Silver Lining

Food for thought

Palestine: IOF stormed Aqsa & report-Gaza blockade, “slow death” and “collective punishment”

IOF storms Aqsa Mosque after Friday prayers and fire tear gas grenades

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque after Friday prayers and fired tear gas and stun grenades.

Eyewitnesses said that large forces of Israeli police raided the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa mosque and started firing tear gas and stun grenades while the young men responded by throwing stones at the occupation forces.

Many worshipers suffered suffocation due to gas inhalation.

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Due to the Jewish holidays, Palestinian freedom of movement restricted

JENIN, (PIC)– Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have prevented residents, living in Barta’a, Um Rayhan, and Daher Maleh villages in Jenin isolated behind the Apartheid Wall, from leaving their villages.

The Israeli authority has informed the residents of its decision to restrict their movement out of these villages located behind the Apartheid Wall till next Sunday under the pretext of Yom Kippur Jewish holiday.

Following the Israeli decision, 13,000 Palestinians including students, workers, and farmers have been isolated in their villages.

Head of Barta’a village council urged the international human rights organizations to stand by the villagers who suffer from the continued and escalated Israeli violations.

In another context, the Israeli forces detained a Palestinian citizen for several hours at a military checkpoint under the pretext that he raised the Palestinian flag on his vehicle.

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International Report: Gaza Blockade, “Slow Death” and “Collective Punishment”

GENEVA, (PIC)– The EuroMid Observer for Human Rights has issued a field report documenting the social, economic, and humanitarian crisis that engulfed Gaza over the past few years since the imposition of the siege by Israeli authorities back in 2006 especially in light of the political “change” in Egypt which negatively affected Gaza.

According to International law, Israel bears great responsibility as well as Egypt for caging over 1.6 million people in an open air prison, where the basic food and fuel commodities have become scarce as Egypt closed great majority of the tunnels used in smuggling these needs, the report said.

The field report, issued in cooperation with the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) in London and Malaysian Organization (MAPIM), stated that over a third (35.5%) of those able and willing to work are unemployed (PCBS) – one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. Economists expect that the continuous closure of the tunnels will lead to a sharp increase in the unemployment level (43% by the end of 2013 compared with 32% in June 2013).

Meanwhile, the construction sector is working with less than 15% of its previous capacity leading to more than 30,000 losses in job opportunities since July 2013, the report added.

The economy has endured severe losses worth of $460 million in all economic sectors within the past two months, while the incessant closure of the tunnels will lead to a 3% decline in the growth by the end of 2013 compared with 15% as of June 2013, the field report revealed.

Raw materials make up the majority of imports volumes from the Egyptian tunnels. Prior to the new measures, Gaza’s businesses received more than 45% of the needed row materials via the tunnels leading to noticeable increase in the operating businesses. Currently and due to Egyptian measures more than 60% of industrial businesses are shut down and the rest operate at partial capacity. The sector is currently employing 7,500 workers down from 27,000 prior to June 30, 2013 (35,000 prior to 2006).

A longstanding electricity deficit, compounded by shortages in fuel needed to run Gaza’s power plant, results in power outages of up to 12 hours a day.

Only a quarter of households receive running water every day, during several hours only, while over 90% of the water extracted from the Gaza aquifer is unsafe for human consumption. Some 90 million liters of untreated and partially treated sewage are dumped in the sea off the Gaza coast each day, creating public health hazards.

The Egyptian authorities have lately tightened controls on the Rafah passenger crossing, Gaza’s main access to the outside world. The Gaza-Egypt relation has been strained over the blockade of Gaza and the Egyptian campaign in the past year to shut down the tunnels. By the end of July 2013, the Egyptian army had destroyed all the tunnels, leading to a stern crisis in fuel supplies that threatens to close almost 137 petrol stations in the besieged territory upon which most Palestinians rely.

In July 2013, 27% (128 types) of essential medicines were at zero stock in the Central Drug Store in Gaza and 16% (78 types) were at low stock (between 1-3 months’ supply), the report documented.

In the entire month of July, Egyptian Authorities allowed 6,236 Palestinians to cross into Egypt. This is 30% less than those who crossed monthly in June. During the entire month of August 2013, 3,340 Palestinians have crossed into Egypt, this is 25% of those who crossed before June 2013.

The EuroMid Observer for Human Rights therefore urgently demands the International Community to help alleviate immediately the blockade on the Gaza Strip. The report also called on the Israeli authorities to dismantle the blockade and to end the targeting of innocent people, which is in violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention.

The Geneva based organization also called on the Egyptian government to open the Rafah Crossing for passengers and goods, without any restrictions.

It urged the International community, and the EU and the US in particular, to initiate and support the need for a seaport in Gaza that guarantees the free import and export of goods and private international travel. Commitments for the seaport in Gaza not only address a priority and need of the Palestinians, but also serve as political support for their desire to gain independence.

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Ofer sentences a Palestinian child to 14 years

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– The Israeli Ofer Military Court sentenced Palestinian boy Mohammed Omar Rashid, 17 from the town of Yatta south of al-Khalil, to 14 years imprisonment, in addition to paying a fine of six thousand shekels.

Rashid was arrested on March 8, 2012 by the Israeli army during a raid on the town of Yatta. He was shot and wounded by several bullets in his back.

Human rights organizations condemned the trial of the Palestinian children. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) in the Palestinian territories, issued a statement after the trial of Rashid denouncing the trial and considering it void and a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Israeli occupation authorities issued a law that allows trial of Palestinian children at the age of 12.

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