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Three children killed as Israel escalates Gaza attacks

14 Nov

Relatives of a slain Palestinian mourn outside of al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on 13 November. [Mahmoud Ajjour APA]

By Tamara Nassar, The Electronic Intifada, 14 November 2019

The number of Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip rose to at least 25 on Wednesday as Israel escalated its lethal attacks on the territory that began on Tuesday morning.

Three children are among those slain.

Gaza’s health ministry said that more than 85 Palestinians have been injured, including 30 children.

Israel extrajudicially executed Islamic Jihad leader Baha Abu al-Ata early Tuesday along with his wife, provoking an exchange of Israeli missile strikes on Gaza and rocket fire from the territory.

Israel is targeting civilian areas, homes, vehicles, stores, security sites and fields, the human rights group Al Mezan stated on Wednesday.

Some 15 schools in the Gaza Strip have been damaged as a result of the escalation, according to the territory’s education ministry.

No serious Israeli injuries have been reported as of this writing as a result of rockets fired by Palestinian resistance groups in response to the Israeli attacks.

This has been the most serious military confrontation between Israel and Palestinian resistance factions in the Gaza Strip in months.

Egyptian intelligence officials are attempting to broker a ceasefire, but Tel Aviv daily Haaretz said an agreement was unlikely to materialize quickly.

Islamic Jihad secretary-general Ziad al-Nakhala told Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen TV channel that the group’s demands for a ceasefire with Israel include an end to extrajudicial assassinations and the killing of Palestinian protesters at the Israel-Gaza boundary fence, and lifting Israel’s 12-year siege on the Strip.

Al-Nakhala said he expected an answer by Wednesday night.

Children killed

An Israeli missile strike killed a father and his two sons riding a motorcycle near their home on Wednesday morning.

Rafat Muhammad Ayyad, 54, and his sons Islam Rafat Ayyad, 24, and Amir Rafat Ayyad, 7 [pictured above] were in the al-Zaytoun neighbourhood of Gaza City trying to get to the nearby al-Shifa hospital when an Israeli missile hit, killing all three. [Report: Defense for Children @DCIPalestine ]

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‘NZ govt must condemn political assassinations’

13 Nov

Senior Palestinian resistance leader Bahaa Abu Al Ata and his wife were assassinated by a Israeli missile attack on their Gaza City home on Tuesday morning. [Photo: Social media]

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa, Media Release, 13 November 2019

New Zealand government must condemn political assassinations

In a letter today to the New Zealand Foreign Minister, Winston Peters, the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa is calling on the government to condemn the political assassination of two leaders of Islamic Jihad.

Within the last 24 hours Israel simultaneously attacked the homes of two leaders of Islamic Jihad in Gaza and Syria, killing Bahaa Abu Al Ata and his wife in their house in Gaza, and the son of Akram al-Ajjouri in the al-Ajjouri house in Damascus.

Whatever one thinks of the policies and actions of Islamic Jihad they are the micro issue. The macro issue is the brutal racist behaviour of Israel which has terrorised the Palestinian population of Palestine and the wider Middle East for over 70 years.

We want Winston Peters to demand an explanation from the Israeli government for these illegal political assassinations, as well as the blatant breach of both the 2014 ceasefire agreement with Hamas, and the recently-negotiated (20/05/2019) six-month ceasefire agreement which is technically still in force.

With the death and destruction which follows this Israeli outrage we join with the rest of the world in calling for medical and financial assistance, and the lifting of the blockade of Gaza, to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian refugees.

John Minto

National Chair, Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa

[For more on this click on: ]

Ten killed in Gaza as Israel instigates new war

13 Nov

VIDEO by PressTV: Palestinian resistance leader assassinated during Israeli airstrike on Gaza, 12 Nov 2019.

By Maureen Clare, The Electronic Intifada, 13 November 2019

Israeli missile strikes on Gaza and rocket fire from the territory continued late Tuesday evening after the assassination of an Islamic Jihad leader earlier in the day set off the most serious military confrontation in months.

Ten Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes during the day, according to Gaza’s health ministry. Meanwhile, Israel closed the besieged territory’s crossing points and reduced the fishing zone to six nautical miles off of Gaza’s coast.

The spokesperson for Islamic Jihad’s military wing vowed late Tuesday that the “coming hours will mark a victory for the Palestinian people. Israel began this campaign, but it will be notified when it ends.”

Baha Abu al-Ata, 42, described by Israeli media as the northern military commander of Islamic Jihad in Gaza, was killed in an airstrike on his home in the Shujaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City.

Baha Abu al-Ata, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike on 12 November [File photo. Ashraf Amra APA ]

His wife, Asma Abu al-Ata, 38, was also killed in the Israeli attack. Seven other people, including four children, were injured and nearby houses and a school were damaged.

Meanwhile, in the Syrian capital, the home of Akram al-Ajouri, the head of Islamic Jihad’s military wing, was targeted in an airstrike. Syria blamed Israel for the attack.

Two people were reported killed in the strike, including one of al-Ajouri’s sons.

Palestinian fighters in Gaza responded to the attacks with rocket fire that reached as far as Tel Aviv. Ziad al-Nakhala, Islamic Jihad’s secretary-general, stated that “we are going to war” and that Israel’s prime minister “crossed all the red lines” by assassinating Abu al-Ata.

A toy factory in Sderot, a town in southern Israel, was among the sites hit by rockets fired from Gaza, and security camera footage showed a rocket striking a highway, nearly hitting motorists:

No serious Israeli casualties were reported on Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, a missile hit the offices Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights in Gaza City, lightly injuring one of its staff members.

Amnesty International condemned the attack, stating that “strikes targeting civilian buildings [are] a violation of international law.”

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Israeli soldiers shoot dead defenceless Palestinian man

12 Nov

A defenceless Palestinian man, Omar al-Badawi, 22, has been shot dead by Israeli forces in the West Bank village of al-Arroub, during marches marking the 15th anniversary of the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat’s death.

Middle East Eye, 11 November 2019

A Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces on Monday morning in al-Arroub refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Authority (PA) confirmed.

Official PA news agency Wafa reported that a Palestinian identified as Omar Haitham al-Badawi, 22, was shot in the abdomen at the entrance of al-Arroub during a march commemorating the 15th anniversary of the death of Palestinian president Yasser Arafat.

“There were protests in commemoration of Yasser Arafat’s death, like every year,” Mohammad Badawi, a 28-year-old cousin of Omar Badawi, told Middle East Eye. “Then the Israeli army entered the camp.

“Soldiers were firing live ammunition, tear gas and sound bombs into the crowd, and one of the tear gas cannisters exploded next to Omar’s house, causing a small fire,” Mohammad, 28, recounted. “So he stepped outside of his house to go see what was wrong. He was holding a bottle of water, and communicated to one of the soldiers that he was just going to put out the fire. The soldier immediately fired live ammunition at him in his abdomen and he fell to the ground.”

Footage published by Palestinian news outlet J Media reportedly showed the moment Badawi was shot at close range, as Mohammad estimated his cousin was some 50 metres away from the soldiers.

“Omar did not present any danger to them. You can see in the photos he was in his house clothes, still wearing his house slippers when he came outside,” Mohammad Badawi said. 

In the video, soldiers are seen firing bullets and throwing tear gas cannisters, even as Palestinian journalists and civilians attempt to carry Badawi to safety.

“Omar al-Badawi was not throwing stones or participating in the protests,” camp resident Ahmad Muhammad Adawi told MEE. “He was just observing, standing at the entrance to his home when he was shot in his side.”

Mohammad Badawi said Israeli forces had closed off all exits to the refugee camp during the raid, forcing the vehicle transporting his injured cousin to go through lengthy detours before reaching a hospital.

“They tried to help him at the hospital but he died shortly after they arrived,” he said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Middle East Eye that Israeli forces entered al-Arroub on Monday morning after Palestinians allegedly “threw stones at an adjacent road” during a “riot”. The spokesperson said they did not have further information on the circumstances surrounding Badawi’s death.

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Outrage after leaked video shows Israeli officer shoot Palestinian in the back

6 Nov

VIDEO published by CGTN America [4 Nov 2019] Israeli officers apparently filmed themselves shooting an unarmed Palestinian in the back in a now-viral leaked video. The shooting occurred about a year and a half ago, and the officer involved has not been indicted yet.

By Yumna Patel. Mondoweiss, 4 November, 2019

Palestinian social media erupted over the weekend as people expressed their outrage over a leaked video showing and Israeli border police officer shooting a Palestinian in the back as the man walked away from the officers, his hands raised in the air.

The video, taken last year, was leaked over the weekend and broadcast to the public on Saturday by Israel’s Channel 13.

Footage shows Israeli border police officers ordering an unidentified Palestinian man to turn around and walk away from the officers, who were stationed at a checkpoint between the West Bank and Jerusalem.

“’Run already,’ the officers tell the man, who then swiftly turns around, puts his hands in the air, and hastily walks away from the officers.

Seconds later, while one officer films using his phone, another one of the officers fires a sponge-tipped bullet, which can be lethal when fired at close range, hitting the man in the back. He then falls to the ground, and can be heard screaming in pain.

According to Haaretz (Israeli newspaper), the incident came to light last year during an investigation into another incident involving border police officers who beat a Palestinian man for no apparent reason.

The offending female officer, reportedly around 20 years old, was arrested along with four of her fellow officers, and discharged from the border police, only to then be reinstated as a soldier in the army to complete her mandatory service.

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld told the media that the other border policemen who were present at the scene were “removed and some of them were transferred from their positions.”

At a court hearing for the officer last October, Haaretz reported that the judge said the officer apparently shot the Palestinian “as a dubious form of entertainment”.

“The video shows the magnitude of blind hatred and Zionist racism,” the PLO said in a statement, saying “Palestinian lives and blood have become the funiest place for human killers.”

Dr. Hanan Ashrawi took to Twitter to express her anger, writing “crass and cruel inhumanity: the horror of the unconscionable when unarmed Palestinians are shot in cold blood just because ‘brave’ Israeli soldiers can do it with impunity and for their own entertainment. Stop #IsraeliCrimes. #FreePalestine.”

Much of the frustration expressed by Palestinians on social media over the weekend came not only from the shooting, but from the alleged interaction that ensued between the soldiers after.

According to Haaretz, evidence presented during the officer’s hearing included text messages between her and her unit boasting about the shooting.

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The ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Christians that nobody is talking about

30 Oct

On Good Friday, hundreds of Christian pilgrims retraced the last journey of Jesus in the Old City of Jerusalem. [Photo: DW]

By Ramzy Baroud, Middle East Monitor, 30 October, 2019

Palestine’s Christian population is dwindling at an alarming rate. The world’s most ancient Christian community is moving elsewhere. And the reason for this is Israel.

Christian leaders from Palestine and South Africa sounded the alarm at a conference in Johannesburg on October 15. Their gathering was titled: “The Holy Land: A Palestinian Christian Perspective”.

One major issue that highlighted itself at the meetings is the rapidly declining number of Palestinian Christians in Palestine.

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Palestine Chronicle marks 20th year with an appeal

30 Oct

Palestine Chronicle editor, Dr. Ramzy Baroud, speaking during a media interview in Nairobi, Kenya, in June 2019.

Kia Ora Gaza draws on a wide range of reputable sources to bring you up-to-date and factual news, analyses and views on the Palestinian struggle.

One of the most consistently reliable and trustworthy sources is the Palestine Chronicle, which marks it’s 20th anniversary with this Appeal:

Dear Readers,

The Palestine Chronicle at 20: Our Message Stronger than Ever

The Palestine Chronicle is not just a website. We are more than that, much more.

Sure, The Palestine Chronicle English platform has been in existence for 20 years. We launched the first page in September 1999.

And our French sister-website joined us a few years ago, amplifying our message to French-speaking audiences around the world.

We have reached many millions of readers since then, and we continue to define a whole new genre on Palestine. At the core of this new genre are the Palestinian people, their daily struggle, their popular resistance and their undying somoud, steadfastness.

But the truth is, our online platforms have also unleashed an impetus of new thinking on Palestine. Our founder and editor, Dr. Ramzy Baroud, has used the concept of people’s history not only in his books, but in journalism, as well. It is no accident that our news coverage focuses as much on the everyday happenings in Palestine as it does on the big picture.

We offer highly refined, intellectual and political analyses, but we also report on uprooted trees near Bethlehem, farmers attacked in Hebron, and the meaning of the siege on Gaza to Palestinians living there.

But that’s not just it. In the last six months – the last time we appealed to you for financial support – we have taken the message from the Palestinian people on the road. Our main focus was Africa. It was the most obvious, but also urgent, choice, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has succeeded in swaying the ruling elites in various African countries to Israel’s side. Our response: we reached out to many Kenyans and South African communities in speaking tours that lasted for weeks; we engaged journalists, politicians, human rights groups, young scholars, and ordinary folk in these countries. The outcome has been truly outstanding. Click here to learn more about our trips in Kenya and South Africa.

Now that you are familiar with our legacy of the last two decades, you can rest assured that we will not slow down, nor deviate from our mission, in the next six months or the many years ahead.

Latest book launch

We have another, exciting piece of news to share with you: The Palestine Chronicle team is happy to announce the publication of our latest book, These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons.

Folks, this is an extraordinary feat. The book introduces, in a whole new way, the stories of 20 Palestinian prisoners who directly convey their prison experience to the world. It will be published by Clarity Press on November 15. Make sure to pre-order your copy right away.

Frankly, we could go on and on, but we will finish by telling you this: none of this is possible without your support. If you are happy with our work, and by the scope of our mission, please take the urgent step of supporting us right now.

With you, our work has been possible for 20 years. Please give today and give generously, and help us take our message to more and more people the world over.

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

To make a contribution using your paypal account or credit card, please click HERE

Or kindly send your contribution to:

PO Box 196
Mountlake Terrace
WA, 98043

With many thanks,

The Palestine Chronicle team.

Al-Nakba: ‘an injustice that is a menace to world’s peace’

29 Oct


“The Nakba did not begin in 1948. Its origins lie over two centuries ago….”

So begins this four-part series on the ‘nakba’, meaning the ‘catastrophe’, about the history of the Palestinian exodus that led to the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948, and the establishment of the state of Israel. This documentary series is essential viewing for anyone who want to understand the Palestinian predicament.

“The tragedy in Palestine is not just a local one; it is a tragedy for the world, because it is an injustice that is a menace to the world’s peace”

Arnold Toynbee, British Historian.

Thanks to Wellington Palestine [ ] for highlighting this important documentary from AlJazeera

Israeli military vehicles infiltrate Gaza, raze land

29 Oct

Palestine Chronicle, 29 October, 2019

Israeli military vehicles infiltrated today the Gaza border and reached dozens of metres into Palestinian land east of Jabalya in the north of the Gaza Strip, according to WAFA correspondent.

He said the military vehicles razed agricultural land and erected sand barricades along the border amidst intermittent shooting.

Israeli army incursions several metres into Gaza and razing of land are frequent and intended to keep farmers away from their border area land and prevent them from cultivating it.

(Photo: via Twitter)

Courage yes – but do the Silver Ferns have character?

24 Oct

By John Minto, The Daily Blog, 23 October 2019

This Saturday, 26 October, marks the second International Day of Action against PUMA because of its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA).

Across New Zealand, and around the world, there will be protests encouraging the public to boycott PUMA goods and this will include calls for the Silver Ferns to join the boycott of PUMA by ending the sponsorship agreement you have with them. (In case you haven’t noticed – the Silver Ferns wear the PUMA logo on court)

The boycott is not because it’s the Israel Football Association but because the IFA includes football clubs based in illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land and despite many appeals from human rights organisations, in Israel and around the world, it has refused to dissociate itself from these illegal settlements.  

Meanwhile PUMA continues to sponsor the IFA (its only international sponsor) which helps legitimise the association’s policy of support for illegal Jewish-only settlements and the appalling Israeli policies towards Palestinians which goes with them.

It’s important to understand that the issue of settlements goes to the heart of the Israeli government’s racist, apartheid policies towards the indigenous people of Palestine. The establishment and expansion of these settlements, illegal under international law, involves driving Palestinian families from their homes and off their land. This is an ongoing part of the Nakba (“catastrophe”) under which Palestinians have suffered ethnic cleansing every day since 1948.

In addition, the settlements are an integral part of Israel’s military occupation which robs Palestinians of natural resources and denies them their right of movement.

In contrast to the behaviour of the IFA in recognising sports teams from illegal settlements, Palestinian sportspeople are often forced to abandon practices, games and tournaments due to Israeli Defence Force harassment at checkpoints and Israeli government policies to make them refugees in their own land.

When young Palestinians protest to demand an end to the theft of their land many have been murdered by Israeli snipers and many more lose their legs, also from sniper fire, and the chance to play sport. Many young Palestinians have had their sports careers ended in this way over many years.

The international campaign against PUMA is asking people to boycott the company till it stops supporting the IFA.

For this reason the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa is asking Netball New Zealand to end their sponsorship deal with PUMA until PUMA ends its support for the IFA.

The Silver Ferns represent the best values associated with womens’ sport – high skill levels associated with tenacity, courage and commitment on the netball court. 

This campaign is asking that they show the same character and values off the court – standing with Palestinian sportspeople who face apartheid in sports as awful as that faced by black South Africans suffering under apartheid. 

Flotilla medical supplies for Gaza: still missing

24 Oct

Medical supplies being loaded aboard Al Awda, Palermo, July 2018

Freedom Flotilla Coalition statement, 21 October, 2019

Nearly 15 months after propaganda from Israeli authorities claiming [they had released the medical supplies] – that we countered at the time, the Israeli government has still not released 114 boxes of medical supplies for Gaza that were aboard the two Freedom Flotilla boats which they hijacked in international waters [in 2018]. We received this letter [below] in July from MyCARE, our partner in Gaza, who confirm that to date they still have not received the medical supplies.

In the last couple of months our lawyers have been presenting evidence to the Haifa Maritime Court, including affidavits from Captain Herman Reksten (Al Awda), Captain John Turnbull (Freedom) and Ann Wright (FFC – US Boat to Gaza).

This case is important as we attempt to highlight the effects of the ongoing illegal blockade of Gaza, which has caused a humanitarian crisis, which our boats with their cargo sought to alleviate, in a small way.

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Vital medicines are running out in Gaza

21 Oct

Stocks of medicines are dangerously low at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City – 225 essential drugs are almost completely depleted. More than 60 cancer drugs are unavailable in Gaza due to the siege imposed by Israel. [Photo by Mohammed Asad]

By Yousef M. Aljamal, The Electronic Intifada, 17 October 2019

Shaaban is a 10-year-old child with autism.

He requires assistance with his education, as well as medical treatment that costs up to $900 per month. Without his medicine, he can begin to scream, has difficulty sleeping at night and sometimes even loses consciousness.

Shaaban’s father Ibrahim works as a janitor at a local school. Amid a general economic slowdown caused by Israel’s siege of Gaza, Ibrahim has seen his monthly wages fall from approximately $450 to $350 in recent years.

He has four children to care for, including Shaaban. And almost half of Ibrahim’s wages go toward paying a bank loan that was issued to build the family’s home.

An additional problem is that most of the medicines Shaaban has been prescribed are not available in Gaza.

“I feel powerless,” said Ibrahim. “I can neither afford nor find the medicine Shaaban needs. It is too hard. I do all that I can for my son; I don’t know what more I can do.”

The Geneva-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor published the findings of its research on Palestinian children with autism in August. The organization stated that most parents of children with autism it interviewed complained that treatment was too expensive for them given that no financial support is provided by the authorities.

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NZ’s 70-year-old commitment to Palestinian Right of Return

21 Oct

By Leslie Bravery, The Daily Blog, 19 October 2019

In a press release on 4 October 2019, the UNHCR’s Regional Representative in Canberra, Louise Aubin, welcomed New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern‘s formal announcement of our refugee resettlement quota increase, noting that it “sends an important message to the world that every country can make a difference in sharing responsibility for the global refugee situation”. As the UNHCR acknowledges, the majority of refugees are confined in countries neighbouring their homelands.

In Lebanon, where over 470,000 Palestinians are registered with UNRWA, the refugees exist in conditions that UNRWA describes as “dire and characterised by overcrowding, poor housing conditions, unemployment, poverty and lack of access to justice.” Palestinian refugees have few rights; they are not allowed to work in as many as 39 professions, neither are they allowed to own property or land. The number of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon has swollen since the war in Syria forced out so many from that war-torn land.

There are, altogether, 12 refugee camps in Lebanon where, during the 1982 Israeli invasion, one of them, Shatila, and its adjacent neighbourhood, Sabra, were the scene of an Israeli Army-supervised atrocity in September 1982 that has gone down in history for its utter barbarity. The Israeli Defence Minister at the time was Ariel Sharon and, with the approval of his government, the Israeli military ordered its Lebanese Falangist allies to ‘clean out’ the Palestinian refugee camps. The whole operation was planned and supervised by the Israeli military which, having trained and armed the Falangists, commanded them during the massacre. The order to enter the camps came from the Israeli military, as did the order to leave and the Israeli Army surrounded the entrances so that escape would be impossible. During the night, Israeli forces illuminated the camps with flares, to make it easier for the Falangists to search, violate and kill. Many of the slaughtered 3,500 victims were women and children.

VIDEO: There are more than 13 million Palestinians in the world today living under occupation, under blockade, as refugees and some as citizens of other countries. Where Palestinians have ended up after being displaced by Israel has determined what laws they are governed by, where they can go, and whether they have a passport or not. Here’s all you need to know. [TRT World, 19 October 2019]

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Dr Salman Abu Sitta is heading to Aotearoa

9 Oct

Dr Salman Abu Sitta sends a video message of greetings as he heads to Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Dr Salman Abu Sitta, well-respected academic, author and member of the Palestine National Council, is coming to New Zealand next week for a two day visit to Auckland and Wellington.

On his visit here he will be meeting with MPs and various government officials in Wellington and will deliver a free public lecture in Auckland.

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Anglican Church of Southern Africa votes to join BDS

4 Oct

People come together in South Africa to protest against Israeli violations on the Palestinian people [BDSsouthafrica/Twitter]

Middle East Monitor, 28 September 2019

The highest and most prominent decision-making body of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) yesterday voted to join and support the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Israeli occupation.

The church – representing Anglican Christian communities in southern African countries including South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Angola – passed the resolution in the city of Johannesburg during its Provincial Synod, which takes place every three years.

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Adapting to climate change under ‘water apartheid’

1 Oct

On the edge of downtown Jerusalem, among the ruins of the Palestinian village Lifta, Israeli Jews enjoy natural spring waters that once were central to the life of the village. (Photo: David Kattenburg)

By David Kattenburg, Mondoweiss, 9 September 2019

Climate change is a human rights issue. Nowhere is this clearer than in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), where land and natural resources required for climate adaptation are controlled by Israel, and systematically denied to Palestinians. Of all these resources, none are more vital than water.

‘Water apartheid’, it’s called: Jewish settlers receive copious volumes for cheap, Palestinians scrape and scratch to get what they need, at great cost. A highly asymmetrical, discriminatory and exploitative regime formalized in law, achieved through physical separation and enforced by soldiers and police. The very definition of apartheid.

As water grows scarcer in the fast-warming Middle East, as rainfall variability and evaporative losses climb (Israel is in the midst of a five-year drought), those with access to water, and the capacity to capture, store, convey and recycle it, will survive. Perhaps even thrive. Those who don’t will either move on or perish. Nothing would make Israel happier than to see the Palestinians go away.

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News from Palestine

1 Oct

Palestine Weekly Review, 1 October 2019

Presented by Ahmad Abu Rizik, this week’s Palestine Weekly Review is the 13th English broadcast by the 16th October Group in Gaza, in association with Shehab Agency News.


Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa newsletter Sept/Oct

26 Sep

The next month will be our busiest month since PSNA was redeveloped in June.

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Gaza’s economy in freefall: debtors’ prison overflows

26 Sep

A Palestinian man sits next to his cart where he hangs household items for sell in al-Nuseriat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, August 1, 2019 (Photo: Mohammed Assad) Mondowiess)

By Yousef M. Aljamal, Mondoweiss, 25 September 2019

As Gaza’s economy goes into freefall, the debtors’ prison is overflowing

Karam Marwan, 22, wanted to own a video game store. In 2016 he took out a $5,000 loan from an acquaintance to open the shop. Marwan had recently graduated college with a degree in accounting, but with limited job prospects in the Gaza Strip where he lives, he hedged his bets on starting a small business. In less than a year the video store would shutter and Marwan would be in prison serving a three-month sentence over failure to repay the borrowed seed money.

In Gaza, delinquency on loans is a civil offense punishable by a maximum of a 91-day sentence, according to the Law on Execution No. 23 passed in 2015. The statute allows judges to incarcerate a Palestinian holding a debt, irrespective if that debt is to a traditional lending institution or a private individual. In most cases, a judge will mediate a settlement between the debtors and the financers. Annually, Hamas-run endowments and loan forgiveness programs will pay down or absolve some debts during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, but many Palestinians are left to fend for themselves.

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Archbishop condemns extrajudicial executions

22 Sep

The Palestinian Archbishop of Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox Church, Atallah Hanna. (Photo: The Palestine Project)

Palestine Chronicle, 22 September, 2019

Archbishop Atallah Hanna, of the Sebastian Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem, slammed on Friday the extrajudicial executions of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers, Maan News Agency reported.

His remarks came following the execution of a Palestinian woman at the Qalandiya Checkpoint, between Ramallah and Jerusalem, early this week.

The archbishop described the shooting of the Palestinian woman [Alaa Wahdan] by the Israeli soldiers, as “leaving her bleeding to death” and as an “intentional and clear violation of all international and humanitarian laws and conventions.”

He added: “The series of executions is continuous and escalating, and this savage behavior reflects the criminal mentality and hatred culture which feed the Israeli extrajudicial killing.”

“These horrific scenes which we saw at Qalandiya Checkpoint,” he also said, “where armed soldiers used their lethal arms to execute a lady just because of passing through the wrong lane, is a result of Israel’s immunity policy.”

The archbishop stressed that this is an “absolute international and American collusion with Israel,” asking “who will bring these criminal soldiers, who believe they have done a heroic act when they executed the Palestinian lady in cold blood, to justice?”

He also posed the questions: “Where is the international conscience, values, morals and principles? What is the reason for this doubtful silence regarding the crimes being committed against the unarmed Palestinian nation?”

Concluding his statements, the archbishop proclaimed “the image of this innocent lady, who was executed in cold blood, will remain in our minds and we will never forget this horrific scene, which we hope will reach all corners of the world, to disclose Israeli oppression practiced against the Palestinians.”

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

See also our earlier report and video:

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