 2 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded after being directly hit with tear gas canisters.

 

Concerning attacks on fishermen, on 24 August 2017, Israeli gunboats sporadically opened fire at and chased Palestinian fishing boats, northwest of Beit Lahia village, north of the Gaza Strip. The shooting recurred in the abovementioned area on 26, 27, and 28 August 2017.

On 26 August 2017, Israeli gunboats sporadically opened fire at the Palestinian fishing boats, west of al-Soudaniya area, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip.  The shooting recurred in the same area on 27 August 2017.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 39 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and 8 ones in Jerusalem. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 50 Palestinian civilians, including 10 children and a woman. Eighteen of them, including 3 children and the woman, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs.

In the Gaza Strip, on 28 August 2017, Israeli forces moved inti al-Qararah villafe, northeast of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip.  Israeli forces combed and levelled the agricultural lands along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Israeli forces later redeployed along the fence.

 

Efforts to create Jewish Majority in occupied East Jerusalem:

 

In the context of creating a Jewish majority in the City, On 24 August 2017, Israeli Ministers, members of Knesset and Rabbis opened a Jewish synagogue in the neighborhood of Batn Al-Hawa in Silwan south of occupied Jerusalem.  Zuhair al-Rajabi, Head of Batn al-Hawa neibourhood Committee, said that the Israeli Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, and Members of the Knesset as well as Rabbis and nearly 300 settlers opened a synagogue in Batn Al-Hawa in “Abu Nab” building which was seized in 2015. They brought two books from the Torah inside the property.  It should be mentioned that the building is comprised of 5 apartments and characterized by its distinctive character.  Thus, settlement organizations claim that it was a synagogue for the Jews of Yemen in the late 19th century and began to demand the evacuation of the property since 2004. The property falls within the “Ateerat Cohanim” scheme to control the 5200 square meters from the “Batn Al-Hawa” neighborhood, claiming it belongs to  Jews from Yemen since 1881.

 

As part of targeting educational institutions, on 24 August 2017, the Israeli police denied students of al-Aqsa Sharia School access to their school in the Mosque, under the pretext of receiving book of the Palestinian curriculum with the Palestinian flag printed on which.  They arrested Sheikh Najeh Bkeirat, Director of the Sharia Education in the Islamic Endowments “Aqwqa”, and Robin Muhsen, Seceterait at al-Qsa School.  They also took the ID card of teacher Nader al-Afghani and summoned him for investigation at al-Qeshlah police station in Old Jerusalem.  Al-Afghani teaches 100 female students at al-Aqsa Sharia School for Girls and 150 male students in al-Aqsa Sharia School for Boys from the 7th to 12th grade.

 

As part of targeting the NGOs, on 28 August 2017, Israeli forces raided Yabus Cultural Center on al-Zahraa’ Street and banned a research seminar.  The Israeli Intelligence Service surrounded the Center an hour before the scheduled time for the seminar.  They took the ID cards of the participants, forced them to leave the hall, and prevented anyone from entering it.  The Israeli forces then fixed a decision signed by the Israeli Police Commander in Jerusalem saying that the ban is based on the ” 2016 Anti-Terrorism Law” under the pretext that Hamas Movement organizes the seminar.

 

Restrictions on movement:

 

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

 

The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007 has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.  The Israeli authorities impose measures to undermine the freedom of trade, including the basic needs for the Gaza Strip population and the agricultural and industrial products to be exported. For 9 consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and other countries around the world. This resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 2 million people.  The Israeli authorities have established Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) as the sole crossing for imports and exports in order to exercise its control over the Gaza Strip’s economy.  They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s exports. The Israeli closure raised the rate of poverty to 65%. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 47% and youth constitutes 65% of the unemployed persons.  Moreover, 80% of the Gaza Strip population depends on international aid to secure their minimum daily needs. These rates indicate the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.

 

In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to suffocate the Palestinian cities and village by imposing military checkpoints around and/or between them. This created “cantons” isolated from each other that hinders the movement of civilians. Moreover, the Palestinian civilians suffering aggravated because of the annexation wall and checkpoints erected on daily basis to catch Palestinians.

 

 

 

Details

 

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

 

Thursday, 24 August 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Laqia village, southwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and then confiscated 3 civilians namely Fouad ‘Asi, Adeeb Mafarjah and Abdul Karim Jamal ‘Asi.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Awa village, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Jalal Naji al-Suwaiti (30) and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Taqou’ village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Ashraf Mahmoud Salah (39) and Rezeq Shehadah Salah (44) and then arrested them.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into ‘Aydah refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Ali ‘Afanah Jawarish (12) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Kafel Hares village, north of Salfit. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested 4 civilians, including 2 children, namely Eyad Raed Fayez al-Qaq (16), Anas Saber Hamad Shaqour (17), Ahmed Marwan Saleh Buziyah (23) and ‘Odai Hasan Shaqour (23). The soldiers also stole about NIS 1200 and JD 50 from a house belonging to Marwan Saleh Buziyah when they arrested his son Ahmed, but the soldiers denied that. Marwan said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“At approximately 03:00 on Thursday, 24 August 2017, my sons and I were in the living room as we were expecting the Israeli forces to come to our house after we knew they were in the village. My son, Ahmed, has always been in permanent confrontation with the Israeli forces, so his arrest was expected. The door was suddenly opened as the soldiers broke it with a special machine without knocking on the door. A large number of Israeli soldiers deployed all over the house while other soldiers searched the rooms. We knew that the soldiers will steal our money from the closet as I was saving it preparing for Eid al-Adha. While the soldiers were leaving the house, my wife went to the closet and opened it, but did not find the money. I quickly followed the officer and informed him that his soldiers stole money from me, but he denied that. The officer then ordered each soldier to take his wallet out of his pocket, but he did not search or even open them. He then promised me that he will turn the money back, but in vain, and this how they stole about NIS 1200 and JD 50.”

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Shyoukh village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Sabri Zohour (20) and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron, and stationed in Khelet al-‘Ein. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Ayman Nawaf Ahmed Sabarnah and Ra’ed Ahmed Mufleh ‘Adi. The Israeli forces later withdrew from the village, and no arrests were reported.

 

  • At approximately 04:10, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia village in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. They also fired flare bombs and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage were reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: al-Shyoukh and al-Burj villages in Hebron and Joyous village, northeast of Qalqiliyah.

 

Friday, 25 August 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested Ra’fat ‘Ali Thawabtah (27).

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Bani Na’im, Qalqas and Beit Awa villages in Hebron.

 

Saturday, 26 August 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into the southern area in Hebron, and stationed in Abu Suneinah neighbourhood. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of ‘Arafat Ya’qub Rashid Abu Romouz (39). They later withdrew, and no arrests were reported.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Jenin and stationed in the eastern neighbourhood. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mahmoud Husam al-Nassar (22) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:15, Israeli forces moved into Beit Sahour. They raided and searched a house belonging to Hamadah Omer ‘Obayat and then handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement complex, south of the city.

 

  • At approximately 19:30, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia village in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. They also fired flare bombs and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage were reported.

 

  • At approximately 22:00, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, west of al-Sudaniyah area, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles. They also fired flare bombs and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage were reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (5) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqiliyah; al-Quds Street and Sateh Marhaba neighborhood in al-Birah; Kafer al-Deek village, west of Salfit; Hebron and Salfit village.

 

Sunday, 27 August 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Zubaidat village, north of Jericho. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested 4 civilians namely Abdullah Ahmed Zubaidat, Murad Salamah Zubaidat, Mo’tasem Eyad Zubaidat and Ibrahim Saleh Zubaidat.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Abu Katilah neighborhood in Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Baraa’ Mousa Dufash (26) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Husan village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched 2 house belonging to Mohammed ‘Essa Hamamrah (19) and Sanad Mohammed Hamamrah (19) and then arrested them.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Bani Na’im village, east of Hebron. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Hani Ramzi al-Khdour (22) and Ahmed ‘Ali Tarairah (19) and then arrested them.

 

  • At approximately 07:00, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia village in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. They also fired flare bombs and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage were reported.

 

  • At approximately 20:20, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, west of al-Sudaniyah area, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles. They also fired flare bombs and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage were reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: al-‘Aroub refugee camp, Surif and Taffuh villages in Hebron.

 

Monday, 28 August 2017

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Arabah village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to Abdul Jabbar Jehad Abu Salah (19) and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into ‘Aydah refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Adam Mohammed Darwish (15) and Farouq  Ma’moun  Bdair (22) and then arrested them.

 

  • At approximately 05:30, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia village in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. They also fired flare bombs and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage were reported. The Israeli gunboats targeted the Palestinian fishing boats again at approximately 07:50 on the same day.

 

  • At approximately 08:30, Israeli forces accompanied with a number of military heavy vehicles moved about 100 meters into the east of al-Qararah village, northeast of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. They leveled and combed the lands along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. The incursion continued for several hours and then redeployed along the abovementioned border fence.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Beit Awla, Sa’ir, al-Hadab villages and al-‘Aroub refugee camp in Hebron.

 

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Arabah village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ahmed Fatin Mousa (22). They then arrested him and confiscated his cell phone. It should be noted that the abovementioned civilian is a student at the Arab American University.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Kafer Ra’ai village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to Fakhri al-Atrash. They then arrested Fakhri’s sons, Yusuf and Mohammed.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Nahalin village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested 3 children namely Mohammed Rezeq Najajrah (19), Mahmoud Taleb Najajrah (16) and Khalaf shadi Najajrah (14).

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Nablus to protect dozens of settlers while they enter Joseph’s Tomb in the eastern side of the city to perform religious rituals and Talmudic prayers. A number of youngsters gathered at the entrance to Balata refugee camp and threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli forces. The soldiers fired live bullets at them. As a result, a 22-year-old civilian sustained a two-two bullet wound to the right side of the abdomen and a 17-year-old child sustained a two-two bullet wound to the right leg. They were transferred to Rafidiya Governmental Hospital in Nablus to receive medical treatment. Their wounds were classified as moderate.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Qalqiliyah and ‘Azoun village, east of the city, and al-Thaheriyah and al-Majd villages in Hebron.

 

 

Demonstrations in protest against the annexation wall and settlement activities

 

West Bank:

 

  • At approximately 13:30 on Friday, 25 August 2017, Palestinian civilians and International activists organized a protest in the center of Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah. They made their way to the eastern entrance to the village in protest against closing that entrance since the beginning of al-Aqsa Intifada with an iron gate. When the protesters approached the entrance, the Israeli forces fired metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, a 37-year-old civilian sustained a metal bullet wound to the head; an 18-year-old civilian sustained a metal bullet wound to the abdomen; and an 8-year-old child sustained a metal bullet wound to the left leg.

 

  • Following the Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized protests in Bil’in and Ni’lin villages, west of Ramallah; al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protesters, firing live and metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. They also chased protesters into olive fields and between the houses. As a result, some of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up.

 

 

Gaza Strip:

 

  • At approximately 16:00 on the same Friday, 25 August 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians gathered near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, in response to calls for protests in the border area against the Israeli measures in occupied Jerusalem. A number of the young men set fire to tires and threw stones at the Israeli forces stationed along the abovementioned border fence. The soldiers fired live bullets, tear gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets at them. The clashes continued until approximately 20:00 on the same day. As a result, a 22-year-old civilian, from Jabalia, was hit with a tear gas canister to the back; and a 15-year-old child, from al-Shija’iyah neighborhood in Gaza, was hit with a tear gas canister to the back. The wounded civilians were transferred to the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia. Their injuries were classified as minor.

(PCHR keeps the name of the wounded 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.

 

Movement at Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing, southeast of Rafah, is designated for the movement of goods

 

Date Imports
Category Amount
Tons Number Liters
22 August Various goods 4539
Humanitarian aid 15164
Cooking gas 289.980
Benzene 114,061
DieselDiesel for UNRWA 823,61338,000
Construction aggregates 12320
Cement 2040
Construction steel 284
23 August

 

 

Various goods 3381
Humanitarian aid 15540
Cooking gas 289,300
Benzene 114,229
DieselDiesel for UNRWA 877,91876,000
Construction aggregates 11440
Cement 2960
Construction steel 446
24 August Various goods 4114
Humanitarian aid 14916
Cooking gas 288,760
Benzene 228,028
DieselDiesel for UNRWA 637,81338.000
Construction aggregates 10960
Cement 2160
Construction steel 1172
Various goods 3092
Humanitarian aid 15362
27 August Cooking gas 267,050
Benzene 152,017
DieselDiesel for UNRWA 606,06275,982
Construction aggregates 11880
Cement 2240
Construction steel 698

 

 

Exports:

 

On Wednesday, 23 August 2017, Israeli forces allowed the exportation of a truckload of vegetables, a truckload of fish, a truckload of clothes, a truckload of furniture and a truckload of aluminum scraps.

On Thursday, 24 August 2017, Israeli forces allowed the exportation of a truckload of vegetables.

On Sunday, 27 August 2017, Israeli forces allowed the exportation of a truckload of vegetables, a truckload of furniture and a truckload of tomatoes.

 

 

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

(22-28 August 2017)

 

Category 22 August 23 August 24 August 25 August 26 August  27August  28August
Patients 35 42 29 5 55 24
Companions 29 38 23 4 49 21
Personal needs 34 38 39 21 23 27
Familiesof prisoners 7
Arabs fromIsrael 3 20 4 9 2
Diplomats 2 1
International journalists 1
International workers 14 30 73 6 17 17
Travelersabroad 51 2 1
Business people 109 112 118 1 165 107
Business meetings 1
Security interviews 2 4 7 1 3
VIPs 1 3 2
Ambulances to Israel 6 2 5 2 4 3
Patients’ Companions 6 2 25 2 4 4

 

Notes: on Thursday, 24 August 2017, Israeli forces allowed the entry of two dead bodies to the Gaza Strip.

 

Israel has imposed a tightened closure on the West Bank. During the reporting period, Israeli forces imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians:

 

  • Hebron: Israeli forces established (13) checkpoints all over the city.

On Thursday, 24 August 2017, Israeli forces established 4 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hebron, at the entrance to al-Fawar refugee camp and at the entrances to Sa’ir and al-Shayyoukh villages.

On Friday, 25 August 2017, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to al-Dahiriyia village, at the western entrance to Hebron and at the entrance to Kharsa village.

On Saturday, 26 August 2017, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummer and Kharsa villages.

On Sunday, 27 August 2017, 3 similar checkpoints were established at the southern entrance to Hebron, at the entrance to al-Fawar refugee camp and on Deir Razieh road.

On MondaY, 28 August 2017, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp, at the entrance to Beit Kahel village and on Raboud road.

 

 Qalqiliyia: Israeli forces established (7) checkpoints all over the city.

At approximately 12:45 on Thursday, 24 August 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Qalqiliyia.

At approximately 18:15, a similar checkpoint was established at the entrance to Jeet village, northeast of the city.

At approximately 21:50 on Friday, 25 August 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Kafur Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilyia.

At approximately 23:20, a similar checkpoint was established at the entrance to ‘Azoun village, east of the city.

At approximately 18:20 on Saturday, 26 August 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqilyia.

At approximately 08:10 on Saturday, 26 August 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Qalqilyia.

At approximately 16:00, a similar checkpoint was established under the bridge of Askaka village, east of the city.

 

Salfit: Israeli forces established (3) checkpoints all over the city.

 

At approximately 19:15 on Thursday, 24 August 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint under the bridge of Askaka village, east of Salfit.

At approximately 09:20 on Sunday, 27 August 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Rafat village, west of Salfit.

At approximately 21:00, a similar checkpoint was established between Kaful Hares and Hares villages, north of the city.

 

Arrests at Military Checkpoints:

 

  • At approximately 18:00 on Thursday, 24 August 2017, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the intersection of al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah. They stopped Palestinian civilians’ vehicles and checked their IDs. In the meantime, they arrested ‘Ahd Hazem al-Remawi (16), from Beit Rimah village, northwest of the city.

 

  • On Saturday, 26 August 2017, Israeli forces stationed at “Container” checkpoint, northeast of Bethlehem, arrested Yousef Iyyas Sarahnah (22), from al-Dahisha camp, south of the city.

 

 

Efforts to Create 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, 24 August 2017, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested Iyad al-A’war (41), Mohamed Dawoud al-‘Abasi (25) and Hamad Abed al-Men’iem al-A’war (24).

 

  • At approximately 07:00 on Thursday, Israeli police prevented the students of al-Aqsa Sharia School for Boys from entering their school inside the mosque under the pretext of receiving the Palestinian curriculum books with the Palestinian flag printed on them. They also arrested the Director of Sharia Education in Awqaf, Sheikh Najah Bakirat, and the Secretary of the Al-Aqsa School, Robin Mohsen. Moreover, the Israeli police checked the ID card of teacher Nader al-Afghani and summonsed him for investigation in “al-Qashlah” police station in Jerusalem’s Old City. According to PCHR’s investigation, Israeli forces stationed at al-Asbat (Lion) Gate, prevented the students from entering to their school inside the mosque after they received their books. It should be noted that the school administration distributed books to students at al-Asbat (Lion) Gate’s yard. The Israeli forces checked the books’ content after searching the students’ bags. They also checked the ID card of the Secretary of the Al-Aqsa school, Robin Mohsen and detained his car, where there were books. On Tuesday, 22 August 2017, the Israeli police prevented entering schoolbooks into the al-Aqsa Shari’a School for Girls through al-Asbat (Lion) Gate, under the pretext of “They are issued by the Palestinian Authority”. As a result, the school was forced to distribute the books for students in a parking near al-Asbat (Lion) Gate. There are 100 female students in al-Aqsa Sharia School and around 150 male students in al-Aqsa Shari’a School for Boys.

 

  • At approximately 09:00 on Thursday, Israeli forces raided and searched the Orphanage Secondary School in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They then arrested Ihab Shaheen (16) and Mohamed Mz’row (16) from their class under the pretext of throwing stones.

 

  • At approximately 11:30, Israeli forces moved into Hitah Gate neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested Mo’men Hashim (22) and Mo’tasem al-Rajabi (23).

 

  • At approximately 02:00 on Saturday, 26 August 2017, Israeli forces moved into Sho’fat refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Jaber family. They then arrested Mohamed (23) and Taha Jaber (25) and summoned their 3rd brother Mahmoud (21) to question him. Mahmoud was not home, and was released only few months ago after serving 5 years in the Israeli jails. Jaber family said that over 40 Israeli soldiers raided their house rooms, searched them and damaged their contents. They also beat up and pushed the family members and then arrested Mohamed and Taha, in addition to summoning their brother Mahmoud. The family added that the Israeli forces asked Malak (10) and Yaseen (12), who were inside the house, about their brother Mahmoud. The family said that Malak was afraid during the house raid, which continued for 5 hours.

 

  • At approximately 02:30 on Monday, 28 August 2017, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested ‘Emad al-Deen Khalil al-‘Abasi (30) and Mohamed Yousef Abu Taieh (21).

 

  • At approximately 16:00, Israeli forces moved into Yabous Cultural Center on al-Zahra Street in the center of occupied East Jerusalem. They prevented holding a seminar to discuss a research prepared by Prof. Mazen al-Ja’bari. The Israeli Intelligence Service surrounded the center an hour before the scheduled time for the seminar. They also checked the IDs of all people inside the hall, and then forced them to leave. They prevented anyone from entering the hall and hanged the decision, which was signed by the Israeli Police Commander in Jerusalem. The ban was based on the “Anti-Terrorism Law of 2016, under the pretext of the seminar being organized by Hamas Movement.

 

  • At approximately 23:00 on Monday, Israeli forces raided and searched a house belonging to Anas Bastah Shatarah (18) and arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 01:00 on Tuesday, 29 August 2017, Israeli forces moved into al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses from which they arrested 3 civilians, including a child. The arrested persons were identified as Fisal Shabanah (17), ‘Adnan Mousa al-Hidrah (19) and ‘Oday Marwan al-Hidrah (20).

 

  • At approximately 13:00 on Tuesday, Israeli forces arrested Raiedah Sa’ied while she was at al-Asbat (Lion) Gate. Raiedah was then taken to an investigation center in occupied Jerusalem.

 

opening of Synagogue in Silwan village

 

  • At approximately 17:00 on Thursday, 24 August 2017, Israeli Ministers, Knesset members and rabbis opened a Jewish synagogue in the Baten Al Hawa neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and imposed a tight cordon on the village neighborhoods. Zuhair al-Rajabi, head of the Baten al-Hawa Committee, said that the Israeli Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, along with Knesset members, rabbis and around 300 Israeli settlers opened a synagogue in Baten al-Hawa neighborhood in Abu Nab building, which was sezied in 2015. They also entered two Torah books inside the synagogue. Before that, the Israeli settlers organized a demonstration, which started from al-‘Ain neighborhood and passed by al-Bostan neighborhood until arriving at the synagogue location, where they danced and sang. Al- Rajabi said that the Israeli forces deployed at the main entrances to Silwan village. Moreover, in the evening, the Israeli forces increased their presence in the village streets while a number of Israeli snipers topped the roof of many buildings after threatening their owners. Al-Rajabi added that, the Israeli forces imposed a cordon for over 5 consecutive hours on many neighborhoods in Silwan village, especially in al-‘Ain, al-Bostan and Baten al-Hawa areas and on Beir Ayoub Street. The Israeli forces also prevented the village residents from using many roads. Additionally, a helicopter was flying above the village. It should be noted that the Israeli settlers seized a building belonging to Abu Nab family in 2015, which is comprised of 5 apartments. The settlement organization claimed that in the late 19th century, the above-mentioned building was a synagogue for the Yemen Jews and began to demand for the evacuation of the building since 2004. The building is part of the “Ateret Cohnim” scheme to control 5 dunums and 200 square meters from the Baten Al Hawa neighborhood, under the pretext that it used to belong to Jews from Yemen since 1881.

 

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 10 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 in 2017 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

israel never turns away an injured ISIS terrorist but Denies Medical to Gazans

Israeli Denial of Medical Care Leads to the Death of 15 Gazans

A Palestinian boy receives dialysis treatment at a hospital in Gaza on [Photo: MEMO/Ashraf Amra/Apaimages)

Some 15 Gaza residents have died since the start of 2017 after Israel denied terminally ill patients the necessary permits to travel outside the besieged Strip for medical treatment.

Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights revealed the figures in a statement yesterday, condemning the Israeli blockade on the coastal enclave that has resulted in its healthcare service being brought “to its knees”, in the words of the World Health Organization.

Al-Mezan cited the cases of two women who were refused travel documentation on numerous occasions: Kaenat Jarour, a 42-year-old uterine cancer patient, and Faten Ahmed, a 26-year-old woman who died as a result of a brain tumor due to Israel’s refusal to allow her to re-enter Jerusalem where she had initially received treatment.

Four patients whose travel applications were approved attempted to make the journey to Israel, only to be arrested alongside their family members at the Beit Hanoun crossing. Others who make the journey are often beaten and interrogated at checkpoints by Israeli occupying authorities.

The Israeli government shirks its international legal obligations by denying residents of Gaza the flow of necessary medical relief and supplies into Gaza, while simultaneously denying and delaying the movement that residents require to seek the care outside of Gaza the statement added.

As Gaza’s two million residents struggle to survive with a maximum of only four hours of electricity a day, an estimated 40 percent of necessary drugs are also unavailable or will be depleted within a month. Medical funding to the Strip has also been cut by Israel at the request of the Palestinian Authority (PA), as they attempt to pressure Gaza’s de-facto government Hamas into relinquishing control.

Last month, Palestinians protested at the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) condemning the international organization’s failure to stem the crisis. Many described the UN’s inaction as tacit approval of the Israeli blockade on Gaza

UN Secretary-General’s Hollow Call to Lift Gaza Blockade

UN Secretary-General’s Hollow Call to Lift Gaza Blockade

By Stephen Lendman,

When has the UN done anything significant to help beleaguered Palestinians, especially Gazans suffocating under illegal blockade – imposed for political, not security, reasons!

The UN serves Western interests, mainly America’s, doing nothing to hold Israel accountable for decades of high crimes against millions of Palestinians and regional countries.

No one becomes UN secretary-general without Washington’s approval, appointed to serve its interests and those of its allies.

The world body head and key officials consistently fail to observe their own charter principles – doing nothing “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind.”

They never denounce flagrant US-dominated NATO high crimes of war, against humanity and genocide.

They don’t uphold fundamental human rights when violators are Western countries.

After publishing an important Richard Falk/Virginia Tilley report, titled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” discussing how Israel persecutes and dominates defenseless Palestinians, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres ordered it pulled, instead of praising its accuracy and urging more reports like it.

It’s what his charter principles obligate him to do – upholding human rights, “maintain(ing) international peace and security,” serving the “common interest,” doing the right things at all times, according to international law.

On Sunday, Guterres arrived in Israel on the pretext of helping to find a solution to the longstanding Israeli/Palestinian conflict – knowing it’s unattainable because Washington and Israel want endless conflict and instability. Peace defeats their sinister agenda.

Following meetings with Netanyahu and Israeli officials, Guterres met with longtime Israeli collaborator Abbas, followed by a photo-op in Gaza.

He called for what he’s done nothing to achieve – Palestinian national reconciliation and lifting of Israel’s decade-long illegal blockade.

Calling Gaza “one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises” he’s seen – ignored the world body doing nothing to end it since illegally imposed in mid-2007 – in response to Hamas’ January 2006 democratic election as Palestine’s legitimate government.

Like his predecessors, Guterres hasn’t acknowledged it, pretending Abbas serves legitimately – selected, not elected, Palestinian president.

Saying it’s “important to open closures,” announcing release of $4 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund for UN operations in Gaza, repeating his support for a two-state solution, urging Israel and Palestinians live side-by-side in peace, and calling on Palestinian factions to unit accomplished nothing toward ending their suffering at the hands of a ruthless occupier.

Ahead of his press conference, families of Palestinian political prisoners protested near Israel’s Erez border crossing with Gaza against Guterres’ entry to the Territory.

He’s an imperial tool like his predecessors. He declined to meet with Hamas’ leadership, in deference to Israel and Washington, an unacceptable affront.

His visit accomplished nothing toward ending Palestinian suffering – Washington and Israel united against their interests, Guterres doing nothing to change things responsibly during seven months in office. Expect nothing from him ahead except meaningless rhetoric, the way the UN always operates.

As secretary-general, Guterres is part of the longstanding problem, not the solution.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Iran and Hamas restore relations, includes major military support

Iran and Hamas restore relations, includes major military support

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:30 A.M.) – After six years of diplomatic disillusionment between Iran and Hamas due to different opinions and fundamental loyalties regarding the Syrian War, the two’s foreign offices have official restored full relations.

Yesterday it was announced by the military leader of Hamas, Yehya al-Sinwar, that diplomatic ties with Iran had been completely healed and that the relationship between the two is “returning to what it was in the old days.”

Indeed, to go with a return to the “old days” is a resurgence of Iranian military support for Hamas.

To this end, Sinwar also clarified that Iran is currently the “largest supporter of the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas’ military wing) with money and arms” and that this was linked directly to the great reconciliation between the two.

Iran’s renewed support for Hamas now further weakens the position of the President Mahmoud Abbas’ Western-backed government in Gaza that is already quite unpopular among Palestinians due to failed domestic policies (namely with regards to energy) which are linked to its inability to properly manage state finances

NGO: Palestinian Territories Facing Worsening Child Protection Crisis

NGO: Palestinian Territories Facing Worsening Child Protection Crisis

Hundreds of Palestinian children are arrested and face ill-treatment by Israeli forces each year. (Photo: via Alarabiya)

Ahead of World Humanitarian Day, to be marked on August 19th, as the United Nations (UN) prepares a global awareness campaign on the impact of conflict on humanitarian aid workers and the broader civil society, including children and families, the occupied Palestinian territory is facing a “worsening child protection crisis” brought on by 50 years of Israel’s military occupation, according to Jennifer Moorehead, director of Save the Children – Palestine.

“Today, there are more than 2 million Palestinian children who face increasing violations of their rights: displacement and forcible transfer, the demolition and destruction of homes and schools, arbitrary arrest and detention, harassment at checkpoints, and frequent violence and intimidation when they are simply trying to reach school, as well as when they are at school,” Moorehead said in a statement Thursday.

According to Save the Children, in 2016 alone, there were “256 education-related violations” documented by UNICEF and Save the Children, affecting the education of 29,230 Palestinian students.

Between January and March 2017, the group documented 24 cases of “direct attacks” against Palestinian schools; many Palestinian students often come under fire from tear gas canisters and sound bombs on their way to school.

In 2016, more than 20,000 pupils lost important school time due to obstructions,such as delays at checkpoints or areas declared closed for Israeli military use, as well as the arrest and detention of children in and around schools, Moorehead said.

In the case of Gaza, where more than two million Palestinians suffer under a crippling Israeli siege, the humanitarian crisis has been exacerbated by an ongoing electricity crisis, that has left Gazans with little more than three to four hours of electricity a day.

“The education sector is facing a crisis of its own,” Moorehead noted, highlighting that 70.4 percent of UNRWA schools and 62.8 percent of schools run by the Ministry of Education operate on a double or triple shift system and are struggling to accommodate such a high number of students.

Moorehead said that as the start of the new school year is just weeks away, the energy shortages “will have a devastating impact on the ability of schools to operate and provide a safe environment for children to learn.”

“Save the Children, along with other agencies and partners, calls upon world leaders to take action to protect children’s inalienable right to safe access to a quality education and to guarantee the special protection afforded to children in areas of conflict,” she said.

In a June report, the Palestinian Ministry of Information said that some 12,000 Palestinian children were detained by Israel in the span of 17 years, adding that the overwhelming majority of them were beaten or tortured while in Israeli custody, handcuffed, blindfolded, and forced to confess to charges in the absence of a lawyer or guardian

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