Palestinian NGO Network calls for serious pressure to end the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip

2 Feb

Palestinians gather at the Unknown Soldier’s Square to protest the visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Gaza Strip [Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian Non-Government Organisations Network (PNGO) statement, 2 February 2023.

The Palestinian Non-Government Organisations Network (PNGO) warns of the serious repercussions of the continued deterioration of the economic, social, and humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip as a result of the continued Israeli blockade for the sixteenth year in a row. The Humanitarian Response Plan for 2023 launched by the United Nations and its local and international partners stressed the need for more than $500 million to cover the humanitarian needs in the occupied Palestinian territory and to allocate more than 70% of it to the Gaza Strip.

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Gaza patients at grave risk as Israel bans diagnostic medical equipment

2 Feb
Palestinian medics in Gaza staged a protest of ambulances along the boundary fence with Israel recently. [Arab News video]

‘Slow death’: Gaza’s health workers protest Israeli blockade

The Palestinian health ministry says Israeli import restrictions on medical equipment are putting people’s lives at risk.

Amid increasing tensions in the occupied West Bank and Israel, health workers in Gaza have been fighting their own struggle to procure vital medical equipment for hospitals in the beleaguered coastal territory.

[Recently] a convoy of about 25 ambulances from Gaza drove along the Israeli border to protest import restrictions on medical equipment that the Palestinian health ministry says are crippling hospitals in Gaza.

Gaza Ministry of Health spokesman Asraf al-Qudra calls for ‘direct pressure on the Israeli occupation’ to end the restrictions on the import of medical supplies to besieged Gaza. [Middle East Eye video]

“Preventing the entry of medical devices means the slow death of Gaza patients,” read a banner on one of the ambulances in the convoy. “Medical equipment is crumbling,” another said.

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EU delegation visits Gaza to assess humanitarian situation

2 Feb
European Union Representative in West Bank and Gaza Sven Kuehn von Burgsdorff receives information as he visits a school affiliated with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) at Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza City, Gaza on February 01, 2023. [Ashraf Amra – Anadolu Agency]

GAZA CITY, Palestine, Anadolu Agency, 2 February 2023

A European delegation arrived in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday to assess the humanitarian situation in the blockaded territory.

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A generation under blockade:

29 Jan

New report examines life in Gaza after 17 years of Israeli blockade

Euro-Med Monitor, Geneva, 28 January 2023

The humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip remains dire as the 17th year of the Israeli blockade draws to a close, said Euro-Med Monitor in a statement, urging all concerned parties to put pressure on Israel to end its illegal blockade of the Strip.

In its annual report on the blockade, entitled “A generation under blockade,” Euro-Med Monitor noted that the Israeli blockade has impoverished more than 61% of Gaza’s total population of about two million and 380 thousand people. Moreover, it has disrupted the work of approximately 47% of workers and left nearly 53% of the population facing food insecurity.

Euro-Med Monitor video of the report

Israeli restrictions on the movement of people and goods into and out of Gaza through the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings have remained in place, with exit permits primarily limited to humanitarian cases and only following lengthy security checks. Under security pretexts, Israeli authorities continue to prohibit the entry of a large number of essential materials and equipment for the health, commercial, and production sectors in Gaza.

   Entering its eighteenth year, the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip reflects an abject moral and humanitarian failure on the part of all United Nations and international entities   

Victoria Ceretti, a researcher at Euro-Med Monitor

Over the last year, Israeli authorities granted about 17,000 workers from Gaza permits to work inside Israel after lengthy security and administrative procedures. This will not, however, alleviate the severity of the Strip’s economic crisis, as the consequences of Israel’s blockade have severely harmed all economic and humanitarian sectors, causing long-term damage that requires the lifting of all restrictions imposed on those sectors.

Read the Full report

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International Webinar:

25 Jan

Mark Seddon is live with Diana Buttu and Omar Baddar for a Deep Dive illuminating the latest iteration of Israel’s evermore extreme right wing government.

We’ll be exploring the Netanyahu-led government’s rhetoric and actions which have already included explicit calls for more land grabs across the West Bank and the expulsion of more Palestinians from their homes.

We’ll also be questioning the nature of the ongoing protests in Tel Aviv and what they reveal about the wider concern among the Israeli public, or lack of it, for the millions of Palestinians enduring Israel’s ongoing occupation.

Diana Buttu is a lawyer & former adviser to the negotiating team of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Omar Baddar is a media producer & political analyst. Formerly with the Institute for Middle East Understanding, Al Jazeera Stream & the Arab American Institute.

Webinar hosted by the Palestine Chronicle and Deep Dive.

Link to Facebook page and YouTube recording:

https://m.facebook.com/events/556952716346421/?r

NZ speaking tour by Br Peter Bray

23 Jan

Taranaki’s Brother Peter Bray FSC, Vice-Chancellor of Bethlehem University, is making a speaking tour of Aotearoa-New Zealand’s Catholic dioceses talking about how Kiwis can help bring peace to the Holy Land.

Br Peter has been invited by the NZ Catholic Bishops Conference for a speaking tour of the six dioceses between 24 January and 9 February.

Br Peter moved from Wellington to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, in 2008 to take up the vice-chancellor role. His work as a teacher and education consultant has taken him around the world.

Bethlehem University was founded by Br Peter’s De la Salle Bothers in 1973. It was the first registered university established in the Occupied West Bank territory of Palestine and is the only Catholic university in the Holy Land. It currently has 3259 students (Muslim and Christian), 17,282 graduates and 214 faculty members. It celebrates its Golden Jubilee this year.

Br Peter’s speaking tour follow the New Zealand Catholic bishops publishing a statement last July urging action to solve the decades-old Israel-Palestine issue.

This is the itinerary for his tour:

Diocese of Palmerston North
• Tuesday 24 January, 7pm St Mary’s Church, Taradale, 58 Osier Road, Greenmeadows, Napier
• Wednesday 25 January, 7pm Te Rau Aroha-The Diocesan Centre, Palmerston North, 33 Amesbury Street
• Thursday 26 January, 7pm St Joseph’s Church, New Plymouth, 106 Powderham Street

Archdiocese of Wellington
• Monday 30 January, 6.30pm St Thomas More Church & Hall, 30 Worcester Street, Wilton

Diocese of Dunedin
• Tuesday 31 January, 7pm Holy Name Catholic Church, 420 Great King Street, Dunedin North

Diocese of Christchurch
• Thursday 2 February, 7.30pm Villa Maria College, Te Manawa Atawhai Catherine McAuley Centre, 21 Peer Street, Upper Riccarton, Christchurch

Diocese of Hamilton
• Tuesday, 7 February, 5pm Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 494 Grey St, Hamilton East

Diocese of Auckland
• Wednesday, 8 February, 7pm Poynton Room, Pompallier Diocesan Centre, 30 New Street, Ponsonby, Auckland 
• Thursday 9 February, 7pm St Francis Xavier Catholic School staff room, Whangarei, 1 Percy Street, Kensington

In preparation for his speaking tour, Br Peter has made three videos based on his daily work with Palestinians and Palestinian students at Bethlehem University. The videos are online here.

The bishops’ statement on Palestine is online here.

Link to original post: https://www.catholic.org.nz/news/media-releases/brpeter-nztour/

Special event

18 Jan

Palestinian Youth Aotearoa Hosts a fundraiser and performance by Aseel Tayeh Bukjeh’s Founder.

See here – www.PYA.org.nz


Bukjeh translates to ‘a small pack of belongings carried by travelers’. We encourage our communities to share their art and stories, embracing the diverse range of storytelling forms-spoken word, music, songs, visual arts and language.

Bukjeh builds social cohesion, harmony and inclusion of those who have been displaced, creating a culturally safe space by embracing and respecting diversity of background, experience, ideas, thoughts and feelings. Bukjeh delivers a range of projects and activities to audiences all over Australia through virtual and in person programs and projects.

Learn more about Bukjeh on https://bukjeh.org/

Date and time

The Resurrection of Palestinian Cinema?

17 Jan

The cultural war between Palestinians and Israel seems to be taking a new turn.

5th edition of Gaza Red Carpet Film Festival held at Amer Theaters in Gaza City, Gaza on December 04, 2019. Photo by Anadolu Images.

CULTUREBY YOUSEF M. ALJAMAL, Politics Today, 16 January 2023

Palestinian cinema was among the first to emerge in the Middle East and North Africa along with Egyptian and Syrian cinemas. Egyptian cinema started production in 1923, followed by Syrian cinema in 1928 and Palestinian cinema in 1935. However, at the time, it was barely possible to separate Palestinian and Syrian national identities, which only emerged after the division of the region by imperial powers. Before then, Palestine was known as “Southern Syria” and was part of Greater Syria, which included today’s Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine.

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Martin Luther King, Ahmad Sa’adat, and the resilience of political prisoners

14 Jan

International week of action to free Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners from 14-24 January

Palestinian prisoner Ahmed Sa’adat. (Photo: Via Samidoun)

By Benay Blend, Palestine Chronicle, 11 January 2023

In August 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote a letter in response to a public statement of concern and caution by eight white religious leaders from the American South. January 16, 2023, marks the anniversary of his birthday, celebrated yearly as a Federal holiday in the States. In answer to the charge that problems in the South were caused by “outside agitation,” King replied with his well-known phrase: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” just as much in Birmingham as in Atlanta where he lived.

“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality,” King continued, “tied in a single garment of destiny…Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider.” In 2022, King’s axiom should be extended to include oppression anywhere in the world, in particular contemporary Palestine.

Last year Israeli Occupation Forces detained approximately 7,000 Palestinians, making it the deadliest 12 months since 2005 for those living under Occupation. In Palestine, detainment is meant to break the spirit of resistance.

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Time to reassess NZ’s Middle East stance

12 Jan

NZPA chair, John Minto (Kia Ora Gaza photo)

OPINION: John Minto, Opinion, NZ Herald, 12 January 2023

The swearing-in of the new far-right Israeli governmentmeans New Zealand must reassess its policy towards the Middle East.

Like most Western governments, and indeed most Western media, we have preferred to avoid the issue because it’s been made uncomfortable to talk about and seemingly difficult to deal with. However, we can no longer look the other way.

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Palestinian/US comedian is coming to Auckland

12 Jan

One NZ show only – Get your tickets here: http://www.amerzahr.com

Hosted by Palestinian Youth Aotearoa

VIDEO: The search for drinking water in Palestine

30 Dec

Abdallah Aljamal follows the everyday struggle of Palestinian women to obtain drinking water. (Photo: video grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff, 30 December 2022

In this latest production by the Palestine Chronicle, local Gaza journalist Abdallah Aljamal follows the everyday struggle of Palestinian women to obtain drinking water.

Israel has been accused of waging a water war on Palestinians since its creation atop the ruins of Palestinian towns and villages in 1948.

In a recent editorial, Palestine Chronicle Editor Ramzy Baroud stated:

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PHOTOS: Israel opens rainwater ducts to flood Gaza towns, destroy lands

28 Dec

Israel flooded dozens of homes and hundreds of dunums of agricultural lands in Gaza. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff, 28 December 2022

After two days of heavy rain, the Israeli authorities contributed to the flooding of Gaza on Monday, by opening the ducts in the dams located on the Israeli side of the border fence, the Palestine Chronicle correspondent in Gaza reported.

Palestine Chronicle correspondent said that Israel flooded dozens of homes and hundreds of dunums of agricultural lands after opening the ducts to release the collected rainwater east of the Khan Yunis area, in the southern Gaza Strip.

Two days ago, the occupation forces also opened the ducts east of Deir al-Balah, which led to the flooding of dozens of homes and agricultural lands, exacerbating the suffering of Gazans, especially in light of the heavy rain that fell on the Gaza Strip since Saturday.

Home to a population of over two million, the Gaza Strip has been reeling under a years-long Israeli blockade since 2007, badly affecting livelihood in the territory.

(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle. Abridged)

Link to original post: https://www.palestinechronicle.com/in-photos-israel-opens-rainwater-ducts-to-flood-gaza-towns-destroy-lands/

Six major developments that shaped 2022 for Palestinians

27 Dec

The UN called 2022 the deadliest year for Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank in 16 years. Here are some of the year’s most important events.

Palestinians have continued to resist the Israeli occupation in the West Bank, but near-daily raids have led to the deadliest year for Palestinians in the territory since 2006 [File: Mussa Qawasma/Reuters]

By Zena Al Tahhan and Maram Humaid, AlJazeera, 27 December 2022

Ramallah, Occupied West Bank and Gaza City – Conflict, raids, and the killing of one of Palestine’s most well-respected journalists – just some of the most important events to happen in Israel and Palestine in 2022.

The United Nations declared the year the deadliest for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since 2006, evidence of increased use of force by Israel, amid a further shift to the far right in the country.

Here are six major developments that shaped 2022 for Palestinians.

KEEP READING

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Palestinians call on FIFA to condemn Israeli killing of Palestinian footballer

23 Dec

Ahmad Daraghma, 23, was killed by Israeli forces in Nablus. (Photo: via Social Media)

Palestine Chronicle, December 23, 2022

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has called on the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to condemn the killing of Ahmad Atef Mustafa Daraghma, a Palestinian soccer player, who was killed by Israeli forces in Nablus, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Video: (Palestine Chronicle, 23 December 2022)

Shtayyeh strongly slammed the Israeli crime that resulted in the killing of Daraghma, a soccer player with the Thaqafi Soccer Team of Tulkarem.

Daraghma was hit by live rounds in the back and feet when a sizable Israeli army force swept into the eastern part of Nablus to provide protection for illegal Jewish settlers who stormed Joseph’s Tomb.

Shtayyeh called on international rights organizations to take responsibility to stop Israeli killings of Palestinians and hold the Israeli occupation accountable for its crimes.

The number of Palestinians who have been slain by Israeli army gunfire in the occupied territories since the start of 2022 reaches 224, including 53 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip.

(WAFA, PC, SOCIAL)

Link to original post: https://www.palestinechronicle.com/palestinians-call-on-fifa-to-condemn-israeli-killing-of-palestinian-footballer/

General strike declared in West Bank in mourning of late prisoner Abu Hamid

21 Dec

Palestinian activists organized a rally in solidarity with cancer-stricken Palestinian prisoner Nasser Abu Hamid. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

Palestine Chronicle, December 21, 2022

A one-day general strike has been declared across the occupied West Bank cities, including Jerusalem, in mourning of the late Palestinian prisoner Nasser Abu Hamid, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Abu Hamid died on Monday morning after battling cancer for several years.

The strike was called for by Palestinian political movement Fatah, which also called for a day of rage at contact points with the Israeli army.

Abu Hamid entered into a coma two days ago and was transferred on Monday from Ramle clinic prison, where he has been kept, to a hospital in Israel. He has died due to years of medical negligence.

Abu Hamid was born in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the Central Gaza Strip and later moved to Al-Amari refugee camp in Ramallah. He was serving multiple life terms for resisting the Israeli occupation.

Several attempts to get him released to get treatment outside the prison have failed.

(WAFA, PC, SOCIAL)

Learn More Watch Video(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)

Invitation to join webinar:

18 Dec

Important webinar to be hosted by the Centre for Islam and Global Affairs, Turkey – viewing time is 5am on Tuesday 20 December in Aotearoa New Zealand.

How Palestine has `won’ the World Cup

15 Dec
Morocco’s victory over Spain in the round of 16 at the Qatar World Cup was seized by the team as an opportunity to send an unmistakeable message about the Palestinian cause.
Morocco’s victory over Spain in the round of 16 at the Qatar World Cup was seized by the team as an opportunity to send an unmistakeable message about the Palestinian cause.[Martin Meissner/AP]

By John Minto – a long-time social justice activist and the national chair of the Palestine Solidarity Movement Aotearoa. Stuff, 14 December 2022

OPINION: The power of sport to influence politics has always been a feature of international sporting events, as has the hypocrisy of governments, New Zealand included, when it comes to issues of human rights.

Despite neither Israel nor Palestine being at the Fifa World Cup, the issue of Palestine has been the most visible political issue on display.

The World Cup isn’t over yet, but Palestine has already won” is just one of the many headlines around the world talking about the high visibility of Palestine at the event and the cross-global support Palestinians enjoy in their indigenous struggle for human rights and self-determination.

Social media is awash with dozens of amusing video clips where Israeli journalists attempt to interview fans outside venues, only to be drowned out by passionate messages of support for Palestine as soon as they identify as Israeli.

“Palestine, Palestine – free Palestine” is the typical refrain – not just from Arab fans, but from soccer supporters from all corners of the globe.

It didn’t start out that way.

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‘What was her crime?’ Agony as Palestine mourns another child killed by Israel

14 Dec

Shortly after Israeli forces raided the city of Jenin on Sunday, a 15-year-old girl was found dead on her roof, riddled with bullet wounds

Mourners react as they attend the funeral of Palestinian Jana Zakarneh in Jenin, in the occupied West Bank, 12 December 2022 (Reuters)

By Leila Warah in Jenin, occupied West Bank, Middle East Eye, 13 December 2022

Jana Majdi Zakarneh, a 15-year-old Palestinian, was on the roof in her pyjamas, playing with her cat on Sunday evening, when Israeli forces shot her multiple times, twice in the face. 

The following day, the shock of Jana’s death can be felt in Jenin city, where she was killed. Mourners sat on plastic chairs outside her funeral service in grim silence.

The voice of her aunt, Hanan Said Zakarneh, rang out, “What did this child do to be shot this way?”

“What was her crime?” she asked, holding back tears.

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How Israel targets Palestinian society through family separation

14 Dec
56 years old Fadl Rabi speaks during an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency at his home in a small Palestinian village At-Tuwani, Hebron on October 21, 2021 [Mamoun Wazwaz - Anadolu Agency]

56 years old Fadl Rabi speaks during an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency at his home in a small Palestinian village At-Tuwani, Hebron on October 21, 2021 [Mamoun Wazwaz – Anadolu Agency]

By Wafa Aludaini, Gaza, Middle East Monitor, 14 December 2022

The Israeli occupation state makes every effort to disrupt and break up the social fabric of Palestinian communities, leading to domestic disorder. Sundry procedures have been implemented curbing the ability of separated Palestinian families to reunite. Despite this, Israel fails to break the spirit of the steadfast Palestinians who are committed to defending their inalienable rights.

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