In an urgent letter to Israeli military officials, three human rights groups demand that Israel immediately stop spraying the dangerous chemicals into Gaza. The Israeli army is continuing to spray dangerous herbicides on agricultural fields inside the Gaza Strip, three years since +972 Magazine first reported on the practice. This week, three Palestinian and Israeli human rights groups sent a letter to Israeli military officials demanding they immediately cease spraying the dangerous chemicals into Gaza. [tmwinpost] The latest instance of spraying herbicides, using a reportedly carcinogenic chemical, took place in early December. A variety of crops inside Gaza were damaged as a…Read More... | 6 Comments
It's impossible to know just how much Israel will loosen its restrictions on goods and movement of people in Gaza as it negotiates with Hamas. What's clear is that a new approach is needed. Israel and Hamas are in the advanced stages of negotiations over a ceasefire, according to numerous media reports, that, in exchange for an end to the flaming kites that have set alight hundreds of acres of Israeli farmland, would increase the flow of goods in and out of the Gaza Strip. [tmwinpost] It’s difficult to know to what degree Israel will agree loosen the restrictions on goods and…Read More... | 1 Comment
Human rights groups argue the army's open-fire regulations violate international law. The government claims the use of deadly force is justified — even against unarmed demonstrators. Israel's High Court of Justice heard on Monday a major challenge to the IDF's rules of engagement, which permit the use of live fire against demonstrators who pose no danger to human life. [tmwinpost] Monday's session saw opening arguments in two petitions submitted by several prominent human rights organizations — one by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Yesh Din, Gisha, and HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual and one by Adalah…Read More... | 1 Comment
As internal Palestinian rifts take a heavy toll on Gazans and as shifting geopolitics in the Gulf affect quality of life in Deir al-Balah, Israel is again missing an opportunity to harness the future of its relationship with Gaza. By Amir Rotem The ceasefire agreement that ended Operation Protective Edge went into effect on August 26, 2014. The operation was the deadliest and most devastating in Gaza to date, taking the lives of 2,202 Gaza residents, including 1,391 people deemed to be civilians and 526 of whom were children. Sixty-six Israeli soldiers and six civilians, Israelis and foreign nationals, were…Read More... | 4 Comments
Palestinians are no longer allowed to bring sandwiches with them when exiting the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military has instituted a travel ban on food, toiletries and most electronic devices for Palestinians exiting the Gaza Strip. [tmwinpost] The army sent the new directive to Gisha, an Israeli NGO that promotes freedom of movement for Palestinians, a day before it went into effect earlier this month. The directive was not, however, published in the “Status of Closure Authorizations,” a document meant to inform Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank about restrictions on movement. Not even USB drives Even Palestinians traveling abroad,…Read More... | 19 Comments
The Israeli cabinet decided to accept Mahmoud Abbas' request that the electricity supply to Gaza be cut. The army has warned against doing so, but it seems that for Israel, Abbas' interests are more important than people's lives. Who says there is no coordination between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority? On Sunday evening, Israel gladly accepted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas request to cut the already-dilapidated electricity supply to Gaza, in order to make life for its residents that much more difficult. Think about the significance of cutting electricity by 40 percent in the middle of a blazing summer.…Read More... | 7 Comments
The director of a hospital destroyed during 'Protective Edge' has managed to rebuild part of the facility. Now he has about a month's worth of fuel left to keep its back-up generators running. Without them, the hospital faces another complete shutdown. At the height of Israel's Operation Protective Edge, El Wafa Medical Rehabilitation Hospital was the target of fierce attacks from Israeli positions along Gaza's eastern border, just over a kilometer away. Speaking to +972 at the time, the hospital's director, Dr. Basman Alashi, described panic among his patients but insisted that he and his staff would continue to care for them — even if it…Read More...
Israeli planes have been reported spraying herbicides over land inside the Gaza Strip on four occasions in 2017, including twice in the last two days. Israeli planes sprayed herbicides inside the Gaza Strip for the second day running on Wednesday and the fourth time this year, according to local farmers and Israeli rights NGO Gisha. A video published on Wednesday, allegedly of the crop-dusting, shows a plane flying low and spraying over farmland. Palestinians who reported the incident said that the planes had dusted near the Gaza border fence, and the Gaza Ministry of Agriculture is investigating the extent of the damage from the…Read More... | 29 Comments
Women in Gaza face serious societal constrains at home, but also an ongoing siege that limits their freedom of movement and occupation and alarmingly increases the rate of violence against them. The untold price women pay for Israel’s closure policy. By Aya Zinatey Whenever the issue of Palestinian women in Gaza and the impact the closure has on them comes up, Gaza’s traditional societal structure comes up as well, and there’s a dilemma: how can we talk about the impacts of the closure without mentioning the societal injustice these same women suffer from? I suggest looking at the occupation and…Read More... | 4 Comments
Gaza's working women earn 25 percent more, on average, than their male counterparts, according to a new report. Why are they still trapped under a 'concrete' ceiling? When 53-year-old Clara Zetkin put forth the idea for an International Women’s Day, she was one of 100 or so delegates at the second International Conference of Working Women, its participating “unions, socialist parties, [and] working women’s clubs” gathered in Copenhagen, in the late summer of 1910, to call for universal suffrage and health insurance—including maternity leave for working mothers. [tmwinpost] If their platform seemed radical for the time, it was no more…Read More... | 3 Comments
In honor of Valentine's Day, three tales from Gaza of the impossible conditions for families and couples created by Israel's closure of the Strip. By Tania Hary To receive a permit to travel to and from Gaza via Erez Crossing, Israel must determine that your reason for travel is humanitarian in nature or that you meet a list of exceptional circumstances (like playing for the national football team or being a trader). Traveling to visit your mother you haven’t seen in 10 years isn’t considered to be humanitarian in nature, unless, God forbid, she’s ill with a fatal condition. [tmwinpost] Traveling…Read More... | 13 Comments
The Paris Peace Conference will focus on Israeli settlements in the West Bank. That is because with greater and greater restrictions on movement, and by unraveling the ties that bind Palestinian society, Israel has effectively removed Gaza from the conversation. That is a terrible mistake. By Tania Hary This Sunday, senior diplomats and foreign ministers from 70 countries are expected to convene in Paris along with Palestinian officials to talk peace. According to reports, they’re expected to call on the parties to refrain from taking “unilateral steps that prejudge the outcome of final-status negotiations,” code for Israel to please refrain…Read More... | 2 Comments
When Israel's military government needs to provide Palestinians with crucial information about the rules that affect their lives, money and Arabic-speaking staff are apparently in short supply. When it comes to PR, resources are seemingly on tap. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman this week announced his new "carrot and stick" plan for Palestinians living in the West Bank, which roughly works out as: if you behave, we will give your towns and communities economic benefits; if you don't, there will be more demolitions, more arrests, more raids, more canceled permits. Within Liberman's plan is a proposal for an Arabic-language news website to…Read More...
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