Israeli Authorities Ban Fuel and Gas into the Gaza Strip

Tightening Closure For 3rd Time in Less Than Month

Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), August 2, 2018

Ref: 80/2018

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the Israeli authorities decisions to tighten the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip, completely close the sole commercial crossing “Karm Abu Salem” and ban the entry of fuel, gas, goods and basic needs for the Gaza Strip population. PCHR warns of the catastrophic consequences of these decisions on the lives of 2 million Palestinians suffering from serious deterioration of humanitarian, economic and social conditions resulted from these measures. PCHR calls upon the international community, especially the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and all humanitarian organizations to immediately intervene in order to stop these decisions, lift the closure, and open all crossings to ensure the entry of all the Gaza Strip population’s needs, especially basic goods. Moreover, PCHR affirms that these decisions were the culmination of several previous decisions that the Israeli authorities have implemented since June 2007 in the context of a plan to tighten the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip.

According to PCHR’s follow-up, on 01 August 2018, the Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, issued a decision to ban the entry of fuel and gas into the Gaza Strip through Karm Abu Salem crossing starting from Thursday until further notice. According to the Israeli statement, this decision was taken in response to the continued firing of incendiary balloons and the ongoing Return demonstrations’ activities near the Gaza Strip borders. The Israeli authorities previously issued a decision on 16 July 2018, to completely close Karm Abu Salem crossing, except for the entry of food, medical supplies, fuel and gas only when needed. Upon the same decision, the Israeli authorities reduced the fishing area in the Gaza Strip to 3 nautical miles instead of 6. The Israeli authorities also claimed that this decision was taken in response to flying incendiary kites and balloons by Hamas towards the areas adjacent to the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli authorities have tightened the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip, which entered its 12th consecutive year in mid-June since Tuesday, 10 July 2018, and decided to close Karm Abu Salem crossing and prevent the entry of goods into the Gaza Strip, except for the entry of some humanitarian goods, including food, medicine, fuel, and gas. Furthermore, the Israeli authorities imposed a complete ban on exporting and marketing goods from Gaza Strip. Upon the same decision, the Israeli authorities reduced the fishing area in the Gaza Strip to six nautical miles instead of nine.

The closure measures threaten all aspects of life in the Gaza Strip, and PCHR is concerned over the collapse of all basic services needed by the Gaza Strip population. These services already suffer from a serious deterioration for years due to the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip.

Concerning the health sector, and taking into account the dependence of hospitals and medical facilities on fuel to operate generators in light of the power outage for more than 20 hours a day, the Ministry of Health has taken austerity measures as it reduced providing services for civilians. This reduce included providing diagnostic services and conducting surgical operations. The number of delayed operations during the past 3 months was about 7000 surgeries. Furthermore, the lives of about 2000 patients staying in the Gaza Strip hospitals are in real danger. Patients, particularly cancer, cardiac, and dialysis patients and preterm infants in the nursery sections and Intensive Care Units (ICU), are mostly exposed to danger, in light of the deterioration of the health services.

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July 21, 2018
Maia Water Project at the Midwest Waterfest

10 am – 6 pm
Common Ground
2644 Branch Street, Middleton

MRSCP will be tabling for the Maia Project at the Midwest Waterfest, A Celebration of Life – music, speakers, food, activism, information, fun!

Stop by to check out the Waterfest events and stop by our table, we’ll be selling olive oil & olive oil soap, earrings, kuffiyehs, and small embroidery items, and raising money to install a Maia Project water filter serving 3,250 students and their families in Gaza at two adjacent schools in Rafah.

Israeli Forces Kill 2 Palestinian Civilians and Wound 23 Others in Gaza

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Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), July 14, 2018

In a new war crime, on Saturday, 14 July 2018, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians and wounded 23 others, including 2 children, in a series of airstrikes targeting an uninhabited al-Katiba building, which is located next to a public park in a densely populated area and government and civil institutions in the center of Gaza City. The bombing caused severe damage to the central building of the Ministry of Health’s ambulance, al-Katiba Mosque and al-Katiba Central Prison.

The Israeli airstrike came in light of a wide Israeli escalation since today’s dawn during which the Israeli warplanes launched dozens of missiles at agricultural lands and sites belonging to Palestinian armed groups in various parts of the Gaza Strip coinciding with artillery shelling east of the Gaza Strip. The airstrike resulted at severe damage to the lands and many houses in addition to causing fear for civilians, particularly children and women.

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Debunking Four Myths Surrounding the Palestinian Protests

The justifications given for the deaths of Palestinian protesters just don’t add up

Khan Yunis, Gaza Strip, June 1, 2018. Israeli tear gas canisters fall toward Palestinian protesters and medics during clashes with Israeli security forces along the Israel-Gaza border. Photo courtesy dpa picture alliance/Alamy Stock Photo.

Muhammad Shehada and Jamie Stern-Weiner, VICE, Jun 12 2018

Over the past ten weeks, tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have participated in the “March of Return,” mass nonviolent demonstrations to protest Israel’s illegal siege. Throughout, Israel has responded with violent force.

As of June 7, Israeli forces had killed more than 110 Palestinians in the course of the protests, including 14 children, and injured more than 3,700 with live ammunition. In order to brutalize the people of Gaza into submission while minimizing the international criticism that accompanies lethal force, Israeli snipers deployed along Gaza’s perimeter fence methodically shot the legs of Palestinian demonstrators. “The aim,” reports the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, was “to leave as many young people as possible with permanent disabilities.” To this end, the snipers used expanding bullets that “pulverized” bones and left exit wounds the size of a fist. According to the Secretary-General of UNRWA, the United Nations agency providing education and healthcare for refugees in Gaza, “many” of those shot will suffer “life-long disabilities.” Mission accomplished.

Bernie Sanders’ Criticism Of Israel Is Radical. And He’s Taking It Mainstream

Aiden Pink, Information Clearing House, June 13, 2018

Not many in the media are noticing, which is understandable given the burden of keeping up with Donald Trump, but in the shadow of Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu, Bernie Sanders is dramatically challenging Beltway discourse on Israel.

In 2020, when Sanders likely runs for president, and journalists begin paying attention, they’re going to be shocked. The Israeli government and the American Jewish establishment will be scared out of their minds.

Last month, Sanders crossed one of the red lines demarcating politically acceptable Washington discourse about Israel. He organized the first letter written by multiple senators criticizing Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. Then, last week, he raced past that line again with a video that is unlike anything I’ve ever seen from an American senator.

Israel ambassador to U.S. speaks at Milwaukee Rotary Club

Bill Glauber and Amed Elbenni, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 6, 2018

Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, said America’s recent move to relocate its embassy to Israel will help advance the cause of Middle East peace.

During an address Tuesday at the Milwaukee Rotary Club, Dermer called President Donald Trump’s decision to open the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem “historic” and “one of the greatest decisions in the history of Zionism.”

“I know some people are concerned that this decision will set back the cause of peace. I disagree,” he said.

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A Woman Dedicated to Saving Lives Loses Hers in Gaza Violence


Razan al-Najjar, 20, was trying to help an injured protester near the border fence
when she was fatally shot by Israeli soldiers, witnesses say. Last month, she spoke
to The Times about the challenges she faced as a female medical volunteer.
(June 1, 2018, Yousur Al-Hlou)

Iyad Abuheweila and Isabel Kershner, New York Times, June 2, 2018

KHUZAA, Gaza Strip — She had become a fixture at the weekly protests along the fence dividing the Gaza Strip from Israel, a young woman in a white paramedic’s uniform rushing into harm’s way to help treat the wounded.

As a volunteer emergency medical worker, she said she wanted to prove that women had a role to play in the conservative Palestinian society of Gaza.

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As daughter of Holocaust survivors, I decry occupation of Gaza

The Warsaw Ghetto was liquidated and burned to the ground by Nazi soldiers in May 1943 in response to Jewish resistance to the mass extermination of the Jews of Warsaw. (PHOTO BY STANISLAW PAWELEK)
 
Jenny Pressman, The Cap Times, May 30, 2018

Let Gaza live.

The bitterly ironic confluence of the personal and political, of past and present, is pressing down on me so hard I cannot stop shaking in grief and anger. Whatever you think about the right of the State of Israel to exist or the long horrible history of hatred and violence in the Middle East, what is happening in Gaza is a humanitarian crisis. Israel and the United States are on the wrong side of history and humanity. It is painful to acknowledge but, with the occupation of Gaza and current violence against Palestinians by the Israeli army, Jews have shifted from being oppressed freedom fighters to military occupiers and I have to say NOT IN MY NAME.

I usually think about my family history and being Jewish on May 16 because most of my mother’s and father’s extended family lived in Warsaw, Poland, during World War II. May 16, 1943, was the day the Nazis slaughtered the remaining Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto after their desperate attempt at resistance failed.

May 16 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, a still-not-widely-known act of Jewish resistance in German-occupied Poland. In 1939, when the Nazis began to force Poland’s population of over 3 million Jews into crowded ghettos, my parents and their families were among the 300,000–400,000 people packed into a small walled-off area of Warsaw guarded by soldiers and surrounded by barbed wire.

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