Ma’an News – Around 100 Palestinian Bedouins could be homeless by the end of the week after Israeli authorities issued eviction orders to 20 families in northeast Jerusalem, their lawyer said Wednesday.
An Israeli court initially ordered the families, from the al-Arara tribe, to leave their land in Jaba within three days, but the lawyer managed to delay the order for 15 days, which will run out this week, he told a news conference in Jerusalem.
Jaba borders Adam, an illegal Jewish settlement, which the families say Israel plans to expand onto their land.
Ma’an News – Fluctuating prices, poverty and border restrictions mean growing numbers of Palestinians are facing food insecurity this year — one of the key priorities in the humanitarian community’s annual appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory.
This year’s Consolidated Appeal Process is for $401.6 million, a slight decrease on last year’s $416.7 million, only 68 percent of which was financed.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which helped coordinate the CAP, estimates that 1.3 million Palestinians do not have enough food.
The latest figures show the number of households without sufficient access to food has risen by 7 percent since 2011, a trend which — if continued — would have left an estimated 41 percent of Palestinians without the necessary resources to get sufficient, safe and nutritious food at the end of 2012.
“Palestinian wages have not kept pace with inflation … Many poor Palestinians have exhausted their coping mechanisms (taking on loans, cutting back consumption) and are now much more vulnerable to small price increases than they were,” said a recent World Food Program bulletin.
According to the CAP, the situation is further worsened by restrictions on the movement of people and goods, which have resulted in higher prices of basic food commodities and reduced the purchasing power of many vulnerable families.
Humanitarian agencies hope to carry out 157 projects in 2013 — 58 implemented by UN agencies, 82 by international NGOs and 17 by local NGOs.
But doing this type of work is becoming increasingly difficult, according to aid workers who say getting access to vulnerable communities became tougher in 2012 because of lengthy Israeli planning procedures and restrictions on mobility and authorization.
In 2011, UN reconstruction projects had to wait an average of eight months for approval from Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in Territories, a unit in the Israeli Ministry of Defense that engages in coordinating civilian issues between the government of Israel, the army, international organizations, diplomats, and the Palestinian Authority). By the end of 2012, the average waiting time more than doubled to 20 months, according to the CAP report.
In addition, aid workers lost some 1,959 working hours due to 535 access incidents while attempting to pass Israeli checkpoints in 2012, Maria José Torres, OCHA deputy head of office in OPT, told IRIN.
This trend is expected to worsen once the Israeli Crossing Points Administration, a civilian department linked to the Defense Ministry, begins to operate all checkpoints.
The CPA requires regular searches of UN vehicles, unless the driver is an international staff member, and national UN staff are subject to body searches and required to walk through the crossings the CPA operates. It remains unclear, however, when exactly CPA will take over.
Impact of recent political events
The recent escalation in violence in Gaza at the end of 2012 only increased humanitarian needs and added an extra $26 million to the CAP as communities try to rebuild: this year’s appeal has a tighter focus on strictly humanitarian projects that would immediately tackle suffering, said Torres.
The indebted Palestinian government in the West Bank is also struggling to provide basic services due to a shortfall in revenue provoked by declining donor support, and also the holding back of tax revenues by Israel, which objected to the State of Palestine being given the status of a non-member observer state at the UN.
A man-made crisis?
These incidents highlight the close correlation between politics and humanitarian needs in oPt.
At the CAP presentation in Ramallah, several speakers on the podium criticized Israel for provoking what they said was a man-made humanitarian crisis in oPt.
“The UN has repeatedly called upon the State of Israel to meet its obligations as an occupying power, including halting demolitions and addressing humanitarian needs. Unfortunately, these have not been met,” said the resident humanitarian coordinator in oPt, James Rawley.
“The international community tries to fill the gap, and this humanitarian action is essential. But it is no substitute to political action.”
Many of the Palestinian officials and humanitarian staff present told IRIN they had become frustrated by the man-made and largely unchanged humanitarian crisis in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
“After 20 years of a useless peace process with Israel, the situation on the ground continues to deteriorate. The status quo is not working,” said Estephan Salameh, an adviser to the Palestinian Ministry of Planning in the West Bank.
IMEMC – Sunday at night – January 27, Israeli soldiers broke into a mosque in the Al-Ezariyya town, in occupied East Jerusalem, searched it and detained dozens of worshipers.
Local sources reported that the army invaded the Al-Morabetean mosque after surrounding it, and prevented the worshipers from leaving for a few hours.
Later on, the soldiers also inspected the ID cards of the worshipers , and also searched them after forcing them to stand against the wall outside of the mosque.
The army said that the soldiers conducted a search campaign in the area after an Israeli settlers bus came under fire leading to damages but no injuries.
The army claimed that the attack took place near Hizma Palestinian village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem, and added that two rounds have been fired at the bus; no arrests were made until the time of this report.
Ma’an News – Israeli forces demolished at least four buildings and a sewage network in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan early Monday, locals said.
Bulldozers leveled land and uprooted olive trees in order to access the demolition sites, closing all the surrounding roads, witnesses told Ma’an.
The raid, shortly after the dawn prayer, prompted clashes with local residents. Witnesses said several youth were detained by Israeli police, including Khalid al-Zeir and Firas Awad. An Israeli police spokesman could not be reached for comment.
Silwan resident Abdul-Munim Shuweiki said forces demolished a fence and uprooted 10-year-old olive trees to access his land.
The bulldozers razed his garage and a steel building, damaging an external staircase, he told Silwan’s Wadi Hilweh Information Center.
Ahmad Simrin, who owns land in the area, said Israeli bulldozers leveled parts of his land and demolished a sewage network.
He told the Wadi Hilweh Center that he showed an Israeli commander a title deed dating back to 1892, which proves that the land was owned by his grandfather Awad Simrin. Israel does not recognize that deed and insists the area is a national park, he said.
Israeli bulldozers also demolished a tin-roofed room in the neighborhood, which was built in 1956, according to owner Faraj Shukeir.
The demolition also damaged an older room and the front yard of the house.
Israeli forces then demolished a newer house, built eleven years ago and inhabited by a family of four, belonging to Silwan resident Ayman Shukeir.
Silwan — adjacent to the Old City’s Dome of the Rock compound and Western Wall — is a populated by a number of settler homes under heavy Israeli guard, and the site of frequent clashes with forces on arrest raids targeting the Palestinian population.
Israel insists that Jerusalem is its “eternal and indivisible” capital, and annexed the city’s eastern sector after a 1967 war in a move never recognized by the international community.
For Palestinians, East Jerusalem is the capital of their promised state.
IMEMC – Last Sunday, and following the end of a normal school day in Jerusalem, a number of Arab Palestinian schoolchildren from Jerusalem (around age 12) boarded an Israeli bus while heading home; a number of adult Israeli extremists started insulting the children, and one of them spit a gum he was chewing on a child’s face.
Israeli paper, Haaretz, reported that after the Palestinian children boarded the bus, two settlers “noticed” that the children were speaking in Arabic, and started cursing at them, insulting them and one of the settlers even spit a gum, he was chewing, in the face of one of the children.
The Arab children study at a Jerusalem school attended by both Arab and Jewish students.
After the two settlers left the bus, a settler woman started harassing the children, cursing at them and uttered a number of racist statements against the Arabs and Palestinians.
The settler woman did not only use words to show her racist nature against the Palestinians, but even physically attacked one of the children by grabbing her hair and pulling it.
The bus driver then stopped his bus, and demanded the settler woman to leave, and when she refused he called the police who detained her.
Haaretz said that “Ayyoub”, the father of the child, said that his daughter goes to school through Jewish neighborhoods every single school day, and that she is repeatedly subject to verbal insults, but this time extremists decided to move to physical assault.
The father added that, in the latest bus incident, only one Israeli man stood up for the children, and prevented a more serious attack against them.
IMEMC – The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) reported, Monday evening, that a former Palestinian political prisoner from Hebron, died at a hospital in Jerusalem after falling into a coma 50 days ago due to a serious health condition resulting from his imprisonment by Israel, and the lack of medical treated while in prison.
The PPS said that Ashraf Abu Thra’, 27, from Beit Awwa village, west of the southern West Bank city of Jenin, was hospitalized at the Augusta Victoria hospital in Jerusalem where he fell into a 50-day coma until his death.
Nasser Qous, director of the PPS in Jerusalem, stated that Abu Thra’ spent six years in the Al-Ramla prison clinic that lacks basic supplies and specialized physicians; he was wheelchair bound, and suffered numerous health complication that were left untreated.
He was released on November 15, 2012 after a serious deterioration in his health condition, and was hospitalized in Jerusalem on the day of his release.
Issa Qaraqe’, Palestinian Minister of Detainees, held Israel responsible for the death of Abu Thra’, and stated that Israel deprived him from the urgently needed medications, physical therapy sessions, and the urgently needed specialized medical attention, an issue that caused serious complications.
He added that three Palestinians detainees died within two years of their release due to serious complications resulting from the lack of adequate and specialized medical attention in prison.
Dozens of detainees died in Israeli prisons due to similar health complications.
The two detainees who died with the last two years, shortly after their release, have been identified as Zakariyya Issa and Zuheir Labbada.
There are currently more than 4500 Palestinians who are still imprisoned by Israel, including 198 children, eight women, and several elected legislators and officials.
79 detainees have died in prison since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Intifada (In late September 2000) due to torture, medical neglect, excessive use of force by the soldiers and interrogators, in addition to several detainees who were executed by the arresting officers, former Political Prisoner, Palestinian Researcher, former political prisoner, Abdul-Nasser Farawna said.
A total of 202 detainees died or were killed in Israeli prisons since 1967; dozens of detainees also died after they were released due to diseases they encountered in prison or due to complications resulting from extreme torture and bad conditions in prisons.
Apparently, killing the Palestinians just one time is not enough for the Israelis.
By bulldozing a cemetary they are killing them twice.
Yet the world still remains silent.
Don’t stay silent about injustice.
Be the voice for the voiceless.