Human rights org calls on Israel to release all Palestinian child detainees in response to COVID-19 crisis

No Way to Treat a Child Campaign logo
No Way to Treat a Child Campaign logo
The risks continue to grow for detained Palestinian children.

By Michael Arria | Mondoweiss | Mar 20, 2020

‘There is no way Israeli prison authorities can ensure the health and well-being of Palestinian child detainees as long as they continue to be in a custodial detention setting.’
— Ayed Abu Eqtaish, DCIP Accountability Program director

Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) is calling on the Israeli government to release all Palestinian child detainees amid the COVID-19 crisis. According to Ha’aretz, Israel has confirmed over 700 cases of COVID-19 and four Palestinian prisoners, being held at Megiddo prison, have been in contact with an Israeli officer who tested positive for the virus.

“Israeli authorities must take immediate action to release all Palestinian child detainees in Israeli prisons and detention centers due to the increasing vulnerability created due to the rapid global spread of the COVID-19 virus and to safeguard their right to life, survival, development, and health in accordance with international law,” reads the group’s press release.

Continue reading “Human rights org calls on Israel to release all Palestinian child detainees in response to COVID-19 crisis”

3rd Thursday Action Alert: Tell Congress to restore funding to UNRWA and bilateral assistance to Gaza and the West Bank

Image result for EPF Palestine Israel Network PINontheGo 19 March 2020

Ongoing effort by faith groups for humanitarian efforts.

By Palestine Israel Network  | Global Ministries |  Mar 18, 2020

In mid-February, Rep. Pocan (D-Wisc.) and Rep. Dingell (D-Mich.) sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, urging the Trump administration to alleviate the ongoing crisis by restoring all humanitarian assistance and working to end the Gaza blockade.

The Gaza Strip faces a chronic humanitarian crisis, impacting the livelihoods and access to essential services by its two million residents. The United Nations predicted in 2012 that conditions in Gaza would be unlivable by the year 2020 as a result of the Israeli blockade for more than 12 years. This crisis has been driven also by an unsolved internal Palestinian divide. Since March 2018, the crisis has been exacerbated by the massive increase in Palestinian casualties in the context of demonstrations taking place near Israel’s perimeter fence, as well as limited escalations in hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups.

Continue reading “3rd Thursday Action Alert: Tell Congress to restore funding to UNRWA and bilateral assistance to Gaza and the West Bank”

Opinion: Palestinians would die for the Israeli kind of lockdown

Palestinians argue with an Israeli soldier as Israeli near the village of Qusra, in the West Bank, on March 3, 2020. 
Palestinians argue with an Israeli soldier as Israeli near the village of Qusra, in the West Bank, on March 3, 2020. (photo: Mohamad Torokman / Reuters)
A surreal situation is unfolding revealing many ironies not lost on Palestinians.

By Gideon Levy | Haaretz | Mar 19, 2020

The irony of fate: For the first time, Israel is tasting some of the hell it has been dishing out for decades to its subjects.

The heavens have darkened and everything is closing in around us. Only fate, God or the shaper of history are laughing at us from up high, a bitter, ironic laughter. The irony of fate: For the first time, Israel is tasting some of the hell it has been dishing out for decades to its subjects. With alarming speed, Israelis have entered a reality known to every Palestinian child.

Even the terms have been borrowed from the occupation: Israel is on its way to a lockdown, the army is taking over hotels, the Shin Bet security service is taking over our cellphones, and the Border Police and its checkpoints are right around the corner. It’s no coincidence that Haaretz’s military analyst has been recruited to serve as the coronavirus analyst. In a day or two Tel Aviv will resemble Jenin and Israel will be like the Gaza Strip. What is routine there has become a frightening dystopia here.

Of course, the differences are many. What for us constitutes the end of the world would for them be an easing of the closure, with the pandemic looming over everyone. Still, we can’t but marvel at the similarities. First, the state of siege. The gates are practically locked. No one leaves or enters.

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The Palestinians refuse to give up their cause, deal or no deal

Palestinians holding flags of Palestine, march to protest against US President Donald Trump’s so-called Middle East peace plan on 1 February 2020 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians holding flags of Palestine, march to protest against US President Donald Trump’s so-called Middle East peace plan on 1 February 2020. (photo: Mostafa Alkharouf / Anadolu Agency)
Economic incentives being offered will not succeed as long as the occupation and its infrastructure are in place.

By Dr. Adnan Abu Amer | Middle East Monitor | Mar 16, 2020

In view of the imminent collapse of the PA, Palestinian capitalists are seeking to control decision-making and strengthen the link between the Palestinian economy and Israel’s.

Given the Palestinians’ rejection of Donald Trump’s “deal of the century”, there is talk about “buying” their approval with financial inducements and privileges. Political pressure will be exerted until they consent.

The so-called “peace plan” was unveiled piecemeal, first at the Bahrain Conference last June, under the banner of “Peace for Prosperity”. Washington had already imposed its policy to strangle the Palestinians so that they would surrender and accept the deal. Not only was US aid to UNRA cut from $359 million in 2017 to $65 million in 2018, but it was also stopped altogether in 2019.

The economic aspect of the deal is built upon donor countries and investors contributing $50 billion, of which $28 billion is earmarked for the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, with $9 billion going to Egypt, $7.5 billion to Jordan and $6 billion to Lebanon. This is in addition to $15 billion in subsidies, $25 billion in subsidized loans and the balance from private capital.

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Democrats press Trump administration on US gear used by Israel to demolish homes

Illustration. Israeli security forces stand guard during the demolition of a family home built without a permit in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Al-Tur on April 24, 2013. (Sliman Khader/Flash90)
Israeli security forces stand guard during the demolition of a family home built without a permit in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Al-Tur on April 24, 2013. (photo: Sliman Khader / Flash90)
Group of lawmakers seeking to halt practice of razing of domiciles, enforced against families of suspected attackers and Palestinians who built without permits

By Ron Kampeas | The Times of Israel | Mar 16, 2020

‘My hope is that Israel will stop the home demolitions and will see that there are many supporters of the US-Israel relationship on this letter…’
— U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna, California

More than 60 Democrats in the US House of Representatives want the Trump administration to ensure that Israel is using military equipment in compliance with US law, and to press Israel not to use the equipment to demolish Palestinian homes.

The letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, spearheaded by Reps. Ro Khanna and Anna Eshoo of California and Steve Cohen of Tennessee, notes recent demolitions in East Jerusalem and UN reports last year of a 45 percent increase in home demolitions.

“We urge you to press the Israeli government to prevent more families from being forcibly transferred and having their homes destroyed,” said the letter sent Monday.

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Netanyahu turns surveillance powers on Israelis

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announces emergency directives during a press conference at the Prime Ministers Office in Jerusalem, March 12, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announces emergency directives during a press conference at the Prime Ministers Office in Jerusalem, March 12, 2020. (photo: Olivier Fitoussi / Flash90)
As part of his ‘war’ on the outbreak, Netanyahu delays his long-awaited trial and announces the mass surveillance of Israelis infected by coronavirus.

By Edo Konrad | +972 Magazine |  Mar 15, 2020

From drones, to Facebook hacking, to biometric facial recognition, to blackmailing Palestinians with private information, to profiling potential Palestinian attackers using algorithms, surveillance is an essential component in the effort to turn Palestinians into obedient subjects of military dictatorship.

Standing at the podium in the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem Saturday night, a grave-looking Benjamin Netanyahu declared Israel was in a state of emergency. The prime minister, who did not field questions from reporters, announced he would be ramming through a series of emergency directives, including the mass surveillance of Israeli citizens, as part of the fight against the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Netanyahu stated that as part of the “war against an invisible enemy” — which has already infected over 200 Israeli citizens and nearly 40 Palestinians — he would be implementing “technological means” previously used in the “fight against terrorism” to monitor the movement of those who have tested positive for the virus, most likely by actively tracking citizens through geolocating their cellphones and credit cards.

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Coronavirus: Palestinian inmates fear for their lives in filthy and crowded Israeli jails

Palestinian prisoners sit in a prison cell in Ashkelon in 2004 (photo: Reuters)
Lack of hygiene products and packed cells leave prisoners fearing continued policy of ‘deliberate medical negligence’

By Akram Al-Waara | Middle East Eye | Mar 13, 2020

Palestinians… are concerned that the Israeli government and prison authorities are not taking the proper measures to prevent the spread of the virus and treat those who may become sick.

Fear and panic have characterised much of the past 10 days in the occupied West Bank, as the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb.

By Friday, the Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed that the number of official cases had risen to 35, 34 of them in the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem.

But just as the measures taken by the government to stop the spread of the virus began to restore some sense of calm, Palestinians woke up to more dreadful news: the coronavirus had reached Israeli prisons, where thousands of Palestinian political prisoners are held.

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JVP leadership transition: Palestinians honor Rebecca Vilkomerson

Rebecca Vilkomerson (Photo: Skip Schiel)
Rebecca Vilkomerson (photo: Skip Schiel)
An open letter of support and acknowledgement from Palestinian and Arab signatories for leadership that has sought to advance Palestinian rights.

Open Letter |  Mondoweiss  | Mar 10, 2020

…the organization undertook a two-year process launched at their national member meeting in 2017 that resulted in the adoption of a position unequivocally opposing Zionism.

On the occasion of the Jewish Voice for Peace transition to a new leadership, we the undersigned take this opportunity to honor and thank past Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson for her dedicated and strategic leadership of an organization that has done so much to advance Palestinian rights to self-determination, freedom, justice, and equality in the U.S. and beyond.

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With 29 cases in Palestine, government steps up efforts to contain coronavirus

Foreign tourists wearing masks as a preventive measure against the coronavirus during a visit to the Church of the Nativity, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on March 05, 2020. (Photo: Abedalrahman Hassan/APA Images)
Foreign tourists wearing masks as a preventive measure against the coronavirus during a visit to the Church of the Nativity, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on March 05, 2020. (photo: Abedalrahman Hassan / APA Images)
Most tourists have been evacuated from Bethlehem and additional measures may be needed.

By Yumna Patel | Mondoweiss | Mar 10, 2020

Across the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, 2,900 Palestinians were being held in self-quarantine — six of them in Jerusalem, and 605 people in Gaza who had recently returned from performing the Umrah pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

Palestinians are holding their breath as they wait to see if the Palestinian Authority’s desperate attempts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to the city of Bethlehem is working.

Panic grew on Monday after the Palestinian Ministry of Health announced that there was one confirmed case of the virus in the northern occupied West Bank city of Tulkarem, the first case of the virus outside of Bethlehem.

Local media reported that an unidentified Palestinian man from Tulkarem contracted the virus while he was working in Israel, but that he was quarantined immediately along with his entire family — none of whom tested positive for the virus.

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The Israeli army doesn’t have snipers on the Gaza border. It has hunters

Israeli forces seen patrolling near the Israel Gaza border Gaza on Tuesday early morning January 20, 2009
Israeli forces seen patrolling near the Israel Gaza border Gaza on Tuesday early morning January 20, 2009. (photo: Daniel Bar On – JINI)
Permanently disabled Palestinians are a casualty of a purposeful war.

By Gideon Levy | Information Clearing House | Mar 9, 2020

If they are feeling at all apologetic it’s because they didn’t spill more blood.

They’re the best of our boys. One is a “musician from a good high school,” another a “boy scout” who majored in theater.” They’re the snipers who have shot thousands of unarmed protesters along the Gaza border fence.

In the Gaza Strip there are 8,000 permanently disabled young men as a result of the snipers’ actions. Some are leg amputees, and the shooters are very proud of that. None of the snipers interviewed for Hilo Glazer’s frightening story in Haaretz (March 6) has any regrets. If they are feeling at all apologetic it’s because they didn’t spill more blood. One was mocked in his battalion with “here comes the killer.” They all act like murderers. If their actions don’t show it – more than 200 dead as a result of them – then their statements prove that these young men have lost their moral compass. They are lost. They will go on to study, to have careers and to raise families – and will never recover from their blindness. They disabled their victims physically, but their own disabilities are more severe. Their souls were completely twisted. They will never again be moral individuals. They are a danger to society. They lost their humanity, if they ever had it, on the shooting berms facing the Gaza Strip. They are the sons of our friends and the friends of our sons, the young people from the apartment across the hall. Look how they talk.

Continue reading “The Israeli army doesn’t have snipers on the Gaza border. It has hunters”