Maandelijks archief: november 2022

NOS, Blokkade Gaza is illegaal en Israel is nog steeds de bezettende macht in Gaza!

Image result for Destruction of Gaza/Images

MISDADEN VAN DE ISRAELISCHE BEZETTINGVERWOESTING VAN GAZA

BEZETTINGSTERREUR
foto Oda Hulsen Hebron 2 mei 2017/Verwijst naar foto van een Palestijnse jongen, die tegen de muur wordt gezet doorIsraelische soldaten, die hem toeriepen ”Where is your knife!”/Later vrijgelaten

NB Het is dus NIET de foto van een Palestijnse jongen, die bij de kraag wordt gegrepen

Foto van Oda Hulsen valt soms weg

NOS, BLOKKADE GAZA IS ILLEGAAL EN ISRAEL IS NOG STEEDS

DE BEZETTENDE MACHT IN GAZA!

AAN

NOS TELETEKST REDACTIE

Onderwerp:

Uw berichtgeving dd 18 november:

”Veel doden bij brand in Gazastrook”

De walrus sprak:

De tijd is daar
Om over allerlei te praten”

Een schoen, een schip, een kandelaar,

Of koningen ook liegen

En of de zee soms koken kan

En een biggetje kan vliegen.
Uit het Engels vertaald uit:

 THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTERLEWIS CARROLL: ALICE IN WONDERLAND

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Walrus_and_the_Carpenter

Geachte Redactie,

[Mocht u in tijdnood zijn, spring dan direct over naar de

Epiloog

Daarin staat de essentie van mijn Betoog]

Ik moet zeggen:

”Never a dull moment with the NOS Teletekstredactie”

Want in EEN enkel bericht slaagt u erin onjuiste en onvolledige

berichtgeving te vermelden, misdaden tegen de burgerbevolking te vergoeilijken en zodoende de lezer op het verkeerde been te zetten

KUDOS!

Het gaat hier om uw berichtgeving dd 18 november ””Veel doden bij brand in Gazastrook”, waarin u zich, beroepend op een BBC bericht [1], vermeldt,

dat er bij een woningbrand in de Gazastrook, in een appartement in de

stad Jabalia, 21 doden zijn gevallen, waaronder tien kinderen.

Zie onder P/S

Op de rest van uw berichtgeving kom ik nu terug.

I

STATUS GAZASTROOK

Uw berichtgeving lezende, zou men de indruk kunnen krijgen,

dat de ”Gazastrook” een zo niet onafhankelijk, dan in ieder

geval autonoom gebied zou zijn, dat zijn eigen zaken regelt.

Maar niets is minder waar!

Want volgens het Internationaal Recht, is de Gazastrook

nog steeds een door Israel bezet gebied, aangezien Israel

de grenzen en het luchtruim van Gaza controleert. [2]

In het licht van uw berichtgeving, maar ook bij nog

volgende berichtgevingen over Gaza is het van belang de

internationaalrechtelijke status van Gaza te vermelden.

Anders doet u aan onvolledige en ook onjuiste berichtgeving

II

ONJUISTE WEERGAVE BERICHTGEVING VAN UW BRON, DE BBC

In uw berichtgeving beroept u zich op een BBC bericht:

Daarover vermeldt u:

”Het vuur woedde in een appartement in de stad Jabalia op de

derde verdieping, volgens de BBC vermoedelijk na een

gaslek in de keuken.”

Zie onder P/S

Wanneer u echter een bericht overneemt van een ander

nieuwsmedium, is het wel zaak, daarin exact te zijn.

Want wat blijkt bij het lezen van dat BBC bericht?

Dat het er wel wat anders staat, dan u vermeldt:

Want weliswaar klopt uw berichtgeving in zoverre,

dat Jabalia inderdaad een stad is [3], maar volgens

de BBC heeft de brand niet DAAR gewoed, maar in het

vluchtelingenkamp, dat grenst aan die stad.

Ik citeer de BBC berichtgeving:

At least 21 people – including 10 children – have been killed by a fire in a building in a densely populated refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, a hospital director has told the BBC.” [4]Het lijkt mij niet alleen van groot belang, dat er hier wordt vermeld,dat de brand heeft gewoed in een gebouw binnen een vluchtelingenkamp,sowieso moet u in uw berichtgeving de juiste berichtgeving vermedlden.En het is al helemaal zo sneu, als een lezer u moet betrappen opverkeerd weergegeven bronnen, in casu de BBC [5]Let daar dus op in het vervolg
III
IMPLICIETE VERGOEILIJKING BLOKKADE GAZANIET HET HELE VERHAAL VERTELD!
Wat mij echter het meest heeft gestoord aan uw berichtgeving, is uwimpliciete vergoeilijking van de Israelische Blokkade van Gaza
Ik citeer u:

Israel, dat de Gazastrook al jarenlang blokkeert om aanslagen

te voorkomen, zegt dat gewonden voor behandeling in Israelische ziekenhuizen terechtkunnen” [Zie onder P/S]

En dan gaat het mij natuurlijk om de zinsnede voor de comma.

Op de rest van de zin kom ik ook nog terug gedurende dit schrijfproces

Wat betreft uw citaat merk ik het volgende op:

Als u het over de Israelische Blokkade van Gaza hebt, vertel dan ook het

hele Verhaal.

Om te beginnen:

Die Gaza Blokkade is vooral het Israelische antwoord op de installatie

van de eerste Hamas regering in 2007, die trouwens via vrije en eerlijke

verkiezingen aan de macht is gekomen. [6]

Trouwens, van het Israelische argument [door u herhaald], dat die Gaza Blokkade een

reactie is op Palestijnse aanslagen, maakt de mensenrechten

organisatie Human Rights Watch gehakt door in een brief aan de toenmalige

Israelische premier Olmert op te merken:

”Your government states that this latest blockade was in response to Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel, in which two Israel civilians were injured (on November 14 and 16), and over a dozen others treated for shock

………………………………………………………………………………………..

However, violations of the laws of war by one party to a conflict do not justify violations by the other…..[7]Maar er is meer:Want de Gaza Blokkade, waarbij Israel dusna de Hamas overwinning Gaza afsloot van debuitenwereld, waardoor de mensen niet meer vrij konden reizen en de import en export van goederenverbood dan wel beperkte [8] is als collectieve straf[wat in gewoon Nederlands betekent dat de ”goeien” onder de ”kwaaien lijden] onacceptabel en internationaalrechtelijk verboden [9]
De gevolgen van die Blokkade [door deSpeciale  VN Rapporteur ”calculated strangulation of the Gaza Strip genoemd] [10] zijn rampzalig:Vernietiging van de economie, almaar toenemende armoede en groot lijden vande Palestijnse bevolking, niet in de laatste plaats vanwege het afsnijden vande mogelijkheid, te vissen of bij hun land te komen engebrek aan toegang tot onderwijs en gezondheidszorg [11]

”ISRAEL’S OPEN AIR PRISON”, zo noemt Human RightsWatch Gaza [12]En dat alles, terwijl Israel, als bezettende Macht,nog steeds verantwoordelijk is voor welzijn enwelvaart van de bezette Gazaanse bevolking [13][Ik heb u in bovenstaande al uitgelegd, waarom Israelnog steeds de bezettende macht is]
GEZONDHEIDSZORG EN DESASTREUZE GEVOLGENUW CITAAT
Dan kom ik nu op het citaat uit uw berichtgeving, zinsnede na de comma:
””

Israel, dat de Gazastrook al jarenlang blokkeert om aanslagen

te voorkomen, zegt dat gewonden voor behandeling in Israelische ziekenhuizen terechtkunnen”’

Eigenlijk vind ik het wel lef hebben, dat u deze bewering van de Israelische Staat neerschrijft zonder enige toelichting.

Want als u uw journalistieke werk goed had gedaan, dan had u niet alleen

geweten, dat door de Israelische Blokkade de gezondheidszorg voor

Gazaanse Palestijnen sowieso een ernstige knauw heeft gekregen [14]

Maar waarom ik het Gotspe vind van Israel, maar vooral ook van u

als redactie, die deze bewering van Israel zo kritiekloos overneemt is,

dat die Blokkade van Gaza aan Palestijnse kant al tot doden geleid heeft!

ZO HEBBEN ZEKER AL TWEE PALESTIJNSE BABY’S HET

LEVEN GELATEN, omdat vanwege de verd…..Israelische Blokkade dringende

medische hulp werd geweigerd!

Ik verzin dit niet, het staat in het AD! [15]

Zover is het dus al gekomen

EPILOOG

Ik heb u uitgebreid uiteengezet, hoe het werkelijk gesteld

is met de Blokkade van Gaza en de destructieve gevolgen

daarvan voor de Palestijnen

Ook heb ik u erop gewezen, dat Israel internationaalrechtelijk,

nog steeds bezettende macht is in Gaza en daardoor dus verantwoordelijk

is voor het welzijn van de bevolking.

Dergelijke elementen mogen in uw berichtgeving over Gaza niet ontbreken,

zeker als u het over de Blokkade van Gaza hebt

Ik hoop, dat u daarvan geleerd hebt en in het vervolg hierover beter

en evenwichtiger zal berichten

Vriendelijke groeten

Astrid Essed

Amsterdam

NOTEN

Voor uw gemak heb ik de noten in links ondergebracht

Zie daaronder P/S

NOTEN 1 EN 2

NOTEN 3, 4 EN 5

NOOT 6

NOTEN 7 EN 8

NOOT 9

NOTEN 10 EN 11

NOOT 12

NOTEN 13, 14 EN 15

P/S

NOS TELETEKST BERICHTGEVING

NOS TELETEKST

18 NOVEMBER 2022

VEEL DODEN BIJ BRAND IN GAZASTROOK

Bij een woningbrand in de Gazastrook zijn zeker 21 doden

gevallen.

Het vuur woedde in een appartement in de stad Jalabia op de

derde verdieping, volgens de BBC vermoedelijk na een

gaslek in de keuken.

Getuigen zeggen, dat er brandstof was opgeslagen voor een aggregaat,

In het appartement was een hele familie bij elkaar omdat een

familielid net was teruggekeerd uit het buitenland.

Onder de doden zijn tien kinderen.

Verwacht wordt, dat het dodental nog zal oplopen.

Israel, dat de Gazastrook al jarfenlang blokkeert om aanslagen

te voorkomen, zegt dat gewonden voor behandeling in Israelische ziekenhuizen terechtkunnen.

EINDE TELETEKSTBERICHT

ORIGINELE NOS TELETEKSTBERICHT

128 – NOS Teletekst

128 – NOS Teletekst
Veel doden bij brand in Gazastrook  
                                        

 Bij een woningbrand in de Gazastrook 
 zijn zeker 21 doden gevallen.Het vuur  
 woedde in een appartement in de stad   
 Jabalia op de derde verdieping,volgens 
 de BBC vermoedelijk na een gaslek in de
 keuken.Getuigen zeggen dat er brandstof
 was opgeslagen voor een aggregaat.     
                                        
 In het appartement was een hele familie
 bij elkaar omdat een familielid net was
 teruggekeerd uit het buitenland.Onder  
 de doden zijn tien kinderen.Verwacht   
 wordt dat het dodental nog zal oplopen.
                                        
 Israël,dat de Gazastrook al jaren      
 blokkeert om aanslagen te voorkomen,   
 zegt dat gewonden voor behandeling in  
 Israëlische ziekenhuizen terechtkunnen.

EINDE BERICHT EN BRIEF

ZIE VOOR ORIGINELE MAIL AAN NOS:

  II

ORIGINELE MAIL AAN NOS TELETEKSTREDACTIE

Astrid Essed <astridessed@yahoo.com>

To:reacties@nos.nl,nosbinnenland@nos.nl,publieksreacties@nos.nl,communicatie@nos.nl

Sun, Nov 20 at 4:17 PM

AAN

NOS TELETEKST REDACTIE

Onderwerp:

Uw berichtgeving dd 18 november:

”Veel doden bij brand in Gazastrook”

De walrus sprak:

De tijd is daar
Om over allerlei te praten”

Een schoen, een schip, een kandelaar,

Of koningen ook liegen

En of de zee soms koken kan

En een biggetje kan vliegen.
Uit het Engels vertaald uit:

 THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTERLEWIS CARROLL: ALICE IN WONDERLAND

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Walrus_and_the_Carpenter

Geachte Redactie,

[Mocht u in tijdnood zijn, spring dan direct over naar de

Epiloog

Daarin staat de essentie van mijn Betoog]

Ik moet zeggen:

”Never a dull moment with the NOS Teletekstredactie”

Want in EEN enkel bericht slaagt u erin onjuiste en onvolledige

berichtgeving te vermelden, misdaden tegen de burgerbevolking te vergoeilijken en zodoende de lezer op het verkeerde been te zetten

KUDOS!

Het gaat hier om uw berichtgeving dd 18 november ””Veel doden bij brand in Gazastrook”, waarin u zich, beroepend op een BBC bericht [1], vermeldt,

dat er bij een woningbrand in de Gazastrook, in een appartement in de

stad Jabalia, 21 doden zijn gevallen, waaronder tien kinderen.

Zie onder P/S

Op de rest van uw berichtgeving kom ik nu terug.

I

STATUS GAZASTROOK

Uw berichtgeving lezende, zou men de indruk kunnen krijgen,

dat de ”Gazastrook” een zo niet onafhankelijk, dan in ieder

geval autonoom gebied zou zijn, dat zijn eigen zaken regelt.

Maar niets is minder waar!

Want volgens het Internationaal Recht, is de Gazastrook

nog steeds een door Israel bezet gebied, aangezien Israel

de grenzen en het luchtruim van Gaza controleert. [2]

In het licht van uw berichtgeving, maar ook bij nog

volgende berichtgevingen over Gaza is het van belang de

internationaalrechtelijke status van Gaza te vermelden.

Anders doet u aan onvolledige en ook onjuiste berichtgeving

II

ONJUISTE WEERGAVE BERICHTGEVING VAN UW BRON, DE BBC

In uw berichtgeving beroept u zich op een BBC bericht:

Daarover vermeldt u:

”Het vuur woedde in een appartement in de stad Jabalia op de

derde verdieping, volgens de BBC vermoedelijk na een

gaslek in de keuken.”

Zie onder P/S

Wanneer u echter een bericht overneemt van een ander

nieuwsmedium, is het wel zaak, daarin exact te zijn.

Want wat blijkt bij het lezen van dat BBC bericht?

Dat het er wel wat anders staat, dan u vermeldt:

Want weliswaar klopt uw berichtgeving in zoverre,

dat Jabalia inderdaad een stad is [3], maar volgens

de BBC heeft de brand niet DAAR gewoed, maar in het

vluchtelingenkamp, dat grenst aan die stad.

Ik citeer de BBC berichtgeving:

At least 21 people – including 10 children – have been killed by a fire in a building in a densely populated refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, a hospital director has told the BBC.” [4]Het lijkt mij niet alleen van groot belang, dat er hier wordt vermeld,dat de brand heeft gewoed in een gebouw binnen een vluchtelingenkamp,sowieso moet u in uw berichtgeving de juiste berichtgeving vermedlden.En het is al helemaal zo sneu, als een lezer u moet betrappen opverkeerd weergegeven bronnen, in casu de BBC [5]Let daar dus op in het vervolg
III
IMPLICIETE VERGOEILIJKING BLOKKADE GAZANIET HET HELE VERHAAL VERTELD!
Wat mij echter het meest heeft gestoord aan uw berichtgeving, is uwimpliciete vergoeilijking van de Israelische Blokkade van Gaza
Ik citeer u:

Israel, dat de Gazastrook al jarenlang blokkeert om aanslagen

te voorkomen, zegt dat gewonden voor behandeling in Israelische ziekenhuizen terechtkunnen” [Zie onder P/S]

En dan gaat het mij natuurlijk om de zinsnede voor de comma.

Op de rest van de zin kom ik ook nog terug gedurende dit schrijfproces

Wat betreft uw citaat merk ik het volgende op:

Als u het over de Israelische Blokkade van Gaza hebt, vertel dan ook het

hele Verhaal.

Om te beginnen:

Die Gaza Blokkade is vooral het Israelische antwoord op de installatie

van de eerste Hamas regering in 2007, die trouwens via vrije en eerlijke

verkiezingen aan de macht is gekomen. [6]

Trouwens, van het Israelische argument [door u herhaald], dat die Gaza Blokkade een

reactie is op Palestijnse aanslagen, maakt de mensenrechten

organisatie Human Rights Watch gehakt door in een brief aan de toenmalige

Israelische premier Olmert op te merken:

”Your government states that this latest blockade was in response to Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel, in which two Israel civilians were injured (on November 14 and 16), and over a dozen others treated for shock

………………………………………………………………………………………..

However, violations of the laws of war by one party to a conflict do not justify violations by the other…..[7]Maar er is meer:Want de Gaza Blokkade, waarbij Israel dusna de Hamas overwinning Gaza afsloot van debuitenwereld, waardoor de mensen niet meer vrij konden reizen en de import en export van goederenverbood dan wel beperkte [8] is als collectieve straf[wat in gewoon Nederlands betekent dat de ”goeien” onder de ”kwaaien lijden] onacceptabel en internationaalrechtelijk verboden [9]
De gevolgen van die Blokkade [door deSpeciale  VN Rapporteur ”calculated strangulation of the Gaza Strip genoemd] [10] zijn rampzalig:Vernietiging van de economie, almaar toenemende armoede en groot lijden vande Palestijnse bevolking, niet in de laatste plaats vanwege het afsnijden vande mogelijkheid, te vissen of bij hun land te komen engebrek aan toegang tot onderwijs en gezondheidszorg [11]

”ISRAEL’S OPEN AIR PRISON”, zo noemt Human RightsWatch Gaza [12]En dat alles, terwijl Israel, als bezettende Macht,nog steeds verantwoordelijk is voor welzijn enwelvaart van de bezette Gazaanse bevolking [13][Ik heb u in bovenstaande al uitgelegd, waarom Israelnog steeds de bezettende macht is]
GEZONDHEIDSZORG EN DESASTREUZE GEVOLGENUW CITAAT
Dan kom ik nu op het citaat uit uw berichtgeving, zinsnede na de comma:
””

Israel, dat de Gazastrook al jarenlang blokkeert om aanslagen

te voorkomen, zegt dat gewonden voor behandeling in Israelische ziekenhuizen terechtkunnen”’

Eigenlijk vind ik het wel lef hebben, dat u deze bewering van de Israelische Staat neerschrijft zonder enige toelichting.

Want als u uw journalistieke werk goed had gedaan, dan had u niet alleen

geweten, dat door de Israelische Blokkade de gezondheidszorg voor

Gazaanse Palestijnen sowieso een ernstige knauw heeft gekregen [14]

Maar waarom ik het Gotspe vind van Israel, maar vooral ook van u

als redactie, die deze bewering van Israel zo kritiekloos overneemt is,

dat die Blokkade van Gaza aan Palestijnse kant al tot doden geleid heeft!

ZO HEBBEN ZEKER AL TWEE PALESTIJNSE BABY’S HET

LEVEN GELATEN, omdat vanwege de verd…..Israelische Blokkade dringende

medische hulp werd geweigerd!

Ik verzin dit niet, het staat in het AD! [15]

Zover is het dus al gekomen

EPILOOG

Ik heb u uitgebreid uiteengezet, hoe het werkelijk gesteld

is met de Blokkade van Gaza en de destructieve gevolgen

daarvan voor de Palestijnen

Ook heb ik u erop gewezen, dat Israel internationaalrechtelijk,

nog steeds bezettende macht is in Gaza en daardoor dus verantwoordelijk

is voor het welzijn van de bevolking.

Dergelijke elementen mogen in uw berichtgeving over Gaza niet ontbreken,

zeker als u het over de Blokkade van Gaza hebt

Ik hoop, dat u daarvan geleerd hebt en in het vervolg hierover beter

en evenwichtiger zal berichten

Vriendelijke groeten

Astrid Essed

Amsterdam 

NOTEN

Voor uw gemak heb ik de noten in links ondergebracht

Zie daaronder P/S

NOTEN 1 EN 2

NOTEN 3, 4 EN 5

NOOT 6

NOTEN 7 EN 8

NOOT 9

NOTEN 10 EN 11

NOOT 12

NOTEN 13, 14 EN 15

P/S

NOS TELETEKST BERICHTGEVING

NOS TELETEKST

18 NOVEMBER 2022

VEEL DODEN BIJ BRAND IN GAZASTROOK

Bij een woningbrand in de Gazastrook zijn zeker 21 doden

gevallen.

Het vuur woedde in een appartement in de stad Jalabia op de

derde verdieping, volgens de BBC vermoedelijk na een

gaslek in de keuken.

Getuigen zeggen, dat er brandstof was opgeslagen voor een aggregaat,

In het appartement was een hele familie bij elkaar omdat een

familielid net was teruggekeerd uit het buitenland.

Onder de doden zijn tien kinderen.

Verwacht wordt, dat het dodental nog zal oplopen.

Israel, dat de Gazastrook al jarfenlang blokkeert om aanslagen

te voorkomen, zegt dat gewonden voor behandeling in Israelische ziekenhuizen terechtkunnen.

EINDE TELETEKSTBERICHT

ORIGINELE NOS TELETEKSTBERICHT

128 – NOS Teletekst

128 – NOS Teletekst
Veel doden bij brand in Gazastrook  
                                        

 Bij een woningbrand in de Gazastrook 
 zijn zeker 21 doden gevallen.Het vuur  
 woedde in een appartement in de stad   
 Jabalia op de derde verdieping,volgens 
 de BBC vermoedelijk na een gaslek in de
 keuken.Getuigen zeggen dat er brandstof
 was opgeslagen voor een aggregaat.     
                                        
 In het appartement was een hele familie
 bij elkaar omdat een familielid net was
 teruggekeerd uit het buitenland.Onder  
 de doden zijn tien kinderen.Verwacht   
 wordt dat het dodental nog zal oplopen.
                                        
 Israël,dat de Gazastrook al jaren      
 blokkeert om aanslagen te voorkomen,   
 zegt dat gewonden voor behandeling in  
 Israëlische ziekenhuizen terechtkunnen.

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor NOS, Blokkade Gaza is illegaal en Israel is nog steeds de bezettende macht in Gaza!

Opgeslagen onder Divers

Noten 1 en 2/Blokkade Gaza

[1]

BBC

GAZA: AT LEAST 21 KILLED IN JABALIA REFUGEE CAMP FIRE

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-63668821

By Rushdi Abu Alouf in Gaza City and George Wright in London

BBC News

At least 21 people – including 10 children – have been killed by a fire in a building in a densely populated refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, a hospital director has told the BBC.

The number of deaths at Jabalia refugee camp following the fire – which is now under control – is likely to rise, Dr Salah Abu Laila added.

A local security official told the BBC an initial investigation suggested there was a gas leak from a kitchen.

Jabalia is one of eight camps in Gaza.

Dr Abu Laila, director of emergency services at the Indonesian Hospital in north Gaza, described the fire as “huge”, with videos on social media showing the entire building engulfed in flames.

People were seen screaming outside the burning building, while relatives of victims were in the streets crying and praying.

One local resident who rushed to the scene said that gasoline was stored in the building to “operate a generator”.

An eyewitness told the BBC: “It is very difficult, children and women burning without the possibility of saving them.”

According to the security official, the family had been celebrating the return of one of their relatives from abroad.

The West Bank-based Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called it a national tragedy and announced a day of mourning on Friday.

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz tweeted that his staff would assist with “humanitarian evacuations of the injured to (Israeli) hospitals”.

Deadly fires – often caused by candles – have become a regular occurrence in Gaza because of severe power shortages. These are linked to the blockade imposed on the territory by Israel and Egypt as a security measure against militants there, and internal Palestinian political disputes.

Gaza is home to 2.3 million people, one of the highest population densities in the world. According to the UN, almost 600,000 refugees in Gaza are living in eight crowded camps.

On average, there are more than 5,700 people per square kilometre – very similar to the density of population in London – but that figure rises to more than 9,000 in Gaza City.

EINDE BBC BERICHT

[2]

”The Israeli government’s plan to remove troops and Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip would not end Israel’s occupation of the territory. As an occupying power, Israel will retain responsibility for the welfare of Gaza’s civilian population.

Under the “disengagement” plan endorsed Tuesday by the Knesset, Israeli forces will keep control over Gaza’s borders, coastline and airspace, and will reserve the right to launch incursions at will. Israel will continue to wield overwhelming power over the territory’s economy and its access to trade.”

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

ISRAEL: ”DISENGAGEMENT” WILL NOT

END GAZA OCCUPATION

28 OCTOBER 2004

https://www.hrw.org/news/2004/10/28/israel-disengagement-will-not-end-gaza-occupation

Israeli Government Still Holds Responsibility for Welfare of Civilians

The Israeli government’s plan to remove troops and Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip would not end Israel’s occupation of the territory. As an occupying power, Israel will retain responsibility for the welfare of Gaza’s civilian population.

Under the “disengagement” plan endorsed Tuesday by the Knesset, Israeli forces will keep control over Gaza’s borders, coastline and airspace, and will reserve the right to launch incursions at will. Israel will continue to wield overwhelming power over the territory’s economy and its access to trade.

“The removal of settlers and most military forces will not end Israel’s control over Gaza,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division. “Israel plans to reconfigure its occupation of the territory, but it will remain an occupying power with responsibility for the welfare of the civilian population.”

Under the plan, Israel is scheduled to remove settlers and military bases protecting the settlers from the Gaza Strip and four isolated West Bank Jewish settlements by the end of 2005. The Israeli military will remain deployed on Gaza’s southern border, and will reposition its forces to other areas just outside the territory.

In addition to controlling the borders, coastline and airspace, Israel will continue to control Gaza’s telecommunications, water, electricity and sewage networks, as well as the flow of people and goods into and out of the territory. Gaza will also continue to use Israeli currency.

A World Bank study on the economic effects of the plan determined that “disengagement” would ease restrictions on mobility inside Gaza. But the study also warned that the removal of troops and settlers would have little positive effect unless accompanied by an opening of Gaza’s borders. If the borders are sealed to labor and trade, the plan “would create worse hardship than is seen today.”

The plan also explicitly envisions continued home demolitions by the Israeli military to expand the “buffer zone” along the Gaza-Egypt border. According to a report released last week by Human Rights Watch, the Israeli military has illegally razed nearly 1,600 homes since 2000 to create this buffer zone, displacing some 16,000 Palestinians. Israeli officials have called for the buffer zone to be doubled, which would result in the destruction of one-third of the Rafah refugee camp.

In addition, the plan states that disengagement “will serve to dispel the claims regarding Israel’s responsibility for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.” A report by legal experts from the Israeli Justice Ministry, Foreign Ministry and the military made public on Sunday, however, reportedly acknowledges that disengagement “does not necessarily exempt Israel from responsibility in the evacuated territories.”

If Israel removes its troops from Gaza, the Palestinian National Authority will maintain responsibility for security within the territory—to the extent that Israel allows Palestinian police the authority and capacity. Palestinian security forces will still have a duty to protect civilians within Gaza and to prevent indiscriminate attacks on Israeli civilians.

“Under international law, the test for determining whether an occupation exists is effective control by a hostile army, not the positioning of troops,” Whitson said. “Whether the Israeli army is inside Gaza or redeployed around its periphery and restricting entrance and exit, it remains in control.”

Under international law, the duties of an occupying power are detailed in the Fourth Geneva Convention and The Hague Regulations. According to The Hague Regulations, a “territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.”

The “disengagement plan,” as adopted by the Israeli Cabinet on June 6, 2004, and endorsed by the Knesset on October 26, is available at:

http://www.pmo.gov.il/nr/exeres/C5E1ACE3-9834-414E-9512-8E5F509E9A4D.htm.

 EINDE HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH STATEMENT

NIEUW BERICHT:

Israel’s Obligations to Gaza under International Law

Israeli authorities claim “broad powers and discretion to decide who may enter its territory” and that “a foreigner has no legal right to enter the State’s sovereign territory, including for the purposes of transit into the [West Bank] or aboard.” While international human rights law gives wide latitude to governments with regard to entry of foreigners, Israel has heightened obligations toward Gaza residents. Because of the continuing controls Israel exercises over the lives and welfare of Gaza’s inhabitants, Israel remains an occupying power under international humanitarian law, despite withdrawing its military forces and settlements from the territory in 2005”

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

GAZA: ISRAEL’S ”OPEN AIR PRISON” AT 15

14 JUNE 2022

https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/06/14/gaza-israels-open-air-prison-15

(Gaza) – Israel’s sweeping restrictions on leaving Gaza deprive its more than two million residents of opportunities to better their lives, Human Rights Watch said today on the fifteenth anniversary of the 2007 closure. The closure has devastated the economy in Gaza, contributed to fragmentation of the Palestinian people, and forms part of Israeli authorities’ crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution against millions of Palestinians.

Israel’s closure policy blocks most Gaza residents from going to the West Bank, preventing professionals, artists, athletes, students, and others from pursuing opportunities within Palestine and from traveling abroad via Israel, restricting their rights to work and an education. Restrictive Egyptian policies at its Rafah crossing with Gaza, including unnecessary delays and mistreatment of travelers, have exacerbated the closure’s harm to human rights.

“Israel, with Egypt’s help, has turned Gaza into an open-air prison,” said Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine director at Human Rights Watch. “As many people around the world are once again traveling two years after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Gaza’s more than two million Palestinians remain under what amounts to a 15-year-old lockdown.”

Israel should end its generalized ban on travel for Gaza residents and permit free movement of people to and from Gaza, subject to, at most, individual screening and physical searches for security purposes.

Between February 2021 and March 2022, Human Rights Watch interviewed 20 Palestinians who sought to travel out of Gaza via either the Israeli-run Erez crossing or the Egyptian-administered Rafah crossing. Human Rights Watch wrote to Israeli and Egyptian authorities to solicit their perspectives on its findings, and separately to seek information about an Egyptian travel company that operates at the Rafah crossing but had received no responses at this writing.

Since 2007, Israeli authorities have, with narrow exceptions, banned Palestinians from leaving through Erez, the passenger crossing from Gaza into Israel, through which they can reach the West Bank and travel abroad via Jordan. Israel also prevents Palestinian authorities from operating an airport or seaport in Gaza. Israeli authorities also sharply restrict the entry and exit of goods.

They often justify the closure, which came after Hamas seized political control over Gaza from the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in June 2007, on security grounds. Israeli authorities have said they want to minimize travel between Gaza and the West Bank to prevent the export of “a human terrorist network” from Gaza to the West Bank, which has a porous border with Israel and where hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers live.

This policy has reduced travel to a fraction of what it was two decades ago, Human Rights Watch said. Israeli authorities have instituted a formal “policy of separation” between Gaza and the West Bank, despite international consensus that these two parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territory form a “single territorial unit.” Israel accepted that principle in the 1995 Oslo Accords, signed with the Palestine Liberation Organization. Israeli authorities restrict all travel between Gaza and the West Bank, even when the travel takes place via the circuitous route through Egypt and Jordan rather than through Israeli territory.

Due to these policies, Palestinian professionals, students, artists, and athletes living in Gaza have missed vital opportunities for advancement not available in Gaza. Human Rights Watch interviewed seven people who said that Israeli authorities did not respond to their requests for travel through Erez, and three others who said Israel rejected their permits, apparently for not fitting within Israeli’s narrow criteria.

Walaa Sada, 31, a filmmaker, said that she applied for permits to take part in film training in the West Bank in 2014 and 2018, after spending years convincing her family to allow her to travel alone, but Israeli authorities never responded to her applications. The hands-on nature of the training, requiring filming live scenes and working in studios, made remote participation impracticable and Sada ended up missing the sessions.

The “world narrowed” when she received these rejections, Sada said, making her feel “stuck in a small box.… For us in Gaza, the hands of the clock stopped. People all over the world can easily and quickly book flight and travel, while we … die waiting for our turn.”

The Egyptian authorities have exacerbated the closure’s impact by restricting movement out of Gaza and at times fully sealing its Rafah border crossing, Gaza’s only outlet aside from Erez to the outside world. Since May 2018, Egyptian authorities have been keeping Rafah open more regularly, making it, amid the sweeping Israeli restrictions, the primary outlet to the outside world for Gaza residents.

Palestinians, however, still face onerous obstacles traveling through Egypt, including having to wait weeks for permission to travel, unless they are willing to pay hundreds of dollars to travel companies with significant ties to Egyptian authorities to expedite their travel, denials of entry, and abuse by Egyptian authorities.

Sada said also received an opportunity to participate in a workshop on screenwriting in Tunisia in 2019, but that she could not afford the US$2000 it would cost her to pay for the service that would ensure that she could travel on time. Her turn to travel came up six weeks later, after the workshop had already been held.

As an occupying power that maintains significant control over many aspects of life in Gaza, Israel has obligations under international humanitarian law to ensure the welfare of the population there. Palestinians also have the right under international human rights law to freedom of movement, in particular within the occupied territory, a right that Israel can restrict under international law only in response to specific security threats.

Israel’s policy, though, presumptively denies free movement to people in Gaza, with narrow exceptions, irrespective of any individualized assessment of the security risk a person may pose. These restrictions on the right to freedom of movement do not meet the requirement of being strictly necessary and proportionate to achieve a lawful objective. Israel has had years and many opportunities to develop more narrowly tailored responses to security threats that minimize restrictions on rights.

Egypt’s legal obligations toward Gaza residents are more limited, as it is not an occupying power. However, as a state party to the Fourth Geneva Convention, it should ensure respect for the convention “in all circumstances,” including protections for civilians living under military occupation who are unable to travel due to unlawful restrictions imposed by the occupying power. The Egyptian authorities should also consider the impact of their border closure on the rights of Palestinians living in Gaza who are unable to travel in and out of Gaza through another route, including the right to leave a country.

Egyptian authorities should lift unreasonable obstacles that restrict Palestinians’ rights and allow transit via its territory, subject to security considerations, and ensure that their decisions are transparent and not arbitrary and take into consideration the human rights of those affected.

“The Gaza closure blocks talented, professional people, with much to give their society, from pursuing opportunities that people elsewhere take for granted,” Shakir said. “Barring Palestinians in Gaza from moving freely within their homeland stunts lives and underscores the cruel reality of apartheid and persecution for millions of Palestinians.”

Israel’s Obligations to Gaza under International Law

Israeli authorities claim “broad powers and discretion to decide who may enter its territory” and that “a foreigner has no legal right to enter the State’s sovereign territory, including for the purposes of transit into the [West Bank] or aboard.” While international human rights law gives wide latitude to governments with regard to entry of foreigners, Israel has heightened obligations toward Gaza residents. Because of the continuing controls Israel exercises over the lives and welfare of Gaza’s inhabitants, Israel remains an occupying power under international humanitarian law, despite withdrawing its military forces and settlements from the territory in 2005. Both the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross, the guardians of international humanitarian law, have reached this determination. As the occupying power, Israel remains bound to provide residents of Gaza the rights and protections afforded to them by the law of occupation. Israeli authorities continue to control Gaza’s territorial waters and airspace, and the movement of people and goods, except at Gaza’s border with Egypt. Israel also controls the Palestinian population registry and the infrastructure upon which Gaza relies.

Israel has an obligation to respect the human rights of Palestinians living in Gaza, including their right to freedom of movement throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory and abroad, which affects both the right to leave a country and the right to enter their own country. Israel is also obligated to respect Palestinians’ rights for which freedom of movement is a precondition, for example the rights to education, work, and health. The UN Human Rights Committee has said that while states can restrict freedom of movement for security reasons or to protect public health, public order, and the rights of others, any such restrictions must be proportional and “the restrictions must not impair the essence of the right; the relation between the right and restriction, between norm and exception, must not be reversed.”

While the law of occupation permits occupying powers to impose security restrictions on civilians, it also requires them to restore public life for the occupied population. That obligation increases in a prolonged occupation, in which the occupier has more time and opportunity to develop more narrowly tailored responses to security threats that minimize restrictions on rights. In addition, the needs of the occupied population increase over time. Suspending virtually all freedom of movement for a short period interrupts temporarily normal public life, but long-term, indefinite suspension in Gaza has had a much more debilitating impact, fragmentating populations, fraying familial and social ties, compounding discrimination against women, and blocking people from pursuing opportunities to improve their lives.

The impact is particularly damaging given the denial of freedom of movement to people who are confined to a sliver of the occupied territory, unable to interact in person with the majority of the occupied population that lives in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and its rich assortment of educational, cultural, religious, and commercial institutions.

After 55 years of occupation and 15 years of closure in Gaza with no end in sight, Israel should fully respect the human rights of Palestinians, using as a benchmark the rights it grants Israeli citizens. Israel should abandon an approach that bars movement absent exceptional individual humanitarian circumstances it defines, in favor of an approach that permits free movement absent exceptional individual security circumstances.

Israel’s Closure

Most Palestinians who grew up in Gaza under this closure have never left the 40-by-11 kilometer (25-by-7 mile) Gaza Strip. For the last 25 years, Israel has increasingly restricted the movement of Gaza residents. Since June 2007, when Hamas seized control over Gaza from the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA), Gaza has been mostly closed.

Israeli authorities justify this closure on security grounds, in light of “Hamas’ rise to power in the Gaza Strip,” as they lay out in a December 2019 court filing. Authorities highlight in particular the risk that Hamas and armed Palestinian groups will recruit or coerce Gaza residents who have permits to travel via Erez “for the commission of terrorist acts and the transfer of operatives, knowledge, intelligence, funds or equipment for terrorist activists.” Their policy, though, amounts to a blanket denial with rare exceptions, rather than a generalized respect for the right of Palestinians to freedom of movement, to be denied only on the basis of individualized security reasons.  

The Israeli army has since 2007 limited travel through the Erez crossing except in what it deems “exceptional humanitarian circumstances,” mainly encompassing those needing vital medical treatment outside Gaza and their companions, although the authorities also make exceptions for hundreds of businesspeople and laborers and some others. Israel has restricted movement even for those seeking to travel under these narrow exceptions, affecting their rights to health and life, among others, as Human Rights Watch and other groups have documented. Most Gaza residents do not fit within these exemptions to travel through Erez, even if it is to reach the West Bank.

Between January 2015 and December 2019, before the onset of Covid-19 restrictions, an average of about 373 Palestinians left Gaza via Erez each day, less than 1.5 percent of the daily average of 26,000 in September 2000, before the closure, according to the Israeli rights group Gisha. Israeli authorities tightened the closure further during the Covid-19 pandemic – between March 2020 and December 2021, an average of about 143 Palestinians left Gaza via Erez each day, according to Gisha.

Israeli authorities announced in March 2022 that they would authorize 20,000 permits for Palestinians in Gaza to work in Israel in construction and agriculture, though Gisha reports that the actual number of valid permits in this category stood at 9,424, as of May 22.

Israeli authorities have also for more than two decades sharply restricted the use by Palestinians of Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters. They blocked the reopening of the airport that Israeli forces made inoperable in January 2002, and prevented the Palestinian authorities from building a seaport, leaving Palestinians dependent on leaving Gaza by land to travel abroad. The few Palestinians permitted to cross at Erez are generally barred from traveling abroad via Israel’s international airport and must instead travel abroad via Jordan. Palestinians wishing to leave Gaza via Erez, either to the West Bank or abroad, submit requests through the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee in Gaza, which forwards applications to Israeli authorities who decide on whether to grant a permit.

Separation Between Gaza and the West Bank

As part of the closure, Israeli authorities have sought to “differentiate” between their policy approaches to Gaza and the West Bank, such as imposing more sweeping restrictions on the movement of people and goods from Gaza to the West Bank, and promote separation between these two parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The army’s “Procedure for Settlement in the Gaza Strip by Residents of Judea and Samaria,” published in 2018, states that “in 2006, a decision was made to introduce a policy of separation between the Judea and Samaria Area [the West Bank] and the Gaza Strip in light of Hamas’ rise to power in the Gaza Strip. The policy currently in effect is explicitly aimed at reducing travel between the areas.”

In each of the 11 cases Human Rights Watch reviewed of people seeking to reach the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, for professional and educational opportunities not available in Gaza, Israeli authorities did not respond to requests for permits or denied them, either for security reasons or because they did not conform to the closure policy. Human Rights Watch also reviewed permit applications on the website of the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee, or screenshots of it, including the status of the permit applications, when they were sent on to the Israeli authorities and the response received, if any.

Raed Issa, a 42-year-old artist, said that the Israeli authorities did not respond to his application for a permit in early December 2015, to attend an exhibit of his art at a Ramallah art gallery between December 27 and January 16, 2016.

The “Beyond the Dream” exhibit sought to highlight the situation in Gaza after the 2014 war. Issa said that the Palestinian Civil Affairs committee continued to identify the status of his application as “sent and waiting for response” and he ended up having to attend the opening of the exhibit virtually. Issa felt that not being physically present hampered his ability to engage with audiences, and to network and promote his work, which he believes limited his reach and hurt sales of his artwork. He described feeling pained “that I am doing my own art exhibit in my homeland and not able to attend it, not able to move freely.”

Ashraf Sahweel, 47, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Gaza Center for Art and Culture, said that Gaza-based artists routinely do not hear back after applying for Israeli permits, forcing them to miss opportunities to attend exhibitions and other cultural events. A painter himself, he applied for seven permits between 2013 and 2022, but Israeli authorities either did not respond or denied each application, he said. Sahweel said that he has “given up hope on the possibility to travel via Erez.”

Palestinian athletes in Gaza face similar restrictions when seeking to compete with their counterparts in the West Bank, even though the Israeli army guidelines specifically identify “entry of sportspeople” as among the permissible exemptions to the closure. The guidelines, updated in February 2022, set out that “all Gaza Strip residents who are members of the national and local sports teams may enter Israel in transit to the Judea and Samaria area [West Bank] or abroad for official activities of the teams.”

Hilal al-Ghawash, 25, told Human Rights Watch that his football team, Khadamat Rafah, had a match in July 2019 with a rival West Bank team, the Balata Youth Center, in the finals of Palestine Club, with the winner entitled to represent Palestine in the Asian Cup. The Palestinian Football Federation applied for permits for the entire 22-person team and 13-person staff, but Israeli authorities, without explanation, granted permits to only 4 people, only one of whom was a player. The game was postponed as a result.

After Gisha appealed the decision in the Jerusalem District Court, Israeli authorities granted 11 people permits, including six players, saying the other 24 were denied on security grounds that were not specified. Al-Ghawash was among the players who did not receive a permit. The Jerusalem district court upheld the denials. With Khadamat Rafah prevented from reaching the West Bank, the Palestine Football Federation canceled the Palestine Cup finals match.

Al-Ghawash said that West Bank matches hold particular importance for Gaza football players, since they offer the opportunity to showcase their talents for West Bank clubs, which are widely considered superior to those in Gaza and pay better. Despite the cancellation, al-Ghawash said, the Balata Youth Center later that year offered him a contract to play for them. The Palestinian Football Federation again applied for a permit on al-Ghawash’s behalf, but he said he did not receive a response and was unable to join the team.

In 2021, al-Ghawash signed a contract with a different West Bank team, the Hilal al-Quds club. The Palestinian Football Federation again applied, but this time, the Israeli army denied the permit on unspecified security grounds. Al-Ghawash said he does not belong to any armed group or political movement and has no idea on what basis Israeli authorities denied him a permit.

Missing these opportunities has forced al-Ghawash to forgo not only higher pay, but also the chance to play for more competitive West Bank teams, which could have brought him closer to his goal of joining the Palestinian national team. “There’s a future in the West Bank, but, here in Gaza, there’s only a death sentence,” he said. “The closure devastates players’ future. Gaza is full of talented people, but it’s so difficult to leave.”

Palestinian students and professionals are frequently unable to obtain permits to study or train in the West Bank. In 2016, Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem agreed to have 10 physics students from Al-Azhar University in Gaza come to the hospital for a six-month training program. Israeli authorities denied five students permits without providing a rationale, two of the students said.

The five other students initially received permits valid for only 14 days, and then encountered difficulties receiving subsequent permits. None were able to complete the full program, the two students said. One, Mahmoud Dabour, 28, said that when he applied for a second permit, he received no response. Two months later, he applied again and managed to get a permit valid for one week. He received one other permit, valid for 10 days, but then, when he returned and applied for the fifth time, Israeli authorities rejected his permit request without providing a reason. As a result, he could not finish the training program, and, without the certification participants receive upon completion, he said, he cannot apply for jobs or attend conferences or workshops abroad in the field.

Dabour said that the training cannot be offered in Gaza, since the necessary radiation material required expires too quickly for it to be functional after passing through the time-consuming Israeli inspections of materials entering the Gaza Strip. There are no functioning devices of the kind that students need for the training in Gaza, Dabour said.

One of the students whose permit was denied said, “I feel I studied for five years for nothing, that my life has stopped.” The student asked that his name be withheld for his security.

Two employees of Zimam, a Ramallah-based organization focused on youth empowerment and conflict resolution, said that the Israeli authorities repeatedly denied them permits to attend organizational training and strategy meetings. Atta al-Masri, the 31-year-old Gaza regional director, said he has applied four times for permits, but never received one. Israeli authorities did not respond the first three times and, the last time in 2021, denied him a permit on the grounds that it was “not in conformity” with the permissible exemptions to the closure. He has worked for Zimam since 2009, but only met his colleagues in person for the first time in Egypt in March 2022.

Ahed Abdullah, 29, Zimam’s youth programs coordinator in Gaza, said she applied twice for permits in 2021, but Israeli authorities denied both applications on grounds of “nonconformity:”

This is supposed to be my right. My simplest right. Why did they reject me? My colleagues who are outside Palestine managed to make it, while I am inside Palestine, I wasn’t able to go to the other part of Palestine … it’s only 2-3 hours from Gaza to Ramallah, why should I get the training online? Why am I deprived of being with my colleagues and doing activities with them instead of doing them in dull breakout rooms on Zoom?


Human Rights Watch has previously documented that the closure has prevented specialists in the use of assistive devices for people with disabilities from opportunities for hands-on training on the latest methods of evaluation, device maintenance, and rehabilitation. Human Rights Watch also documented restrictions on the movement of human rights workers. Gisha, the Israeli human rights group, has reported that Israel has blocked health workers in Gaza from attending training in the West Bank on how to operate new equipment and hampered the work of civil society organizations operating in Gaza.

Israeli authorities have also made it effectively impossible for Palestinians from Gaza to relocate to the West Bank. Because of Israeli restrictions, thousands of Gaza residents who arrived on temporary permits and now live in the West Bank are unable to gain legal residency. Although Israel claims that these restrictions are related to maintaining security, evidence Human Rights Watch collected suggests the main motivation is to control Palestinian demography across the West Bank, whose land Israel seeks to retain, in contrast to the Gaza Strip.

Egypt

With most Gaza residents unable to travel via Erez, the Egyptian-administered Rafah crossing has become Gaza’s primary outlet to the outside world, particularly in recent years. Egyptian authorities kept Rafah mostly closed for nearly five years following the July 2013 military coup in Egypt that toppled President Mohamed Morsy, whom the military accused of receiving support from Hamas. Egypt, though, eased restrictions in May 2018, amid the Great March of Return, the recurring Palestinian protests at the time near the fences separating Gaza and Israel.

Despite keeping Rafah open more regularly since May 2018, movement via Rafah is a fraction of what it was before the 2013 coup in Egypt. Whereas an average of 40,000 crossed monthly in both directions before the coup, the monthly average was 12,172 in 2019 and 15,077 in 2021, according to Gisha.

Human Rights Watch spoke with 16 Gaza residents who sought to travel via Rafah. Almost all said they opted for this route because of the near impossibility of receiving an Israeli permit to travel via Erez.

Gaza residents hoping to leave via Rafah are required to register in advance via a process the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has deemed “confusing” and “obscure.” Gaza residents can either register via the formal registration process administered by Gaza’s Interior Ministry or informally via what is known as tanseeq, or travel coordination with Egyptian authorities, paying travel companies or mediators for a place on a separate list coordinated by Egyptian authorities. Having two distinct lists of permitted travelers coordinated by different authorities has fueled “allegations of the payment of bribes in Gaza and in Egypt to ensure travel and a faster response,” according to OCHA.

The formal process often takes two to three months, except for those traveling for medical reasons, whose requests are processed faster, said Gaza residents who sought to leave Gaza via Rafah. Egyptian authorities have at times rejected those seeking to cross Rafah into Egypt on the grounds that they did not meet specific criteria for travel. The criteria lack transparency, but Gisha reported that they include having a referral for a medical appointment in Egypt or valid documents to enter a third country.

To avoid the wait and risk of denial, many choose instead the tanseeq route. Several interviewees said that they paid large sums of money to Palestinian brokers or Gaza-based travel companies that work directly with Egyptian authorities to expedite people’s movement via Rafah. On social media, some of these companies advertise that they can assure travel within days to those who provide payment and a copy of their passport. The cost of tanseeq has fluctuated from several hundred US dollars to several thousand dollars over the last decade, based in part on how frequently Rafah is open.

In recent years, travel companies have offered an additional “VIP” tanseeq, which expedites travel without delays in transit between Rafah and Cairo, offers flexibility on travel date, and ensures better treatment by authorities. The cost was $700, as of January 2022.

The Cairo-based company offering the VIP tanseeq services, Hala Consulting and Tourism Services, has strong links with Egypt’s security establishment and is staffed largely by former Egyptian military officers, a human rights activist and a journalist who have investigated these issues told Human Rights Watch. This allows the company to reduce processing times and delays at checkpoints during the journey between Rafah and Cairo. The activist and journalist both asked that their names be withheld for security reasons.  

The company is linked to prominent Egyptian businessman Ibrahim El-Argani, who has close ties with Egypt’s president, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. Ergany heads the Union of Sinai Tribes, which works hand-in-hand with the Egyptian military and intelligence agencies against militants operating in North Sinai. Ergany, one of Egypt’s few businessmen able to export products to Gaza from Egypt, owns the Sinai Sons company, which has an exclusive contract to handle all contracts related to Gaza reconstruction efforts. Human Rights Watch wrote to El-Argani to solicit his perspectives on these issues, but had received no response at this writing.

A 34-year-old computer engineer and entrepreneur said that he sought to travel in 2019 to Saudi Arabia to meet an investor to discuss a potential project to sell car parts online. He chose not to apply to travel via Erez, as he had applied for permits eight times between 2016 and 2018 and had either been rejected or not heard back.

He initially registered via the formal Ministry of Interior process and received approval to travel after three months. However, on the day assigned for his exit via Rafah, an Egyptian officer there said he found his reason for travel not sufficiently “convincing” and denied him passage. A few months later, he tried to travel again for the same purpose, this time opting for tanseeq and paying $400, and, this time, he successfully reached Saudi Arabia within a week of seeking to travel.

He said that he would like to go on vacation with his wife, but worries that Egyptian authorities will not consider vacation a sufficiently compelling reason for travel and that his only option will be to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to do tanseeq.

A 73-year-old man sought to travel via Rafah in February 2021, with his 46-year-old daughter, to get knee replacement surgery in al-Sheikh Zayed hospital in Cairo. He said Gaza lacks the capacity to provide such an operation. The man and his daughter are relatives of a Human Rights Watch staff member. They applied via the Interior Ministry process and received approval in a little over a week.

After they waited for several hours in the Egyptian hall in Rafah on the day of travel, though, Egyptian authorities included the daughter’s name among the 70 names of people who were not allowed to cross that day, the daughter said. The father showed the border officials a doctor’s note indicating that he needed someone to travel with him given his medical situation, but the officer told him, “You either travel alone or go back with her to Gaza.” She said she returned to Gaza, alongside 70 other people, and her father later traveled on his own.

Five people who did manage to travel via Rafah said that they experienced poor conditions and poor treatment, including intrusive searches, by the Egyptian authorities, with several saying that they felt Egyptian authorities treated them like “criminals.” Several people said that Egyptian officers confiscated items from them during the journey, including an expensive camera and a mobile phone, without apparent reason.

Upon leaving Rafah, Palestinians are transported by bus to Cairo’s airport. The trip takes about seven hours, but several people said that the journey took up to three days between long periods of waiting on the bus, at checkpoints and amid other delays, often in extreme weather. Many of those who traveled via Rafah said that, during this journey, Egyptian authorities prevented passengers from using their phones.

The parents of a 7-year-old boy with autism and a rare brain disease said they sought to travel for medical treatment for him in August 2021, but Egyptian authorities only allowed the boy and his mother to enter. The mother said their journey back to Gaza took four days, mostly as a result of Rafah being closed. During this time, she said, they spent hours waiting at checkpoints, in extreme heat, with her son crying nonstop. She said she felt “humiliated” and treated like “an animal,” observing that she “would rather die than travel again through Rafah.”

A 33-year-old filmmaker, who traveled via Rafah to Morocco in late 2019 to attend a film screening, said the return from Cairo to Rafah took three days, much of it spent at checkpoints amid the cold winter in the Sinai desert.

A 34-year-old man said that he planned to travel in August 2019 via Rafah to the United Arab Emirates for a job interview as an Arabic teacher. He said, on his travel date, Egyptian authorities turned him back, saying they had met their quota of travelers. He crossed the next day, but said that, as it was a Thursday and with Rafah closed on Friday, Egyptian authorities made travelers spend two nights sleeping at Rafah, without providing food or access to a clean bathroom.

The journey to Cairo airport then took two days, during which he described going through checkpoints where officers made passengers “put their hands behind their backs while they searched their suitcases.” As a result of these delays totaling four days since his assigned travel date, he missed his job interview and found out that someone else was hired. He is currently unemployed in Gaza.

Given the uncertainty of crossing at Rafah, Gaza residents said that they often wait to book their flight out of Cairo until they arrive. Booking so late often means, beyond other obstacles, having to wait until they can find a reasonably priced and suitable flight, planning extra days for travel and spending extra money on changeable or last-minute tickets. Similar dynamics prevail with regard to travel abroad via Erez to Amman.

Human Rights Watch interviewed four men under the age of 40 with visas to third countries, whom Egyptian authorities allowed entry only for the purpose of transit. The authorities transported these men to Cairo airport and made them wait in what is referred to as the “deportation room” until their flight time. The men likened the room to a “prison cell,” with limited facilities and unsanitary conditions. All described a system in which bribes are required to be able to leave the room to book a plane ticket, get food, drinks, or a cigarette, and avoid abuse. One of the men described an officer taking him outside the room, asking him, “Won’t you give anything to Egypt?” and said that others in the room told him that he then proceeded to do the same with them

EINDE ARTIKEL

”“Israel has the responsibility as the Occupying Power to protect the civilian population. But instead of allowing a healthy people and economy to flourish, Israeli authorities have sealed off the Gaza Strip”

UNITED NATIONS 

COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT IN GAZA MUST END: 

ISRAEL’S BLOCKADE ENTERS IN IT’S 7TH YEAR-

UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR

14 JUNE 2013

https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2013/06/collective-punishment-gaza-must-end-israels-blockade-enters-its-7th-year-un

GENEVA, 14 June 2013 – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, Richard Falk, called today on Israel to end its blockade over the Gaza Strip, six years after it was tightened following the Hamas takeover in June 2007. The human suffering of the land, sea and air blockade imposed on the 1.75 million Palestinians living in one of the most densely populated and impoverished areas of the world has been devastating.

“Six years of Israel’s calculated strangulation of the Gaza Strip has stunted the economy and has kept most Gazans in a state of perpetual poverty and aid dependency,” said the UN expert. “Whether it is fishermen unable to go beyond six nautical miles from the shore, farmers unable to access their land near the Israeli fence, businessmen suffering from severe restrictions on the export of goods, students denied access to education in the West Bank, or patients in need of urgent medical attention refused access to Palestinian hospitals in the West Bank, the destructive designs of blockade have been felt by every single household in Gaza. It is especially felt by Palestinian families separated by the blockade,” he added.

“The people of Gaza have endured the unendurable and suffered what is insufferable for six years. Israel’s collective punishment of the civilian population in Gaza must end today,” said the Special Rapporteur.

“Israel has the responsibility as the Occupying Power to protect the civilian population. But instead of allowing a healthy people and economy to flourish, Israeli authorities have sealed off the Gaza Strip. According to statistics released by the Israeli Ministry of Defense, last month’s exports out of Gaza consisted of 49 truckloads of empty boxes, three truckloads of spices, one truckload of cut flowers, and one truckload of furniture,” he said. In 2012, the total number of truckloads of exports leaving Gaza was 254, compared to 9,787 in 2005 before the tightening of the blockade.

“It does not take an economist to figure out that such a trickle of goods out of Gaza is not the basis of a viable economy,” noted the UN expert. “The easing of the blockade announced by Israel in June 2010 after its deadly assault on the flotilla of ships carrying aid to the besieged population resulted only in an increase in consumer goods entering Gaza, and has not improved living conditions for most Gazans. Since 2007, the productive capacity of Gaza has dwindled with 80 percent of factories in Gaza now closed or operating at half capacity or less due to the loss of export markets and prohibitively high operating costs as a result of the blockade. 34 percent of Gaza’s workforce is unemployed including up to half the youth population, 44 percent of Gazans are food insecure, 80 percent of Gazans are aid recipients,” he said.

“To make matters worse, 90 percent of the water from the Gaza aquifer is unsafe for human consumption without treatment, and severe fuel and electricity shortage results in outages of up to 12 hours a day. Only a small proportion of Gazans who can afford to obtain supplies through the tunnel economy are buffered from the full blow of the blockade, but tunnels alone cannot meet the daily needs of the population in Gaza.”

“Last year, the United Nations forecast that under existing conditions, Gaza would be uninhabitable by 2020. Less optimistic forecasts presented to me were that the Gaza Strip may no longer be viable only three years from now,” said the Special Rapporteur. “It’s clear that the Israeli authorities set out six years ago to devitalize the Gazan population and economy,” he said, referring to a study undertaken by the Israeli Ministry of Defense in early 2008 detailing the minimum number of calories Palestinians in Gaza need to consume on a daily basis to avoid malnutrition. The myriad of restrictions imposed by Israel do not permit civilians in Gaza to develop to their full potential, and enjoy and exercise fully their human rights.

ENDS

In 2008, the UN Human Rights Council designated Richard Falk (United States of America) as the fifth Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. The mandate was originally established in 1993 by the UN Commission on Human Rights.

Learn more, log on to: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/countries/ps/mandate/index.htm

UN Human Rights – Occupied Palestinian Territories: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/MENARegion/Pages/PSIndex.aspx

UN Human Rights – Israel: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/MENARegion/Pages/ILIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Kevin Turner (kturner@ohchr.org) or Kiyohiko Hasegawa khasegawa@ohchr.org) or write to sropt@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Cécile Pouilly, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9310 / cpouilly@ohchr.org)

UN Human Rights, follow us on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unitednationshumanrights
Twitter: http://twitter.com/UNrightswire
Google+ gplus.to/unitednationshumanrights
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/UNOHCHR
Storify: http://storify.com/UNrightswire

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Noten 1 en 2/Blokkade Gaza

Opgeslagen onder Divers

Noten 3, 4 en 5/Blokkade Gaza

[3]

Jabalia also Jabalya (Arabic: جباليا) is a Palestinian city located 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) north of Gaza City

WIKIPEDIA

JABALIA

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jabalia

[4]

At least 21 people – including 10 children – have been killed by a fire in a building in a densely populated refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, a hospital director has told the BBC.”

BBC

GAZA: AT LEAST 21 KILLED IN JABALIA REFUGEE CAMP FIRE

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-63668821

ZIE VOOR GEHELE BBC BERICHT, NOOT 1

[5]

In casu

in casu bijwoord Uitspraak:   [ɪn’kazy] in het geval waar ik het over heb Voorbeelden:   `De hoofdverantwoordelijke, in casu de directeur, had moeten ingrijpen.`, `Schadevergoeding is wel het minste wat je in casu kan verlangen`Synoniem:   in dit geval &c…
Gevonden op https://www.woorden.org/woord/in casu

ENCYCLO.NL

BEGRIP/IN CASU

https://www.encyclo.nl/begrip/in_casu

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Noten 3, 4 en 5/Blokkade Gaza

Opgeslagen onder Divers

Noot 6/Blokkade Gaza

[6]

”GENEVA, 14 June 2013 – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, Richard Falk, called today on Israel to end its blockade over the Gaza Strip, six years after it was tightened following the Hamas takeover in June 2007”

UNITED NATIONS 

COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT IN GAZA MUST END: 

ISRAEL’S BLOCKADE ENTERS IN IT’S 7TH YEAR-

UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR

14 JUNE 2013

https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2013/06/collective-punishment-gaza-must-end-israels-blockade-enters-its-7th-year-un

GENEVA, 14 June 2013 – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, Richard Falk, called today on Israel to end its blockade over the Gaza Strip, six years after it was tightened following the Hamas takeover in June 2007. The human suffering of the land, sea and air blockade imposed on the 1.75 million Palestinians living in one of the most densely populated and impoverished areas of the world has been devastating.

“Six years of Israel’s calculated strangulation of the Gaza Strip has stunted the economy and has kept most Gazans in a state of perpetual poverty and aid dependency,” said the UN expert. “Whether it is fishermen unable to go beyond six nautical miles from the shore, farmers unable to access their land near the Israeli fence, businessmen suffering from severe restrictions on the export of goods, students denied access to education in the West Bank, or patients in need of urgent medical attention refused access to Palestinian hospitals in the West Bank, the destructive designs of blockade have been felt by every single household in Gaza. It is especially felt by Palestinian families separated by the blockade,” he added.

“The people of Gaza have endured the unendurable and suffered what is insufferable for six years. Israel’s collective punishment of the civilian population in Gaza must end today,” said the Special Rapporteur.

“Israel has the responsibility as the Occupying Power to protect the civilian population. But instead of allowing a healthy people and economy to flourish, Israeli authorities have sealed off the Gaza Strip. According to statistics released by the Israeli Ministry of Defense, last month’s exports out of Gaza consisted of 49 truckloads of empty boxes, three truckloads of spices, one truckload of cut flowers, and one truckload of furniture,” he said. In 2012, the total number of truckloads of exports leaving Gaza was 254, compared to 9,787 in 2005 before the tightening of the blockade.

“It does not take an economist to figure out that such a trickle of goods out of Gaza is not the basis of a viable economy,” noted the UN expert. “The easing of the blockade announced by Israel in June 2010 after its deadly assault on the flotilla of ships carrying aid to the besieged population resulted only in an increase in consumer goods entering Gaza, and has not improved living conditions for most Gazans. Since 2007, the productive capacity of Gaza has dwindled with 80 percent of factories in Gaza now closed or operating at half capacity or less due to the loss of export markets and prohibitively high operating costs as a result of the blockade. 34 percent of Gaza’s workforce is unemployed including up to half the youth population, 44 percent of Gazans are food insecure, 80 percent of Gazans are aid recipients,” he said.

“To make matters worse, 90 percent of the water from the Gaza aquifer is unsafe for human consumption without treatment, and severe fuel and electricity shortage results in outages of up to 12 hours a day. Only a small proportion of Gazans who can afford to obtain supplies through the tunnel economy are buffered from the full blow of the blockade, but tunnels alone cannot meet the daily needs of the population in Gaza.”

“Last year, the United Nations forecast that under existing conditions, Gaza would be uninhabitable by 2020. Less optimistic forecasts presented to me were that the Gaza Strip may no longer be viable only three years from now,” said the Special Rapporteur. “It’s clear that the Israeli authorities set out six years ago to devitalize the Gazan population and economy,” he said, referring to a study undertaken by the Israeli Ministry of Defense in early 2008 detailing the minimum number of calories Palestinians in Gaza need to consume on a daily basis to avoid malnutrition. The myriad of restrictions imposed by Israel do not permit civilians in Gaza to develop to their full potential, and enjoy and exercise fully their human rights.

ENDS

In 2008, the UN Human Rights Council designated Richard Falk (United States of America) as the fifth Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. The mandate was originally established in 1993 by the UN Commission on Human Rights.

Learn more, log on to: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/countries/ps/mandate/index.htm

UN Human Rights – Occupied Palestinian Territories: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/MENARegion/Pages/PSIndex.aspx

UN Human Rights – Israel: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/MENARegion/Pages/ILIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Kevin Turner (kturner@ohchr.org) or Kiyohiko Hasegawa khasegawa@ohchr.org) or write to sropt@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Cécile Pouilly, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9310 / cpouilly@ohchr.org)

UN Human Rights, follow us on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unitednationshumanrights
Twitter: http://twitter.com/UNrightswire
Google+ gplus.to/unitednationshumanrights
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/UNOHCHR
Storify: http://storify.com/UNrightswire

EINDE BERICHT

”By all accounts, the 2006 elections were free and fair. The EU described them as an “important milestone in the building of democratic institutions”

EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS

BACK TO DEMOCRACY: EUROPE, HAMAS AND

THE PALESTINIAN ELECTIONS

https://ecfr.eu/publication/back-to-democracy-europe-hamas-and-the-palestinian-elections/

Summary

  • Palestinian elections are on track to take place during the coming months – for the first time in over a decade.
  • The EU and the US have a decisive role to play in ensuring the electoral process succeeds. In doing so, they can support Palestinian political renewal and improve prospects for a sustainable peace agreement with Israel.
  • Within Hamas, moderates have gambled on elections. The movement – along with Fatah – is looking for new avenues for political engagement given the increasingly inauspicious regional and international context.
  • The EU and the US must: commit to respecting the outcome of the Palestinian elections; persuade Israel to support a free, fair, and inclusive process; and pursue a constructive relationship with any new government that pledges respect for democracy, human rights, and international law.

Introduction

Palestinians may soon be heading to the polls for the first time in 15 years. For some, this will be their first taste of electoral politics and democratic participation. Yet it will not be Palestine’s first democratic experiment. Long before the advent of the Arab uprisings, Palestine held free and fair elections to choose a president and a parliament. In hindsight, these elections, held in 2005 and 2006 respectively, marked the high point of Palestinian democracy.

The European Union and the United States were initially strong advocates of Palestinian democracy, and were a driving force behind the last elections, urging the main political rivals – the Islamist Hamas and the secular Fatah – to engage constructively in the process. The EU and the US proved less comfortable when the democratic outcome went against their interests following Hamas’s victory in the 2006 legislative election and the group’s refusal to endorse international demands such as recognising Israel. Subsequent efforts by the EU and the US to boycott and undermine the democratically elected government led by Hamas significantly damaged the Palestinian democratic and state-building project. This stoked Palestinian political tensions and helped provoke a short civil war in June 2007 that left Hamas in control of Gaza and President Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Fatah, in control of the West Bank. These events reverberate to this day.

There is currently a renewed push by Palestinian factions to hold fresh elections in the coming months. This is a welcome development. While this will not by itself mend the many fractures that have arisen since the 2007 Gaza-West Bank split, national elections combined with a post-election power sharing agreement between Hamas and Fatah would nonetheless assist full national reconciliation, institutional and societal reunification, and political reform.

Just as importantly, a successful electoral process would demonstrate to Hamas that political participation and commitment to democratic principles can generate benefits that it cannot obtain through armed violence. This could strengthen more moderate trends within the movement that favour political compromise and engagement. These are all important ingredients in efforts to reach a sustainable peace agreement with Israel.

The coming weeks and months will test the commitment of Palestinian factions, which will have to contend with their own rivalries, as well as restrictions imposed by Israel’s military occupation and interference in the electoral process. But successful elections will also require the EU and the US to learn the lessons of 2006. How they position themselves will be an important factor in determining whether Palestinians can escape the divisive legacy of the past and renew their country’s democratic fabric, and whether Hamas will ultimately choose to prioritise political engagement or armed confrontation. Conversely, an acrimonious collapse of the electoral process or another rejection of the electoral outcome by the EU and the US would likely mark the formal end of Palestine’s state-building project in its current configuration, and of any imminent prospect of national reunification. Either outcome would also entrench the position of hardline Hamas factions – to the detriment of whatever is left of the internationally backed two-state solution.

From democracy to authoritarianism

Despite its current democratic deficit, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has twice held presidential and legislative elections. Yasser Arafat and his Fatah party won the first elections in 1996. These were boycotted by Hamas, which saw them as legitimising the 1993 Oslo Accords and the PA system that these had created – both of which it opposed. Presidential elections were held again in 2005 following Arafat’s death and were won by Abbas, who also took over as head of Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), which is formally tasked with negotiating on behalf of Palestinians. The consequence of the failure of the Second Intifada, which ended in 2005, was that Hamas made a strategic decision to move away from armed violence and towards political engagement. It opted to take part in the next legislative elections, held in January 2006, running as the ‘Change and Reform’ list. In doing so, it accepted the PA and the political realities created by the Oslo Accords. Electoral victory gave it a majority of seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and resulted in a smooth transfer of power to a Hamas government headed by prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, under the auspices of Abbas. Haniyeh subsequently became the leader of Hamas in 2017.

By all accounts, the 2006 elections were free and fair. The EU described them as an “important milestone in the building of democratic institutions”. It added that “these elections saw impressive voter participation in an open and fairly-contested electoral process that was efficiently administered by a professional and independent Palestinian Central Elections Commission”. Although short-lived, this arguably put Palestine among the first democratic Arab states – years before the Arab uprisings.

International boycott and the Quartet Principles

Ironically, the 2006 elections were largely the result of sustained pressure on Abbas, Hamas, and Israel by the George W Bush administration as part of the US drive for ‘democratisation’ in the Middle East. The US also pressured Israel into allowing elections – including in Palestinian East Jerusalem, which Israel annexed in contravention of international law in 1980.

Having expected elections to further empower Abbas and Fatah, the US responded to Hamas’s electoral win in a knee-jerk fashion – quickly pushing for international isolation of, and pressure on, the Haniyeh government. It based this on Hamas’s frequent perpetration of attacks, which included suicide bombings against civilians until 2005, and its resultant listing as a terrorist organisation by the US and the EU since 1997 and 2001 respectively.

Meeting just days after the election, but before any new Palestinian government was sworn in, the Quartet for Middle East peace (the US, the EU, Russia, and the United Nations) asserted that any “future Palestinian government must be committed to non-violence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations.” These three conditions have since become known as the Quartet Principles and, ostensibly, continue to be conditions of US and European funding to PA governments to this day. Some Quartet members privately expressed concerns that the principles were ambiguous and could feed intra-Palestinian conflict.[1] Indeed, the real American intent, according to advisers to then British prime minister Tony Blair, was to exclude Hamas from power by deliberately demanding conditions that it could not accept.[2]

The same month, in January 2006, the European Council formally endorsed the Quartet Principles and expanded their scope to encompass Hamas as a whole – rather than merely the members of the Hamas-controlled PA government, as initially stipulated by the Quartet. Then, in April 2006, EU ministers endorsed a proposal put forward by Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg setting out guidelines for limiting contact with new Palestinian government ministers (irrespective of party affiliation) and the Hamas political establishment. This formed the basis of the EU’s ‘no-contact’ policy with Hamas, which remains in effect today – to the chagrin of many European officials who privately describe it as a complete failure. While the US has adopted a similar position, the UN and Russia have continued to talk to Hamas.

After the March 2006 swearing-in of a Hamas-dominated cabinet that refused to abide by the principles, the EU and the US cut all aid to the PA government. Although Haniyeh continued to reject the Quartet conditions, he stressed that Hamas had “accepted the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders” but would agree only to a “truce” with Israel – not “recognition”. This was matched by initial overtures from Hamas figures to European capitals to develop a rolling armistice with Israel under international supervision.

At the time, these positions represented significant concessions by Hamas and a turn towards moderation, reflecting its decision to prioritise engagement. As Muhammad Shehada, a Palestinian writer and analyst, explains, this strategic pivot was made possible by moderate figures within the party who argued, and still argue, that abandoning violence in favour of a political track “would win Hamas greater legitimacy and provide a more effective means of advancing Palestinian rights.” They have been joined by pragmatists who shift between engagement and violence depending on what they consider to be the most expedient way of achieving their goals.

To head off political turmoil and the collapse of the PA due to international sanctions, Fatah and Hamas formed a unity government in March 2007. Led by Haniyeh, it included a Fatah deputy prime minister, Azzam al-Ahmad, and an independent (but Fatah-leaning) foreign minister, Ziad Abu Amr. The government’s political platform brought further concessions. These included affirming its commitment to agreements signed by the PLO with Israel, and backing the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state over all territories occupied in 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital. While it maintained violence as a right of self-defence it did renew the offer of a prolonged period of tahdi’a (calm) with Israel. But its failure to once again fully and formally meet the Quartet Principles resulted in a continuation of the international boycott and sanctions.

De-democratisation and fragmentation

Simmering internal Palestinian tensions and deadlocked governance, stoked by international pressure, eventually erupted into the 2007 civil war, during which Hamas forces ejected Fatah-controlled PA security forces from the Gaza Strip – pre-empting Fatah’s own reported US-supported plan to topple Hamas.

The fracturing of Palestinian governance and the expiration of the four-year mandates of Abbas’s presidency and the PLC has produced a political system that is increasingly authoritarian, unaccountable, and devoid of legislative oversight. This has led to the proliferation of human rights abuses and clientelism under both Hamas and Fatah rule, and the closing down of space for political dissent. A new presidential decree by Abbas to curb the independence of civil society organisations is the most recent reminder of this. Israel’s policy of separation between Gaza and the West Bank, and repeated detention of PLC members – most prominently Khalida Jarrar of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – have further undermined Palestinian institutions and deepened internal divisions.

Such divisions have entrenched the Gaza-West Bank divide. This has prompted Hamas to develop its own institutions in Gaza – including ministries, judicial systems, and security forces – while reverting to a more hardline stance in favour of armed confrontation with Israel. With the legislative process effectively frozen, Abbas has ruled for more than a decade through presidential decrees – a mechanism he has used to appoint his supporters to key positions in the PA’s justice and security systems. While both Fatah and Hamas have secured themselves in their respective fiefdoms, this has come at considerable cost to their domestic reputation, as well as to governance conditions in both the West Bank and Gaza, with the latter now engulfed by a humanitarian crisis.

During this time, there were several failed reunification attempts and unfulfilled promises of elections. The closest the parties came to success was the formation in June 2014 of a short-lived government of national consensus led by a Fatah prime minister and composed of independent technocrats. Although it contained no Hamas members, the movement accepted it, as did the EU and the US. Ultimately, the reconciliation deal failed due to disagreements over technical questions relating to Palestinian reunification. This prompted Abbas to reshuffle the cabinet in July 2015 without consulting Hamas – after which it withdrew its endorsement of the government.

The last roll of the dice

In January 2021, Abbas issued a long-anticipated presidential decree setting dates for a fresh round of elections. These will start with elections for the PLC on 22 May; followed by the election for the PA presidency on 31 July; and finishing with the formation of a new Palestinian National Council (PNC), the PLO’s parliament, by 31 August. This was made possible due to the current weakness of both Hamas and Fatah: domestic, regional, and international dynamics have shifted against them, and they are increasingly aware of the strategic dead-end in which they find themselves. For both, elections combined with a power-sharing agreement provide the best means of protecting their domestic interests and confronting external challenges.

The current electoral push grew out of discussions last year between Palestinian factions to develop a common political platform to resist President Donald Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan for the conflict – which sought to undermine Palestinian aspirations for sovereign statehood – and Israeli plans to annex large swathes of the West Bank. These discussions acquired increasing urgency after the announcement of US-backed normalisation deals between Israel and Arab countries such as the United Arab Emirates, which further weakened and isolated Palestinian groups.

Speculation abounds as to Abbas’s personal motives for moving forward on this. But it seems likely that it was at least partially motivated by his desire to send a positive signal to the incoming Biden administration and re-legitimise his leadership, in preparation for a renewed round of peace talks with Israel.

Despite facing considerable pessimism at home and abroad, Palestinian factions continue to make important progress towards elections. Over the past two months, Palestinian leaders representing PLO factions, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad have twice met in Cairo (on 8-9 February; and 16-17 March) to address outstanding electoral issues. This has delivered several agreements, including on the conduct of elections, confidence-building measures such as the release of political prisoners, and the creation of an electoral court – a divisive issue that led Hamas to boycott past municipal elections. Egypt has facilitated these intra-Palestinian talks and offered logistical support, including offering to monitor the election process in Gaza in the absence of any formal PA presence.

The Central Elections Commission (CEC), chaired by Hanna Nasir, is proving itself to be competent and impartial. Voter registration has proceeded smoothly, and nominations for PLC candidates are expected to open on 20 March as scheduled. In addition, the CEC has shown itself willing and able to defend the integrity of the electoral process. For example, it filed a complaint with the PA’s prosecutor-general over unauthorised changes – allegedly by PA security forces, which are aligned with Fatah – to the location of voting centres in the Hebron area, which voted for Hamas in 2006.

From competition to cooperation

Fatah and Hamas have positioned elections as a stepping-stone towards political reconciliation and national reunification. This is the reverse of past such attempts, which set the creation of a reconciliation agreement and the formation of a transitional national unity government as preconditions for national elections. The new approach allows the parties to initially work around areas of disagreement while gradually rebuilding mutual trust. As an added benefit, they have been able to signal their commitment to Palestinian democratic principles and unity without having to make far-reaching political concessions.

According to recent public opinion polling, three-quarters of Palestinians want elections. In such a scenario, Fatah would win 38 per cent in legislative elections, compared to 34 per cent for Hamas – with Hamas emerging on top in Gaza and Fatah stronger in the West Bank. But it is likely that competing Fatah lists would give Hamas the largest number of seats in the PLC, though it would fall short of a majority. That said, the change to electoral rules since 2006 means that a ruling government will need the support of multiple lists to gain a majority. As far as the presidential election is concerned, Abbas would lose against other prominent national figures such as Haniyeh or Marwan Barghouti, a veteran Fatah leader currently imprisoned by Israel. This is unsurprising given that 66 per cent of Palestinians want the 85-year-old Abbas to resign.

In recent months, Hamas and Fatah have shown their desire to reach a post-election power-sharing deal that preserves their current duopoly on power. Maintaining the political status quo and ensuring access to the PA’s patronage system undoubtedly benefits both Hamas and Fatah. But such a deal – based on electoral cooperation rather than electoral competition – also aims to avoid a repeat of the zero-sum struggle that brought down the Palestinian political system in the past.

Both have indicated a firm intention to form a government of national unity, regardless of which party does better in the legislative elections. In addition, Hamas has signalled that it will not field its own candidate in the presidential election and could instead lend its support to a ‘national unity’ figure (including potentially a candidate from Fatah), although it has so far expressed no preference on its preferred choice.[3] However, this cooperative atmosphere could be difficult to sustain once the electoral campaign gets into full swing and rival factions begin campaigning against each other.

Moving forward, Palestinian leaders need to finalise several outstanding elections-related issues, including security arrangements and the allocation of seats among factions as part of a new PNC. And, of course, the continued spread of covid-19 in the Palestinian territory and lockdown restrictions will add a further layer of complexity.

Alongside this, most of the technical (but still deeply political) questions related to Palestinian reunification may not be broached until after the elections. These include questions such as those on how to return PA governance to Gaza by reintegrating its Hamas-run ministries and civil servants into the PA system; the future of Hamas’s armed wing and security control in Gaza; and the extent to which Israel and Fatah-aligned security forces will allow Hamas to operate freely in the West Bank (and vice versa).

A house still divided

Of course, 15 years of animosity and division are not easily overcome. Fatah’s secretary-general, Jibril Rajoub, and Hamas’s deputy chair, Saleh Arouri, have been the driving force behind the proposed elections and seem to have established a good working relationship with each other. But Hamas has long been sceptical about Abbas’s commitment to elections. They worry that he is only talking about elections to ingratiate himself with the new US administration, before eventually derailing the process and laying the blame on Hamas, Israel, or the pandemic.[4] The prospect of losing his hold on power following one of the elections could provoke a similar manoeuvre. There are other potential spoilers on both sides, including senior Fatah members and PA security officials who are concerned that elections and a power-sharing agreement with Hamas will harm their personal standing, Fatah, and the stability of the PA.

Hamas officials are also concerned that internal divisions within Fatah could complicate the elections and the establishment of power-sharing arrangements.[5] At the same time, they seem willing to play off these internal rivalries to advance their own interests. This was illustrated by the UAE’s delivery of covid-19 vaccines to Gaza over the past two months, which took place at the behest of Mohammed Dahlan, an adviser to Emirati Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayed and high-profile Fatah opponent of Abbas who in the past led PA security crackdowns against Hamas. In exchange, Hamas has allowed several allies of Dahlan to return to Gaza in preparation for elections. Should there be multiple Fatah PLC lists or presidential candidates, Hamas could find itself in the role of kingmaker – potentially allowing it to decide which Fatah faction(s) to form a coalition government with, and which presidential candidate to throw its political weight behind.

Meanwhile, one of the largest obstacles to overcome before elections can be held will be Israel’s response, particularly with regards to the inclusion of Israeli-controlled East Jerusalem – which Fatah and Hamas have both described as a prerequisite. Israeli officials are far from enthusiastic about the prospect of elections. They are concerned that another resounding Fatah defeat could once again unleash post-electoral instability as it did in 2006, potentially leading to a scenario in which Hamas takes over the West Bank and turns it into another ‘Hamastan’. The inclusion of East Jerusalem in elections also poses a political problem for Israel given its claims to exclusive sovereignty over the city and efforts to suppress Palestinian political activities there. However, it is also clear that Palestinian political divisions and weakness have served Israel well – allowing it to dodge serious peace negotiations and consolidate its control over Palestinian territory.

For now, Israel has not publicly articulated its position towards upcoming Palestinian elections. Its government is no doubt keen to avoid such a politically charged question during a tight Israeli general election – to be held next week. In the meantime, Israel likely hopes that the Palestinians will derail the electoral process themselves before it has to show its hand. But the Israeli government has already begun detaining and threatening Hamas members in the West Bank as an explicit warning against running in elections.

The Hamas bet

Hamas is a resilient movement, but it is under considerable political and financial pressure due to the shifting regional geopolitical landscape, which has become more hostile to it.[6] Since the 2007 split, it has had to maintain governance responsibility for the Gaza Strip – which is one of the most densely populated areas in the world and is suffering from a profound, man-made socio-economic crisis. While Hamas corruption and mismanagement have exacerbated this crisis, the situation has been considerably worsened by Israeli sanctions and Egyptian and PA restrictions (which Abbas first imposed in March 2017 to punish Hamas for the failure of previous reconciliation efforts).

The Islamist movement continues to embrace – and, at times, engage in – armed confrontation with Israel. But it has been unable to throw off Israel’s chokehold over Gaza. Three destructive wars with Israel have produced nothing more than continued stalemate and an eventual return to the status quo ante. As the movement’s leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, has noted: “war achieves nothing”. Similarly, it achieved inconclusive results in its attempt to use (mostly nonviolent) popular mobilisation during the 2018-2019 Great March of Return protests along Gaza’s border with Israel. While Hamas still believes it has the right to resist the occupation, it is exhausted and “ready for quiet”.[7]

Since 2018, Hamas has reached a fragile modus vivendi with Israel that has allowed for an incremental and limited easing of some restrictions on Gaza and the influx of Qatari stabilisation funds in exchange for Hamas’s commitment to preserving calm. This agreement does not fundamentally challenge Israel’s closure of the Strip and has broken down on several occasions, each time returning Hamas and Israel to the verge of all-out war. The group is also sensitive to accusations that it is seeking to develop a ‘mini-state’ in Gaza at the expense of national unity.

Against this backdrop, Hamas has come to view Palestinian elections and its participation in a future PA government as its only viable option. It hopes this will relieve it of the burden of administering Gaza and allow for the Strip’s economic redevelopment, including by eventually forcing a more substantial easing of Israeli restrictions. Just as importantly, by offering it membership of the PNC, the electoral process gives Hamas a backdoor into the PLO, which would grant it greater influence and legitimacy within the Palestinian national movement.[8]

In the past, Hamas (along with Islamic Jihad) has been invited to attend PNC meetings as a non-voting observer, although it usually refuses to do so. The selection of a new PNC that included formal participation by Hamas would be an important milestone in efforts to fulfil the group’s political ambitions. This would constitute a full reversal of its past aspirations to compete against, and ultimately replace, the PLO and the PA.

These objectives reflect Hamas’s immediate focus on political empowerment. Its longer-term national goals are less defined, beyond a notional commitment to liberating Palestine – which its leaders increasingly equate with the establishment of an independent state based on the 1967 borders.

Nevertheless, the Islamist movement remains reluctant to play a high-profile role in the next government. It has indicated that it does not intend to nominate senior cabinet members and will avoid ‘front-facing’ roles such as prime minister or foreign minister.[9] This has as much to do with the movement’s desire to minimise Western concerns about its potential role as its bitter experience of governing Gaza over the past 15 years. Some senior members of the movement have described its decision to form PA governments in 2006-2007 as a strategic blunder that cost it domestic support, caused it tremendous financial pain, and trapped it in Gaza.

A return to moderation

In its desire to move forward with elections, Hamas has made several concessions, such as accepting electoral arrangements that are more favourable to Abbas and Fatah. For example, Hamas conceded its preference for holding all three elections at the same time and accepted a sequenced approach, despite its concerns that Abbas may cancel the electoral process after the PLC election – thereby denying it greater access to the PLO. Hamas also accepted the PLO’s status as the legitimate representative body of the Palestinian people, and a new proportional representation (national list) system for PLC elections, which favours Fatah.[10]

The movement is keen to avoid a repeat of the disastrous international response to its victory in the 2006 legislative election. It wants to move towards political engagement with Europe, to end the EU’s no-contact policy, and to be delisted as a terrorist organisation. This is despite its own perception that Europe is not interested in promoting a diplomatic track that would include Hamas to achieve Palestinian reunification and resolve the conflict with Israel.[11] Moderate members of Hamas hope that ensuring political stability and continuity through an arrangement with Fatah based on a moderate political platform can help reassure the EU and the US about its participation in a future PA government.[12]

The Islamist movement continues to formally reject the Quartet Principles, which would require it to violate its ideological red lines – such as its refusal to formally renounce armed resistance and recognise Israel in advance of a peace agreement – a move that Hamas leaders view as political suicide. As Hamas officials are always keen to point out, the Quartet has never formally made such demands of the Israeli government and its constituent parties. Nevertheless, Hamas has indicated that a future PA government in which it participates could accept a two-state solution, abide by existing agreements with Israel, and endorse the principles of non-violence, international law, and democratic governance – reprising and expanding on the moderate positions of its 2007 government.[13]

Senior Hamas leaders have endorsed similar positions in the past. The group’s previous leader, Khaled Mashalstated in 2017 that it is “prepared to work according to a Palestinian programme jointly with others to establish a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders”. Speaking in 2011, Hamas’s former deputy foreign minister, Ghazi Hamad, made a similar point: “we said, frankly, we accept the state and ‘67 borders … Hamas is ready to go more and more for political solutions.”

Similar views have been voiced by Haniyeh and Sinwar. Hamas’s 2017 Political Document – which represents the group’s official positions – also frames a two-state solution as a “formula of national consensus”. Furthermore, there are strong hints in private that the group could recognise Israel and demobilise within the context of a final peace agreement that settles all claims and creates an independent Palestinian state.[14] As one figure within Hamas noted, “we want to send a clear message that we will engage in a process that can meet Palestinian rights, including the right of return for refugees.”[15] While stopping short of formally renouncing armed resistance, another Politburo member, Husam Badran, has signalled that the movement could prioritise peaceful popular resistance.

To be sure, not all members of Hamas share the same views, and the coming electioneering will likely give rise to contradictory messages. Fathi Hamad, a hardline member of Hamas’s Politburo, regularly extols Hamas’s support for armed resistance and Islamic claims over “historic Palestine”. This, in part, reflects the need to balance domestic campaigning and external engagement. But it is also a genuine reflection of the competing trends and strategic divergences within the group. Which of these camps steers Hamas going forward will depend on whether elections and political engagement can protect the group’s core interests. The outcome of Hamas’s internal elections – which are currently wrapping up – could provide an initial indication of where this balance of power within the movement currently lies.

A make-or-break moment for Palestine

There are many reasons to downplay the merits of the forthcoming elections. They may merely reproduce the current monopolies on power enjoyed by Hamas and Fatah – even with the participation of multiple electoral lists and presidential candidates. These measures may also do little to bridge the generational gap between Palestine’s ageing leadership and its predominantly youthful population, or provide the sorts of political choice and transformation that many Palestinians desire. The elections also will not directly challenge Israel’s military occupation, which remains the ultimate decider of Palestinian life.

It is also unclear how Hamas’s membership of the PNC will play out in the long term. As Sam Bahour, a leading Palestinian analyst, remarks: “any Palestinian political grouping desiring to formally join the PLO has no user’s manual and no path forward”.

Finally, it is worth noting that, in its current configuration, this electoral process will exclude most Palestinians who live outside the occupied territories. As Bahour goes on to note, “a Palestinian in Ain al-Hilweh Refugee Camp in South Lebanon, or in Nazareth, Israel, or Youngstown, Ohio, or Santiago, Chile has the same inalienable right to have their say as do those of us under military occupation in Ramallah, Jerusalem, or Gaza.”

Even putting these concerns aside, the next PA government will inherit deep political and economic challenges. Addressing these issues will require it to balance the competing expectations of Palestinian voters and international donors – both of which will demand accountability.

The future of the PA’s relations with Israel

One key source of tension will remain the PA’s commitment to existing agreements with Israel under the Oslo Accords. The most fraught aspect of this relates to security coordination with Israel given Palestinian public perceptions that it only benefits Israel and its settler population, fails to protect Palestinians from settler violence, and facilitates Israeli security raids. In addition, Palestinians argue that Israel has not respected its own obligations under these agreements – by expanding its settlement project, withholding tax clearance revenues collected on the PA’s behalf in retaliation for Palestinian political decisions it disagrees with, and obstructing Palestinians’ movements between Gaza and the West Bank. More broadly, these agreements have formalised Israeli dominance over the Palestinian political system and prevented the emergence of a transformative political strategy that could challenge Israel’s occupation more effectively.

Against this backdrop, Palestinian politicians regularly call for an end to PA cooperation with Israel. This includes figures not just within Hamas but also in Fatah and the PLO’s Central Council. Abbas too has repeatedly vowed to take such a step. But, as the outgoing government of prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has found, breaking free from Israel and the Oslo Accords is far from simple given the degree to which they sustain Palestinians’ daily lives and the PA (along with its patronage networks). Mashal himself has acknowledged that “despite the fact that it [Hamas] rejected the Oslo agreement that harmed the interest of our people … Hamas has to deal with this reality”. And, indeed, this was the position of Hamas’s 2006-2007 governments.

So far, no party has laid out a detailed plan for PA governance. But a mixture of political interest and deference to international funding conditions would likely push a government of national unity to abide by existing agreements with Israel, including security commitments in some form. This would allow it to focus on more immediate priorities, such as addressing domestic socio-economic challenges, containing covid-19, and supporting Gaza’s redevelopment – although progress will continue to be hampered by the overarching context of Israel’s occupation. As a means of easing popular pressure and potential criticism from non-governing parties, the government could refer the question of the PA’s future relations with Israel to a new PNC for debate.

Playing the long game

Despite the many challenges ahead, holding free, fair, and inclusive elections in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza would be an important first step towards restoring accountable national institutions and creating space for the emergence of younger, non-factional, and progressive leadership structures – even if many activists cannot stand this time round due to restrictive candidacy requirements. Combined with a post-election power-sharing agreement, this would be a step towards full national reconciliation, institutional and societal reunification, and political reform. Moreover, a revived national political conversation – centred around a reactivated (and ultimately reformed) PNC, accountable leadership and institutions, and empowered civil society – will put Palestinians in a stronger position to navigate some of the core strategic dilemmas currently faced by their national movement. From a European perspective, this would have the added benefit of strengthening the resilience of the PA and bolstering support for the two-state solution in the face of growing domestic challenges.

When it comes to Gaza, a real unity­­­ government would be a boon to its beleaguered population. Restoring PA governance would remove one key justification for Israel’s siege of Gaza – even if the country has imposed sanctions on it in some form since the mid-1990s. More immediately, a unified Palestinian authority would facilitate greater international redevelopment efforts and a covid vaccination rollout, and would support the revival of Gaza’s once-vibrant economy. Most tantalisingly, in the longer term, this could open the door to the exploitation of Gaza’s gas reserves, which could provide Palestine with energy self-sufficiency and reduce its reliance on foreign aid.

Just as importantly, a successful electoral process resulting in a viable unity government and Palestinian reunification would vindicate moderate Hamas figures who argue that political participation and a commitment to democratic principles can move their aims forward in a way that  armed violence cannot.

Clearly, the prospects for launching meaningful peace negotiations with Israel remain a distant prospect given continued political divergences between Israeli and Palestinian negotiating positions, and Israel’s erosion of the territorial footprint of a future two-state solution. But there may still be room to secure a longer-term calm between both sides by expanding the current ceasefire arrangements between Hamas and Israel in Gaza. This could develop and update ideas previously put forward by the group – such as a 2006 proposal developed by moderate figures within Hamas and Swiss officials. This envisaged a rolling armistice with Israel in exchange for gradual de-occupation and greater Palestinian freedoms – with the ultimate goal of easing tensions and rebuilding trust to enable genuine progress towards a two-state solution. To be sure, this would not provide a final resolution to the conflict. But it could, at the very least, anchor existing de-escalation efforts, while increasing the chances that the coming years will be fought exclusively in the political arena.

Conversely, the collapse of the electoral process would accelerate Palestinian political disintegration and rising authoritarianism. This would destroy whatever international credibility and domestic legitimacy the PA and its leadership have left, potentially provoking a backlash against Abbas by the Palestinian public and emboldened rivals within Fatah. The lack of any realistic prospect for national reunification would push Gaza and the West Bank further apart, encouraging Hamas and Fatah to entrench themselves in their respective fiefdoms. In such a scenario, Gazans would have little chance of escaping their dire humanitarian situation. After two failed attempts to participate in a political process by tabling moderate policy positions and engaging in elections, Hamas’s calculations would be upended in favour of its hardliners’ views. The lesson the movement would take away from the experience would be that only armed resistance can deliver tangible results.

Such an outcome could lead to military escalation with Israel, with the aim of forcing a new modus vivendi that would allow for increased economic redevelopment in Gaza. Or, failing that, Hamas might threaten to ‘go underground’ by relinquishing its current role as Gaza’s de facto government and returning to its origins as an armed insurgent group. This would create a security vacuum that the PA and Israel would struggle to fill. It could also be accompanied by actions in the West Bank to undermine the PA and Fatah.

A second chance for Europe

Europe’s status as the PA’s biggest funder means that what it says and does over the coming weeks and months matters hugely. Given clear signals by Hamas that it wants to prioritise political engagement based on a relatively moderate policy platform, Europe should not follow the sort of path it did 15 years ago. Instead, it should work towards a policy of constructive engagement with any future government in which the group participates. This would be an important means of supporting political reconciliation and national reunification efforts, and would draw Hamas deeper into a diplomatic process that could advance intra-Palestinian reunification and lead to a sustainable peace agreement with Israel.

The single most important step that the EU and European governments can take at this current juncture is to publicly affirm their willingness to respect the results of free and fair elections – something they have so far shied away from doing, but that would signal a serious European commitment to the democratic process. 

In parallel, they should press the main stakeholders – namely, Hamas, Fatah, the PA, and Israel – to facilitate an electoral process that can pave the way for the peaceful transfer of power and elections every four years. The EU and European governments should be particularly attentive to any indication that Abbas may delay the elections. If necessary, they should use the political leverage created by their funding relationship with the PA to prevent this.

The EU must make clear that it expects Israel to: fulfil its obligations under the Oslo Accords by supporting the electoral process and allowing the deployment of an EU election observation mission, including in East Jerusalem; and refrain from all retaliatory measures against candidates, as well as future members of the PLC and a unity government. Precedent suggests that it is possible for Israel and the CEC to find a way to allow voting to take place in East Jerusalem. How straightforward this will be depends on the composition of Israel’s next government. It may be harder to ensure that Israel does not make life difficult for Palestinian voters and candidates. In both regards, international involvement will be important.

To do this, the EU should enlist the support of its Quartet partners while working with Israel and the CEC to ensure free and fair elections are held in East Jerusalem, building on past arrangements. It could also emphasise to its Israeli interlocutors that it is in their interests to facilitate a successful Palestinian democratic process at a time in which Israel is increasingly accused of consolidating an apartheid system in the occupied territories, where Palestinians are effectively denied political representation. The EU should also remind these interlocutors that Hamas and Israel have already shown themselves able to forge a pragmatic relationship when it suits their interests despite their mutual hostility – a relationship that some Israeli security officials have found easier to manage than that with Abbas and the PA.[16]

Learning its lesson from 2006, the EU should spell out its expectations of a future PA government in advance of elections. But, rather than requiring an explicit recital of the Quartet Principles – which sank the 2007 government of national unity – it should be prepared to accept alternative formulations that can meet European expectations. At the same time, the EU should allow the Palestinian leadership to develop a more transformational political strategy that can more effectively challenge Israel’s occupation and escape from the broken peace-making paradigm. This is another important factor in addressing the current power asymmetry between the two sides, and in incentivising Israeli support for a peaceful end to conflict based on a two-state solution. 

The EU should also look to the formation of the 2014 government of national consensus. Although the government was short-lived and ultimately fell victim to unresolved intra-Palestinian political disagreements, the EU and the US adopted a more flexible and hands-on approach to it, giving it greater latitude in meeting their conditions. This resulted in a formula in which they accepted the government based on its endorsement of a previous speech given by Abbas – which endorsed a two-state solution, committed to respect agreements signed with Israel, and reaffirmed a complete rejection of violence and terrorism in all its forms.

With this in mind, the EU should signal its readiness to fund a future Palestinian government that commits to the peaceful establishment of a Palestinian state based on the pre-June 1967 lines, with Jerusalem as its capital. This should also mean endorsing the principles of international law, nonviolence, and democratic governance, including respect for human rights. The EU should then engage with the relevant stakeholders to identify how a future government can demonstrate such commitments in word and deed – such as by potentially reprising Abbas’s 2011 speech as the basis for its political platform. This formula would provide a pragmatic and constructive way to ensure that the EU can continue funding the PA while still supporting its policy objectives.

Finally, the EU and its member states must proactively engage with the new US administration to secure its support for Palestinian elections and a positive response to a unity government. But, while the EU should seek maximum alignment with the Biden administration, it should not allow its own policies to once again be determined by Washington, as happened in 2006 when it followed its lead in signing up to US conditions.

Conclusion

If the EU does not encourage and support the forthcoming polls, it will put the electoral process at greater risk of failure. The EU must, therefore, remain focused on its strategic objectives. Elections provide the EU with an opportunity to help develop Palestinian democracy, accountable institutions, and a unified government based on the rule of law. A unity government could also help support Gaza’s socio-economic recovery and avert another war with Israel.

At a time when the Oslo peace process has run aground and there is almost no realistic prospect of a return to a two-state solution, it would be a significant achievement to bring Hamas into a nonviolent political strategy for resolving the conflict with Israel and ensuring its respect for democratic rules and international law. In doing so, the EU would help create the basis for a sustainable political agreement with Israel underpinned by cross-factional and Palestinian public support. While the path ahead will not be easy, working to back successful elections and secure a positive post-election political environment would be a wise investment of the EU’s political capital.

EINDE BERICHT

THE GUARDIAN

HAMAS CELEBRATES ELECTION VICTORY

26 JANUARY 2006

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/jan/26/israel1

Figures from Palestinian officials tonight confirmed Hamas’s shock win in the Palestinian parliamentary election over the once-dominant Fatah party.

Polls had predicted a coalition between the two parties as the most likely outcome of the vote, but a surprise surge in support for the Islamists took a party that calls for the destruction of the state of Israel into power.

The preliminary count put Hamas on 76 seats to Fatah’s 43 in the 132 seat chamber. The result could complicate hopes of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. George Bush said the United States would not deal with a Hamas-led government unless the party recognised Israel’s right to exist.

As the scale of the Fatah defeat became apparent, its officials conceded defeat and the Palestinian prime minister, Ahmed Qureia, and his cabinet submitted their resignations. “This is the choice of the people. It should be respected,” Mr Qureia told reporters.

The exit of the Qureia cabinet will change the wider politics of the region. Fatah, the party of Yasser Arafat and President Mahmoud Abbas – supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while the founding charter of Hamas commits it to the destruction of the Jewish state.

The Islamist faction, which is designated as a terrorist group by the US and EU, has not launched a suicide attack since February last year, but has also refused to renounce violence against Israel. Mushir al-Masri, who won a seat for Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip, insisted peace talks or recognition of Israel were not on its agenda.

Hundreds of Israeli civilians have died in nearly 60 Hamas suicide bombings.

Tonight the Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, said he had called Mr Abbas to request a meeting so that they can decide on the future of the Palestinian government. “We want to meet with him to consult about the shape of the political partnership that we can achieve,” Mr Haniyeh told reporters as he received well-wishers in the garden of his Gaza home. “Hamas will cooperate with everybody for the benefit of all the people.”

But the poll could leave the Palestinian government without international recognition, and in Israel – where a general election is due to take place in March – it will be a key influence on the reshaping of the political terrain following Ariel Sharon’s stroke.

Mr Bush said a party that advocated the destruction of Israel would never be partner for peace, but also hailed the result as an example of democracy in action.

“If there are people unhappy with the status quo they’ll let you know. What was positive is that it is a wake up call to the leadership,” he told a White House press conference.

“People are demanding honest government … people want services, they want to raise their children in a decent environment.”

Mr Bush said Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, was holding talks with the three other members of the international quartet backing the road map peace plan – the EU, UN and Russia – to work out a response to the Hamas win.

Ehud Olmert, the acting Israeli prime minister, said Israel could not trust a Palestinian leadership in which Hamas had a role. “Israel can’t accept a situation in which Hamas, in its present form as a terror group calling for the destruction of Israel, will be part of the

Palestinian Authority without disarming,” Mr Olmert told the US senator Joseph Biden, according to his office. “I won’t hold negotiations with a government that does not stick to its most basic obligation of fighting terror.”

Deep implications could be felt in the Palestinian territories themselves. As the single biggest aid donor to the Palestinian Authority, the EU’s reaction to the result will determine whether the €500m from its 25 member states and common budget continue to be sent.

Israel’s acting foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, asked the EU “to sound a clear voice explaining there will be no European understanding for a process in which a terror government is being set up.”

Javier Solana, the EU foreign policy chief, said in a statement that the election result had created “an entirely new situation which will need to be analysed”.

EINDE THE GUARDIAN BERICHT

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Noot 6/Blokkade Gaza

Opgeslagen onder Divers

Noten 7 en 8/Blokkade Gaza

[7]

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

LETTER TO OLMERT: STOP THE BLOCKADE OF GAZA

20 NOVEMBER 2008

https://www.hrw.org/news/2008/11/20/letter-olmert-stop-blockade-gaza

November 20, 2008
Dear Prime Minister Olmert,
We are writing to express our deep concern about Israel’s continuing blockade of the Gaza Strip, a measure that is depriving its population of food, fuel, and basic services, and constitutes a form of collective punishment.

The latest measures, a complete closure of all Gaza border crossings since November 5, are part of an ongoing policy by your government that has prevented the normal flow of goods and people in and out of Gaza since January 2006. It has contributed to a humanitarian crisis, deepened poverty and ruined the economy. We urge your government to abandon this policy.

Your government states that this latest blockade was in response to Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel, in which two Israel civilians were injured (on November 14 and 16), and over a dozen others treated for shock. Human Rights Watch has repeatedly condemned deliberate and indiscriminate Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli communities as violations of the laws of war. We recently sent a letter to Hamas leaders calling on them to renounce such attacks, and arrest and prosecute those who carry out or encourage attacks on civilians.

However, violations of the laws of war by one party to a conflict do not justify violations by the other. As such, illegal attacks by Palestinian armed groups do not justify an illegal Israeli response. Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, an occupied territory under the Fourth Geneva Convention, constitutes collective punishment in violation of the laws of war.
While your government has eased the restrictions for one day on November 17 the humanitarian situation in Gaza is now critical as the borders remain closed. Food distribution by the United Nations to 750,000 people—half of Gaza’s population—was forced to a halt last week, and remains severely disrupted.

Israel permitted 30 trucks to enter Gaza on November 17, delivering just eight trucks of food aid for the United Nations relief agency distribution centers, enough to feed 20,000 people. Those supplies are now almost gone, according to UN officials. The agency has to import at least 15 truckloads of food daily to meet the territory’s needs. Food stocks in three UN warehouses have also been emptied.

Gaza’s main power station needs over 21 million liters of industrial diesel before it can restart power production, according to the relief agency. Gaza is currently suffering widespread power shortages with power cuts of up to 16 hours a day. On average 650,000 people–over a third of the population—are without power at any one time amid rolling power cuts throughout the territory.

The fuel and power shortages have disrupted the pumping of water from 80 percent of Gaza water wells according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Twenty percent of the population has access to water for six hours five times a week. Forty percent have access to water four days a week, and the remaining 40 percent have water for just three days a week.

No wheat grain has entered Gaza for 16 days, prompting Gaza’s largest flour mill al-Philistiniya to close, according to OCHA. A lack of cooking gas has closed 28 out of 47 pita-bread bakeries in Gaza, and bread is being rationed. There are no bakeries in production in Rafah in the south of Gaza.

The latest closures have compounded the already severe effects of a longer term blockade your government implemented when Hamas took full control of Gaza in June 2007. Other restrictions have been in place since December 2005, when Hamas won legislative elections in the West Bank and Gaza. Over the last year, this policy has deepened poverty in Gaza and cut its industrial production by over 90 percent, according to the World Bank. The Palestinian Federation of Industries estimates that as a result of import restrictions and the inability to export, only 23 of the 3,900 industries in Gaza are operating, six of which produce wheat flour, one clothing, and the remainder food processing.

These restrictions are impacting a population that is already among the poorest in the world. Close to 70 percent of the population lives in deep poverty, according the UN relief agency, UNRWA. (The agency defines deep poverty as a family of six persons or more living on income of less than US$467 per month.) Egypt has been complicit in the blockade by keeping its borders with Gaza closed for much of the past year, in cooperation with your government.

Israel made a commitment in June to ease some of these restrictions – but the movement of goods into Gaza and people in and out the territory remains a fraction of what it was when borders were last opened for free trade. October’s imports represented only 21 percent of the December 2005 level (13,430 truckloads), that is prior to the Palestinian Legislative Council elections, and 26 percent of the May 2007 level, immediately before the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip, according to OCHA. Exports from Gaza are not allowed by your government.

In September and October, Egypt and Israel allowed around 6000 pilgrims, hospital patients and some businessmen to pass through the Rafah and Erez border crossings. However, the Israeli and Egyptian governments have prevented over 800 students from leaving the territory to study abroad. Restrictions on freedom of movement for the large majority of the population remain in place, preventing their access to work, healthcare, and family outside of Gaza.

Even though Israel withdrew its permanent military forces and settlers in 2005, it remains an occupying power in Gaza under international law because it continues to exercise effective day-to-day control over key aspects of life in Gaza. Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel is obliged to ensure the provision of food and medical supplies to the civilian population to the fullest extent possible.

We urge your government to immediately lift restrictions on the flow into Gaza of food, medicines, and other supplies essential for the well-being of the civilian population and to cease all measures that amount to collective punishment of the civilian population, including disruptions to the electricity supply and fuel cuts. We also urge your government to respect the right to freedom of movement, especially for those who need to travel for reasons of health or education.

We look forward to your response to this matter.

Yours sincerely,

SarahLeah Whitson
Executive Director
Middle East and North Africa Division
Human Rights Watch

[8]

”As part of the blockade, Israel prohibited travel in and out of Gaza, the import of goods into Gaza – including restrictions on food items, toys and paper – and export to Israel, the West Bank or foreign countries.”

BTSELEM.ORG

THE GAZA STRIP

11 NOVEMBER 2017

https://www.btselem.org/gaza_strip

The Gaza Strip is the scene of a humanitarian disaster that has nothing to do with natural causes – it is entirely man-made, a direct result of official Israeli policy. Israel can choose to change this policy and considerably improve the lives of Gaza’s residents. It can also choose to continue this cruel, unjustifiable policy, which sentences the nearly two million people living in Gaza to a life of abject poverty and nearly inhuman conditions.

In early September 2015, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development published a report on the situation in Gaza after eight years of blockade and three rounds of fighting between Israel and the Palestinians. The report cautioned that without significant changes to Israel’s policy, Gaza has no chance of recovery and will become unlivable by 2020. Rather than change its policies in the time that has elapsed since the report, Israel has made them stricter, the situation has deteriorated and Gaza has long since become unliveable.

Israel’s responsibility

Israel contends that its role as occupying power in the Gaza Strip ended in September 2005, when it dismantled all settlements there, withdrew its military forces and declared the end of the military government. Further to this position, Israel contends that it no longer has any obligations or responsibilities toward Gaza residents, other than minimal humanitarian duties designed to prevent a serious crisis in the Gaza Strip.

This position is entirely baseless. In the early years following the implementation of Israel’s Disengagement Plan, there was some vagueness regarding Israel’s legal obligations toward Gaza. However, since then, the conception of degree of responsibility as commensurate with degree of control has taken root. Though Israel is clearly no longer responsible for keeping the peace inside Gaza, and is not generally obliged to see to the welfare of its residents under the laws of occupation, it is still the power that shapes the daily lives of Gaza residents, and as such, also bears responsibility towards them.

Although Israel declared an end to its military administration in Gaza, it continues to control critical aspects of life there. It controls all border crossings by land, apart from Rafah, as well as Gaza’s sea and air space. This control allows Israel to exclusively monitor the movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza, which it regulates according to Israeli interests. This holds true even when Gaza residents wish only to transit through Israel in order to reach the West Bank or other countries.

Rafah Crossing, which is subject to Egyptian control, has been closed for the past few years.  Egyptian authorities open it only a few days every year. Yet even then, it may be used only by individuals who meet strict criteria – which are changed every so often. Regardless, using this crossing to travel to other countries involves a long and often dangerous journey; when the destination is no further than the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), or Jordan, this lengthy journey is particularly unreasonable.

The blockade and its ramifications

Isolating Gaza from the rest of the world, including separating it from the West Bank, is part of a longstanding Israeli policy. The implementation began in the 1990s, with the imposition of a closure on all the Occupied Territories and the introduction of the requirement for every Palestinian from these territories – with the exception of areas annexed to Israel – to request a personal permit to enter Israel, even if only for the purpose of travel between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip or abroad. Over the years, Israel has made it increasingly difficult to obtain these permits.

After the second intifada broke out, Israel tightened the restrictions on Palestinian travel, imposing serious restrictions on travel to and from the Gaza Strip, and cutting it off from the West Bank almost completely. Entry of Gaza residents into Israel for the purpose of family visits or reunification with a spouse was prohibited. Visits by Palestinian citizens of Israel and residents of East Jerusalem to relatives in Gaza were reduced to a minimum. In addition, Israel severely restricted the ability of the entire population of Gaza to travel abroad, with many prohibited from doing so altogether. Import and export were restricted and often halted. Israel also banned most Gaza residents from working inside Israel, taking away the source of income of tens of thousands. The restrictions Israel imposed on the movement of goods and workers caused a deep recession in Gaza, impaired its residents’ earning capacity and caused a sharp decline in living standards.

In the summer of 2007, after Hamas took over the Gaza Strip, Israel used its control over the crossings to put Gaza under a blockade overnight, turning almost two million people into prisoners inside the Gaza Strip, effecting an economic collapse and propelling Gaza residents into almost full dependency on international aid.

As part of the blockade, Israel prohibited travel in and out of Gaza, the import of goods into Gaza – including restrictions on food items, toys and paper – and export to Israel, the West Bank or foreign countries. According to documents exposed in October 2010 following a Freedom of Information petition filed by the Gisha organization, it emerged that Israel had employed a “deliberate reductive policy”, based on calculations of the minimal caloric intake required for Gaza residents to survive.

In June 2010, following international pressure on Israel after the takeover of the Turkish flotilla to Gaza, Israel decided to lift some of these restrictions. Among other things, Israel agreed to expand the list of goods cleared for entry into Gaza and allowed the entry of building materials for public and housing projects. As part of this new policy, Israel replaced the narrow list of items allowed into Gaza with a list of strictly prohibited items, such as weapons, as well as a list of “dual-use” items that Israel believes could have both civilian and military uses, which require an individual permit. The second list includes hundreds of items, the lack of which prevents development of factories and restoration of civilian infrastructure. The restrictions on export remained in place even after June 2010, leaving Gaza isolated and with no real opportunity for economic development.

One aspect of the blockade is the reduction of the area where fishing is allowed in Gaza. The Oslo Accords stipulate a range of 20 nautical miles (about 37 km) off the Gaza shoreline, but Israel has never allowed fishing farther than 12 nautical miles out to sea. Over the years, Israel has gradually narrowed the fishing zone, sometimes to three nautical miles only, and currently between six and nine. The Israeli military also restricts fishing in areas bordering Israel and Egypt. Soldiers fire at fishermen alleging they have sailed beyond the restricted zone, arrest them and confiscate their equipment. In this way, Israel prevents Gaza fishermen from reaching the rich fishing grounds located further out to sea, impedes the ability of thousands of fishermen and people working in related sectors to provide for themselves and their families, and denies Gaza residents an essential source of food.

The blockade has driven Gaza’s economy into collapse. In the first quarter of 2022, unemployment reached 47%. In the under 29 age bracket, it was 75%. Some 80% of Gaza’s residents depend on humanitarian aid, and about 60% suffer from food insecurity. In the year 2000, before the blockade was imposed, Gaza’s unemployment rate was 18.9%.

Infrastructure and public services in Gaza are collapsing. Of the water pumped in the Gaza Strip, 96.2% is contaminated and unpotable. Electricity is supplied for just a few hours every day, partly because of a fuel shortage caused by high costs, and partly because of restrictions Israel imposes on the entry of spare parts to maintain existing systems – including repairing the power station it bombed in 2006.

The lack of consistent power supply has disastrous effects. Routine power cuts damage medical equipment. Hospitals are forced to rely on generators and scale back services, including delaying non-urgent surgeries and releasing patients early. The intermittent power supply also impedes the routine operation of water pumps and wells. This interferes with the supply of water for household use and public institutions, which has been greatly reduced. Residents have no choice but to cut back on the amount of water they drink and buy desalinated drinking water from private suppliers. It is estimated that 68% of the desalinated water is also contaminated, increasing the risk of disease spreading among the population. Sewage treatment facilities are not fully functional. Treatment cycles have been reduced, and sewage is pumped into the sea after being only partially treated.

The blackouts also keep Gaza residents from leading reasonable lives: they preclude normal use of washing machines, refrigerators, water heating tanks and more. These appliances are an inseparable part of life for billions of people all over the world, including people who live mere kilometers away. In Gaza, residents can only use them during the few hours in which power is available.

The level of health services offered in the Gaza Strip falls far short of meeting the needs of the population, and many essential treatments are not available there. Israel prevents doctors from traveling to medical conferences and seminars to keep abreast of innovations in their field. In addition, bringing new medical equipment into Gaza, or spare parts to repair existing equipment, requires Israeli consent, which is often given after many delays and sometimes, not given at all. Patients requiring treatment that is unavailable in Gaza have to ask Israel for permits to travel to hospitals in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Israel rarely grants the permits, and restricts them to cases it defines as “life threatening” – a far cry from meeting the patients’ needs.

Military operations

Since the disengagement in 2005, Israel has launched several rounds of fighting in the Gaza Strip, killing thousands of people, destroying thousands of structures and severely harming infrastructure that was already on the brink of collapse. These attacks exacerbated the already dire situation in Gaza. The continued blockade prevents reconstruction, and tens of thousands of persons are still homeless in Gaza.

Operation Cast Lead: On 27 December 2008, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead, which lasted until 18 January 2009. According to data collected by B’Tselem, Israel killed 1,391 Palestinians during the fighting, at least 759 of them civilians who had not taken part in the hostilities. Of these, 318 were under the age of 18. Israel also caused extensive damage to structures and to infrastructure, including electricity, water and sewage facilities that were on the brink of collapse even before the fighting and were now rendered completely dysfunctional. According to UN figures, Israel destroyed more than 3,500 homes, leaving tens of thousands of people without shelter or a home to return to. During the offensive, Palestinians fired rocket and mortar shells toward Israel, with the deliberate intention of harming civilians. Three Israeli civilians and one member of the Israeli security forces were killed as a result. In addition, nine Israeli soldiers were killed, four of them from friendly fire.

Operation Pillar of Defense: On 14 November 2012, Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense. The fighting lasted eight days, during which, according to B’Tselem figures, Israel killed 167 Palestinians, at least 87 of whom had not participated in the fighting. Of these, 32 were under the age of 18. Over the course of the fighting, four Israeli civilians and two members of the security forces were killed by rockets and shells that Palestinians fired from the Gaza Strip.

Operation Protective Edge: On 8 July 2014, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge. The fighting lasted 50 days, until 26 August 2014, with Israel wreaking havoc on Gaza’s civilian infrastructure. According to B’Tselem figures, during the fighting, Israel killed 2,203 Palestinians, including 1,371 who did not take part in the fighting. About a quarter of all the casualties, 548, were under age 18 and 527 of them did not take part in the fighting. During the fighting, Palestinians killed five Israeli civilians, including one child, as well as one foreign national and 63 soldiers. Three other soldiers were killed by friendly fire, and another was killed in an accident.

Guardian of the Walls: On 10 May 2021, Israel launched Operation Guardian of the Walls. The fighting lasted 11 days, until 21 May 2021, with Israel destroying buildings and civilian infrastructure. According to B’Tselem’s figures, during the fighting, Israel killed 232 Palestinians, including 137 who did not take part in the fighting, 53 of whom were under age 18. During the fighting, six Israeli civilians and three foreign nationals were killed by rockets that Palestinians fired. One member of the security forces was killed by Palestinian fire.

“No go” zones

Israel treats an area inside the Gaza Strip, near the border fence, as its own territory, using it to create a “buffer zone” inside the already narrow Strip. After the second intifada broke out, the military declared a vast area near the Gaza-Israel border, much of it farmland, off-limits to Palestinians. It never officially announced this policy or clarified to the residents which areas exactly were off limits to them, which increases the danger they face.

To enforce this access ban, the military has introduced open-fire regulations that permit firing at Palestinians found inside the zone – even if they pose no threat to anyone’s life. The implementation of these regulations has resulted in the killing of at least 87 Palestinians who did not take part in fighting from the time the Disengagement Plan was implemented in September 2005 until the end of May 2022, excluding rounds of fighting. Of these casualties, 41 were killed when they were in these zones as part of their daily routine, including local residents and farmers. Fourteen more people were killed when they approached the fence, planning to cross it in search of work inside Israel.

Another measure employed by the military to enforce the prohibition on approaching the fence is spraying herbicides on crops near the fence – on the Gazan side. The spraying is done without advance notice, and without alerting residents that they must protect crops that lie several hundred meters away from the fence, which are also harmed by the spraying. Israel has also destroyed vast areas near the border during the rounds of fighting, including demolishing entire neighbourhoods.

In the past, Gaza residents grew fruit trees and kept hothouses in these areas. Some were used for grazing livestock raised for food. However, because of Israel’s policy, and after the military destroyed various crops in the area, many farmers had to switch to crops that require less maintenance and that the army cannot claim block its field of vision. Today, the area is mostly home to dryland farming crops, which require no irrigation, such as wheat, barley, beans and various kinds of vegetables.

The Great March of Return protests

On 30 March 2018 – Land Day – Palestinians in the Gaza Strip began to hold regular protests along the perimeter fence, demanding an end to the blockade Israel has imposed on the Strip since 2007 and fulfillment of the right of return. The protests, held mostly on Fridays with tens of thousands participating, including children, women and seniors, continued until the end of 2019.

Israel was quick to frame the protests as illegitimate even before they began. It made various attempts to prevent the demonstrations and declared in advance it would violently disperse the protesters. The military deployed dozens of snipers along the fence, and various officials clarified that the open-fire regulations would permit lethal fire against anyone attempting to approach the fence or damage it. When Gaza residents went ahead with the demonstrations regardless, Israel made good on its threats and its open-fire regulations permitted use of live fire against unarmed protestors. As a result, 223 Palestinians, 46 of them under the age of 18, were killed and some 8,000 injured. The vast majority of the persons killed or injured were unarmed and posed no threat to the well-armored soldiers standing on the other side of the fence.

Israel responded to international criticism of the casualty toll by saying it would investigate the incidents. Yet today, more than forty months after the first demonstration, it is clear that the military’s investigations in relation to the Gaza protests were never intended to ensure justice for the victims or to deter troops from similar action. These investigations – much like the investigations conducted by the military law enforcement system in other cases in which soldiers have harmed Palestinians – are part of Israel’s whitewashing mechanism, and their main purpose remains to silence external criticism, so that Israel can continue to implement its policy unchanged.

EINDE BERICHT

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[9]

VERBOD OP COLLECTIEVE STRAF

INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY, COLLECTIVE PENALTIES, PILLAGE, REPRISALSARTICLE 33

 [ Link ]No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.Pillage is prohibited.Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.

ARTIKEL 33, 4E CONVENTIE VAN GENEVE
https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/Article.xsp?action=openDocument&documentId=72728B6DE56C7A68C12563CD0051BC40

”Dear Prime Minister Olmert,

We are writing to express our deep concern about Israel’s continuing blockade of the Gaza Strip, a measure that is depriving its population of food, fuel, and basic services, and constitutes a form of collective punishment.”

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

LETTER TO OLMERT: STOP THE BLOCKADE OF GAZA

20 NOVEMBER 2008

https://www.hrw.org/news/2008/11/20/letter-olmert-stop-blockade-gaza

ZIE VOOR GEHELE TEKST, NOOT 7

”“The people of Gaza have endured the unendurable and suffered what is insufferable for six years. Israel’s collective punishment of the civilian population in Gaza must end today,” said the Special Rapporteur.”

UNITED NATIONS 

COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT IN GAZA MUST END: 

ISRAEL’S BLOCKADE ENTERS IN IT’S 7TH YEAR-

UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR

14 JUNE 2013

https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2013/06/collective-punishment-gaza-must-end-israels-blockade-enters-its-7th-year-un

GENEVA, 14 June 2013 – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, Richard Falk, called today on Israel to end its blockade over the Gaza Strip, six years after it was tightened following the Hamas takeover in June 2007. The human suffering of the land, sea and air blockade imposed on the 1.75 million Palestinians living in one of the most densely populated and impoverished areas of the world has been devastating.

“Six years of Israel’s calculated strangulation of the Gaza Strip has stunted the economy and has kept most Gazans in a state of perpetual poverty and aid dependency,” said the UN expert. “Whether it is fishermen unable to go beyond six nautical miles from the shore, farmers unable to access their land near the Israeli fence, businessmen suffering from severe restrictions on the export of goods, students denied access to education in the West Bank, or patients in need of urgent medical attention refused access to Palestinian hospitals in the West Bank, the destructive designs of blockade have been felt by every single household in Gaza. It is especially felt by Palestinian families separated by the blockade,” he added.

“The people of Gaza have endured the unendurable and suffered what is insufferable for six years. Israel’s collective punishment of the civilian population in Gaza must end today,” said the Special Rapporteur.

“Israel has the responsibility as the Occupying Power to protect the civilian population. But instead of allowing a healthy people and economy to flourish, Israeli authorities have sealed off the Gaza Strip. According to statistics released by the Israeli Ministry of Defense, last month’s exports out of Gaza consisted of 49 truckloads of empty boxes, three truckloads of spices, one truckload of cut flowers, and one truckload of furniture,” he said. In 2012, the total number of truckloads of exports leaving Gaza was 254, compared to 9,787 in 2005 before the tightening of the blockade.

“It does not take an economist to figure out that such a trickle of goods out of Gaza is not the basis of a viable economy,” noted the UN expert. “The easing of the blockade announced by Israel in June 2010 after its deadly assault on the flotilla of ships carrying aid to the besieged population resulted only in an increase in consumer goods entering Gaza, and has not improved living conditions for most Gazans. Since 2007, the productive capacity of Gaza has dwindled with 80 percent of factories in Gaza now closed or operating at half capacity or less due to the loss of export markets and prohibitively high operating costs as a result of the blockade. 34 percent of Gaza’s workforce is unemployed including up to half the youth population, 44 percent of Gazans are food insecure, 80 percent of Gazans are aid recipients,” he said.

“To make matters worse, 90 percent of the water from the Gaza aquifer is unsafe for human consumption without treatment, and severe fuel and electricity shortage results in outages of up to 12 hours a day. Only a small proportion of Gazans who can afford to obtain supplies through the tunnel economy are buffered from the full blow of the blockade, but tunnels alone cannot meet the daily needs of the population in Gaza.”

“Last year, the United Nations forecast that under existing conditions, Gaza would be uninhabitable by 2020. Less optimistic forecasts presented to me were that the Gaza Strip may no longer be viable only three years from now,” said the Special Rapporteur. “It’s clear that the Israeli authorities set out six years ago to devitalize the Gazan population and economy,” he said, referring to a study undertaken by the Israeli Ministry of Defense in early 2008 detailing the minimum number of calories Palestinians in Gaza need to consume on a daily basis to avoid malnutrition. The myriad of restrictions imposed by Israel do not permit civilians in Gaza to develop to their full potential, and enjoy and exercise fully their human rights.

ENDS

In 2008, the UN Human Rights Council designated Richard Falk (United States of America) as the fifth Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. The mandate was originally established in 1993 by the UN Commission on Human Rights.

Learn more, log on to: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/countries/ps/mandate/index.htm

UN Human Rights – Occupied Palestinian Territories: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/MENARegion/Pages/PSIndex.aspx

UN Human Rights – Israel: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/MENARegion/Pages/ILIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Kevin Turner (kturner@ohchr.org) or Kiyohiko Hasegawa khasegawa@ohchr.org) or write to sropt@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Cécile Pouilly, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9310 / cpouilly@ohchr.org)

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[10]

””“Six years of Israel’s calculated strangulation of the Gaza Strip has stunted the economy and has kept most Gazans in a state of perpetual poverty and aid dependency,” said the UN expert”

UNITED NATIONS 

COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT IN GAZA MUST END: 

ISRAEL’S BLOCKADE ENTERS IN IT’S 7TH YEAR-

UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR

14 JUNE 2013

https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2013/06/collective-punishment-gaza-must-end-israels-blockade-enters-its-7th-year-un

ZIE VOOR GEHELE TEKST, NOOT 9

[11]

”“Whether it is fishermen unable to go beyond six nautical miles from the shore, farmers unable to access their land near the Israeli fence, businessmen suffering from severe restrictions on the export of goods, students denied access to education in the West Bank, or patients in need of urgent medical attention refused access to Palestinian hospitals in the West Bank, the destructive designs of blockade have been felt by every single household in Gaza”

UNITED NATIONS 

COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT IN GAZA MUST END: 

ISRAEL’S BLOCKADE ENTERS IN IT’S 7TH YEAR-

UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR

14 JUNE 2013

https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2013/06/collective-punishment-gaza-must-end-israels-blockade-enters-its-7th-year-un

ZIE VOOR GEHELE TEKST, NOOT 10

VOLGENDE BERICHT

”Gaza wordt al 14 jaar geblokkeerd door Israël, waardoor inwoners Gaza niet kunnen verlaten. De economie is mede door de blokkade verwoest en mensen hebben nauwelijks toegang tot de meest onmisbare diensten, zoals gezondheidszorg en onderwijs.”

OXFAM NOVIB

IN GAZA VREZEN WE DE DUISTERNIS EN WACHTEN

OP DE VOLGENDE AANVAL

17 MEI 2021

https://www.oxfamnovib.nl/blogs/de-wereld-rond/in-gaza-vrezen-we-de-duisternis-en-wachten-we-op-de-volgende-aanval

Ik blijf maar denken aan iedereen die een geliefde heeft verloren, alle mensen die hun huis zijn kwijtgeraakt, en met niets opnieuw moeten beginnen.’ Laila Barhoum is beleidsmedewerker van Oxfam in Gaza. Nog voor het staakt-het-vuren inging deelde zij haar aangrijpende verslag over het recente geweld.

‘Als je in Gaza de zwarte rook in de lucht ziet, weet je dat je een van de gelukkigen bent. Want deze keer was jij het niet. Daarna komt het schuldgevoel. Want terwijl jij op dit moment veilig bent, weet je dat iemand anders lijdt. Iemand anders heeft iets of iemand verloren.

‘We vrezen de duisternis van de nacht, wanneer je niet meer kunt zeggen waar of hoe dichtbij de zwarte rook is. Je kunt het alleen horen, voelen en, als je geluk hebt, overleven. Dus komen we samen, steunen elkaar en zeggen tegen onszelf dat we de nacht zullen overleven. En we wachten op de veroordeling van de internationale gemeenschap – een veroordeling die nooit komt.’

‘De aanvallen op Gaza begonnen snel en op grote schaal. Vrijwel onmiddellijk werden de geluiden van het gewone leven – vrouwen die boodschappen doen om hun Ramadan-maaltijden te bereiden, mannen die met vrienden en buren kletsen, kinderen die op straat spelen – vervangen door een angstaanjagende stilte. Een stilte die alleen wordt verbroken door het geluid van drones, gevechtsvliegtuigen en luchtaanvallen.’

‘Het normale leven verdween en is vervangen door angst, afwachting en afschuw die zich van het ene huis naar het andere verspreidt. Ik had me niet kunnen voorstellen dat het coronavirus in een oogwenk de minste van onze zorgen zou worden. Dat ik, in plaats van me zorgen te maken over het overleven van een pandemie of niet te veel chocolade eten tijdens het Suikerfeest, me zorgen moet maken over mijn leven en dat van mijn gezin.

‘Ik word achtervolgd door beelden van vrouwen die door de straten rennen en hun kinderen vasthouden. Ik blijf maar denken aan iedereen die een geliefde heeft verloren, alle mensen die huis zijn kwijtgeraakt en met niets opnieuw moeten beginnen. Toen de namen van de doden begonnen binnen te druppelen, deden we het enige wat we konden doen: thuisblijven en wachten. Wanneer vrienden buiten Gaza me zeggen, blijf veilig, kan ik alleen maar denken: hoe? Ik heb geen antiraketsysteem zoals Israël om me te beschermen, geen schuilkelder om in te schuilen, geen plaats waar ik kan vluchten.’

Dit is de situatie in de regio

Burgers in Gaza worstelen enorm met de gevolgen van de bombardementen van de afgelopen weken. Hoewel het staakt-het-vuren stand lijkt te houden, zijn de gevolgen van het geweld immens voor de 2 miljoen inwoners van Gaza. Er is onvoldoende schoon drinkwater en een groot gebrek aan huisvesting. Samen met lokale partners werkt Oxfam hard om mensen direct te voorzien van water en de verwoeste watersystemen te herstellen.

Duizenden raketten zijn de afgelopen weken vanuit Gaza afgevuurd op Israël en Israël voerde dagelijks zware bombardementen uit op Gaza. Vooral burgers zijn het slachtoffer. Er zijn 240 mensen gedood en meer dan 1.000 huizen en bedrijfsruimtes verwoest. Bijna 100.000 mensen zijn door de bombardementen ontheemd geraakt en proberen naar huis terug te keren.

Achtergrond

Gaza wordt al 14 jaar geblokkeerd door Israël, waardoor inwoners Gaza niet kunnen verlaten. De economie is mede door de blokkade verwoest en mensen hebben nauwelijks toegang tot de meest onmisbare diensten, zoals gezondheidszorg en onderwijs. Huizen, wegen en noodzakelijke diensten zijn het doelwit geworden van willekeurige bombardementen, waardoor de al zwakke gezondheidszorg en watersystemen op instorten staan.

De recente oplaaiing van het conflict is mede het gevolg van wekenlang buitensporig geweld door de Israëlische politie en kolonisten tegen Palestijnen bij de Al Aqsa moskee en tegen medisch personeel en demonstranten in bezet Oost-Jeruzalem.

Oxfam veroordeelt álle schendingen van het internationaal humanitair recht. Burgers mogen nooit een doelwit zijn. Tegelijkertijd mogen we niet vergeten hoe deze situatie is begonnen: Palestijnen maakten gebruik van hun recht om samen te komen, te bidden, te protesteren en in hun eigen huis te wonen, maar werden geconfronteerd met buitensporig politiegeweld. Palestijnen hebben al decennialang te maken met schendingen van hun rechten door de Israëlische regering. De internationale gemeenschap moet alle partijen verantwoordelijk houden om de plichten onder het internationaal recht na te komen.

Voor Palestijnen in Gaza is dit niets nieuws. We hebben 14 jaar blokkade doorstaan en 3 opeenvolgende oorlogen in de afgelopen 10 jaar. De geschiedenis herhaalt zich niet; onze geschiedenis is ons heden. We zijn uitgeput. Dag in dag uit zien we de bommen vallen op huizen waar onze vrienden en familie wonen en op gebouwen waar onze collega’s werken, ons afvragend of wij de volgende zijn.

‘En we wachten tevergeefs op de erkenning van ons mens-zijn door de internationale gemeenschap, in woorden en daden. Omdat we geen van beide krijgen, hebben we het gevoel dat onze rechten er niet toe doen, dat onze levens er niet toe doen en dat we er als mensen niet toe doen.’

‘Wanneer uiteindelijk een staakt-het-vuren wordt afgekondigd, zullen we ons opnieuw uit het puin graven en beginnen met de wederopbouw. Om vervolgens te wachten op een nieuwe cyclus van bombardementen die vernietigen wat we hebben opgebouwd. We hadden gehoopt dat deze cyclus eindelijk zou worden doorbroken toen Biden vorig jaar werd gekozen als president van de Verenigde Staten. Zoals veel mensen hier en over de hele wereld, vierde ik feest omdat mensenrechten in binnen-en buitenland centraal stonden in zijn campagne. Onze hoop is al eerder de bodem ingeslagen door Amerikaanse leiders, maar we hoopten dat de verkiezing van Biden op zijn minst een kleine stap in de goede richting zou betekenen.’

‘Maar zijn reactie deze week op de escalerende vijandelijkheden in Gaza en in de bezette Palestijnse gebieden en Israël kwam niet in de buurt van zijn eerdere mooie woorden. Het was niet meer dan een eenzijdige veroordeling van de raketaanvallen. We werden in de steek gelaten en voelen ons opnieuw vergeten.

‘Wanneer ik met Amerikaanse functionarissen spreek, dring ik er bij hen op aan te beseffen dat de miljarden aan onvoorwaardelijke militaire hulp aan Israël die zij elk jaar goedkeuren – hulp die het Israëlische leger tegen mijn volk gebruikt – betekent dat de Verenigde Staten geen neutrale toeschouwer of een onpartijdige vredesbemiddelaar zijn, maar het conflict aanwakkeren. Ik zeg hen dat het allang tijd is dat ze de diepere oorzaken van het geweld en de schendingen van de mensenrechten, en de medeplichtigheid van de VS daaraan, kritisch te onderzoeken. Als we niet de veranderingen en acties zien die nodig zijn, zal deze escalatie niet het einde van de cyclus zijn.

‘Ik weet niet waar de volgende aanval zal plaatsvinden, maar we weten dat hij ons kan treffen.’

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12]

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

GAZA: ISRAEL’S ”OPEN AIR PRISON” AT 15

14 JUNE 2022

https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/06/14/gaza-israels-open-air-prison-15

(Gaza) – Israel’s sweeping restrictions on leaving Gaza deprive its more than two million residents of opportunities to better their lives, Human Rights Watch said today on the fifteenth anniversary of the 2007 closure. The closure has devastated the economy in Gaza, contributed to fragmentation of the Palestinian people, and forms part of Israeli authorities’ crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution against millions of Palestinians.

Israel’s closure policy blocks most Gaza residents from going to the West Bank, preventing professionals, artists, athletes, students, and others from pursuing opportunities within Palestine and from traveling abroad via Israel, restricting their rights to work and an education. Restrictive Egyptian policies at its Rafah crossing with Gaza, including unnecessary delays and mistreatment of travelers, have exacerbated the closure’s harm to human rights.

“Israel, with Egypt’s help, has turned Gaza into an open-air prison,” said Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine director at Human Rights Watch. “As many people around the world are once again traveling two years after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Gaza’s more than two million Palestinians remain under what amounts to a 15-year-old lockdown.”

Israel should end its generalized ban on travel for Gaza residents and permit free movement of people to and from Gaza, subject to, at most, individual screening and physical searches for security purposes.

Between February 2021 and March 2022, Human Rights Watch interviewed 20 Palestinians who sought to travel out of Gaza via either the Israeli-run Erez crossing or the Egyptian-administered Rafah crossing. Human Rights Watch wrote to Israeli and Egyptian authorities to solicit their perspectives on its findings, and separately to seek information about an Egyptian travel company that operates at the Rafah crossing but had received no responses at this writing.

Since 2007, Israeli authorities have, with narrow exceptions, banned Palestinians from leaving through Erez, the passenger crossing from Gaza into Israel, through which they can reach the West Bank and travel abroad via Jordan. Israel also prevents Palestinian authorities from operating an airport or seaport in Gaza. Israeli authorities also sharply restrict the entry and exit of goods.

They often justify the closure, which came after Hamas seized political control over Gaza from the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in June 2007, on security grounds. Israeli authorities have said they want to minimize travel between Gaza and the West Bank to prevent the export of “a human terrorist network” from Gaza to the West Bank, which has a porous border with Israel and where hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers live.

This policy has reduced travel to a fraction of what it was two decades ago, Human Rights Watch said. Israeli authorities have instituted a formal “policy of separation” between Gaza and the West Bank, despite international consensus that these two parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territory form a “single territorial unit.” Israel accepted that principle in the 1995 Oslo Accords, signed with the Palestine Liberation Organization. Israeli authorities restrict all travel between Gaza and the West Bank, even when the travel takes place via the circuitous route through Egypt and Jordan rather than through Israeli territory.

Due to these policies, Palestinian professionals, students, artists, and athletes living in Gaza have missed vital opportunities for advancement not available in Gaza. Human Rights Watch interviewed seven people who said that Israeli authorities did not respond to their requests for travel through Erez, and three others who said Israel rejected their permits, apparently for not fitting within Israeli’s narrow criteria.

Walaa Sada, 31, a filmmaker, said that she applied for permits to take part in film training in the West Bank in 2014 and 2018, after spending years convincing her family to allow her to travel alone, but Israeli authorities never responded to her applications. The hands-on nature of the training, requiring filming live scenes and working in studios, made remote participation impracticable and Sada ended up missing the sessions.

The “world narrowed” when she received these rejections, Sada said, making her feel “stuck in a small box.… For us in Gaza, the hands of the clock stopped. People all over the world can easily and quickly book flight and travel, while we … die waiting for our turn.”

The Egyptian authorities have exacerbated the closure’s impact by restricting movement out of Gaza and at times fully sealing its Rafah border crossing, Gaza’s only outlet aside from Erez to the outside world. Since May 2018, Egyptian authorities have been keeping Rafah open more regularly, making it, amid the sweeping Israeli restrictions, the primary outlet to the outside world for Gaza residents.

Palestinians, however, still face onerous obstacles traveling through Egypt, including having to wait weeks for permission to travel, unless they are willing to pay hundreds of dollars to travel companies with significant ties to Egyptian authorities to expedite their travel, denials of entry, and abuse by Egyptian authorities.

Sada said also received an opportunity to participate in a workshop on screenwriting in Tunisia in 2019, but that she could not afford the US$2000 it would cost her to pay for the service that would ensure that she could travel on time. Her turn to travel came up six weeks later, after the workshop had already been held.

As an occupying power that maintains significant control over many aspects of life in Gaza, Israel has obligations under international humanitarian law to ensure the welfare of the population there. Palestinians also have the right under international human rights law to freedom of movement, in particular within the occupied territory, a right that Israel can restrict under international law only in response to specific security threats.

Israel’s policy, though, presumptively denies free movement to people in Gaza, with narrow exceptions, irrespective of any individualized assessment of the security risk a person may pose. These restrictions on the right to freedom of movement do not meet the requirement of being strictly necessary and proportionate to achieve a lawful objective. Israel has had years and many opportunities to develop more narrowly tailored responses to security threats that minimize restrictions on rights.

Egypt’s legal obligations toward Gaza residents are more limited, as it is not an occupying power. However, as a state party to the Fourth Geneva Convention, it should ensure respect for the convention “in all circumstances,” including protections for civilians living under military occupation who are unable to travel due to unlawful restrictions imposed by the occupying power. The Egyptian authorities should also consider the impact of their border closure on the rights of Palestinians living in Gaza who are unable to travel in and out of Gaza through another route, including the right to leave a country.

Egyptian authorities should lift unreasonable obstacles that restrict Palestinians’ rights and allow transit via its territory, subject to security considerations, and ensure that their decisions are transparent and not arbitrary and take into consideration the human rights of those affected.

“The Gaza closure blocks talented, professional people, with much to give their society, from pursuing opportunities that people elsewhere take for granted,” Shakir said. “Barring Palestinians in Gaza from moving freely within their homeland stunts lives and underscores the cruel reality of apartheid and persecution for millions of Palestinians.”

Israel’s Obligations to Gaza under International Law

Israeli authorities claim “broad powers and discretion to decide who may enter its territory” and that “a foreigner has no legal right to enter the State’s sovereign territory, including for the purposes of transit into the [West Bank] or aboard.” While international human rights law gives wide latitude to governments with regard to entry of foreigners, Israel has heightened obligations toward Gaza residents. Because of the continuing controls Israel exercises over the lives and welfare of Gaza’s inhabitants, Israel remains an occupying power under international humanitarian law, despite withdrawing its military forces and settlements from the territory in 2005. Both the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross, the guardians of international humanitarian law, have reached this determination. As the occupying power, Israel remains bound to provide residents of Gaza the rights and protections afforded to them by the law of occupation. Israeli authorities continue to control Gaza’s territorial waters and airspace, and the movement of people and goods, except at Gaza’s border with Egypt. Israel also controls the Palestinian population registry and the infrastructure upon which Gaza relies.

Israel has an obligation to respect the human rights of Palestinians living in Gaza, including their right to freedom of movement throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory and abroad, which affects both the right to leave a country and the right to enter their own country. Israel is also obligated to respect Palestinians’ rights for which freedom of movement is a precondition, for example the rights to education, work, and health. The UN Human Rights Committee has said that while states can restrict freedom of movement for security reasons or to protect public health, public order, and the rights of others, any such restrictions must be proportional and “the restrictions must not impair the essence of the right; the relation between the right and restriction, between norm and exception, must not be reversed.”

While the law of occupation permits occupying powers to impose security restrictions on civilians, it also requires them to restore public life for the occupied population. That obligation increases in a prolonged occupation, in which the occupier has more time and opportunity to develop more narrowly tailored responses to security threats that minimize restrictions on rights. In addition, the needs of the occupied population increase over time. Suspending virtually all freedom of movement for a short period interrupts temporarily normal public life, but long-term, indefinite suspension in Gaza has had a much more debilitating impact, fragmentating populations, fraying familial and social ties, compounding discrimination against women, and blocking people from pursuing opportunities to improve their lives.

The impact is particularly damaging given the denial of freedom of movement to people who are confined to a sliver of the occupied territory, unable to interact in person with the majority of the occupied population that lives in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and its rich assortment of educational, cultural, religious, and commercial institutions.

After 55 years of occupation and 15 years of closure in Gaza with no end in sight, Israel should fully respect the human rights of Palestinians, using as a benchmark the rights it grants Israeli citizens. Israel should abandon an approach that bars movement absent exceptional individual humanitarian circumstances it defines, in favor of an approach that permits free movement absent exceptional individual security circumstances.

Israel’s Closure

Most Palestinians who grew up in Gaza under this closure have never left the 40-by-11 kilometer (25-by-7 mile) Gaza Strip. For the last 25 years, Israel has increasingly restricted the movement of Gaza residents. Since June 2007, when Hamas seized control over Gaza from the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA), Gaza has been mostly closed.

Israeli authorities justify this closure on security grounds, in light of “Hamas’ rise to power in the Gaza Strip,” as they lay out in a December 2019 court filing. Authorities highlight in particular the risk that Hamas and armed Palestinian groups will recruit or coerce Gaza residents who have permits to travel via Erez “for the commission of terrorist acts and the transfer of operatives, knowledge, intelligence, funds or equipment for terrorist activists.” Their policy, though, amounts to a blanket denial with rare exceptions, rather than a generalized respect for the right of Palestinians to freedom of movement, to be denied only on the basis of individualized security reasons.  

The Israeli army has since 2007 limited travel through the Erez crossing except in what it deems “exceptional humanitarian circumstances,” mainly encompassing those needing vital medical treatment outside Gaza and their companions, although the authorities also make exceptions for hundreds of businesspeople and laborers and some others. Israel has restricted movement even for those seeking to travel under these narrow exceptions, affecting their rights to health and life, among others, as Human Rights Watch and other groups have documented. Most Gaza residents do not fit within these exemptions to travel through Erez, even if it is to reach the West Bank.

Between January 2015 and December 2019, before the onset of Covid-19 restrictions, an average of about 373 Palestinians left Gaza via Erez each day, less than 1.5 percent of the daily average of 26,000 in September 2000, before the closure, according to the Israeli rights group Gisha. Israeli authorities tightened the closure further during the Covid-19 pandemic – between March 2020 and December 2021, an average of about 143 Palestinians left Gaza via Erez each day, according to Gisha.

Israeli authorities announced in March 2022 that they would authorize 20,000 permits for Palestinians in Gaza to work in Israel in construction and agriculture, though Gisha reports that the actual number of valid permits in this category stood at 9,424, as of May 22.

Israeli authorities have also for more than two decades sharply restricted the use by Palestinians of Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters. They blocked the reopening of the airport that Israeli forces made inoperable in January 2002, and prevented the Palestinian authorities from building a seaport, leaving Palestinians dependent on leaving Gaza by land to travel abroad. The few Palestinians permitted to cross at Erez are generally barred from traveling abroad via Israel’s international airport and must instead travel abroad via Jordan. Palestinians wishing to leave Gaza via Erez, either to the West Bank or abroad, submit requests through the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee in Gaza, which forwards applications to Israeli authorities who decide on whether to grant a permit.

Separation Between Gaza and the West Bank

As part of the closure, Israeli authorities have sought to “differentiate” between their policy approaches to Gaza and the West Bank, such as imposing more sweeping restrictions on the movement of people and goods from Gaza to the West Bank, and promote separation between these two parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The army’s “Procedure for Settlement in the Gaza Strip by Residents of Judea and Samaria,” published in 2018, states that “in 2006, a decision was made to introduce a policy of separation between the Judea and Samaria Area [the West Bank] and the Gaza Strip in light of Hamas’ rise to power in the Gaza Strip. The policy currently in effect is explicitly aimed at reducing travel between the areas.”

In each of the 11 cases Human Rights Watch reviewed of people seeking to reach the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, for professional and educational opportunities not available in Gaza, Israeli authorities did not respond to requests for permits or denied them, either for security reasons or because they did not conform to the closure policy. Human Rights Watch also reviewed permit applications on the website of the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee, or screenshots of it, including the status of the permit applications, when they were sent on to the Israeli authorities and the response received, if any.

Raed Issa, a 42-year-old artist, said that the Israeli authorities did not respond to his application for a permit in early December 2015, to attend an exhibit of his art at a Ramallah art gallery between December 27 and January 16, 2016.

The “Beyond the Dream” exhibit sought to highlight the situation in Gaza after the 2014 war. Issa said that the Palestinian Civil Affairs committee continued to identify the status of his application as “sent and waiting for response” and he ended up having to attend the opening of the exhibit virtually. Issa felt that not being physically present hampered his ability to engage with audiences, and to network and promote his work, which he believes limited his reach and hurt sales of his artwork. He described feeling pained “that I am doing my own art exhibit in my homeland and not able to attend it, not able to move freely.”

Ashraf Sahweel, 47, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Gaza Center for Art and Culture, said that Gaza-based artists routinely do not hear back after applying for Israeli permits, forcing them to miss opportunities to attend exhibitions and other cultural events. A painter himself, he applied for seven permits between 2013 and 2022, but Israeli authorities either did not respond or denied each application, he said. Sahweel said that he has “given up hope on the possibility to travel via Erez.”

Palestinian athletes in Gaza face similar restrictions when seeking to compete with their counterparts in the West Bank, even though the Israeli army guidelines specifically identify “entry of sportspeople” as among the permissible exemptions to the closure. The guidelines, updated in February 2022, set out that “all Gaza Strip residents who are members of the national and local sports teams may enter Israel in transit to the Judea and Samaria area [West Bank] or abroad for official activities of the teams.”

Hilal al-Ghawash, 25, told Human Rights Watch that his football team, Khadamat Rafah, had a match in July 2019 with a rival West Bank team, the Balata Youth Center, in the finals of Palestine Club, with the winner entitled to represent Palestine in the Asian Cup. The Palestinian Football Federation applied for permits for the entire 22-person team and 13-person staff, but Israeli authorities, without explanation, granted permits to only 4 people, only one of whom was a player. The game was postponed as a result.

After Gisha appealed the decision in the Jerusalem District Court, Israeli authorities granted 11 people permits, including six players, saying the other 24 were denied on security grounds that were not specified. Al-Ghawash was among the players who did not receive a permit. The Jerusalem district court upheld the denials. With Khadamat Rafah prevented from reaching the West Bank, the Palestine Football Federation canceled the Palestine Cup finals match.

Al-Ghawash said that West Bank matches hold particular importance for Gaza football players, since they offer the opportunity to showcase their talents for West Bank clubs, which are widely considered superior to those in Gaza and pay better. Despite the cancellation, al-Ghawash said, the Balata Youth Center later that year offered him a contract to play for them. The Palestinian Football Federation again applied for a permit on al-Ghawash’s behalf, but he said he did not receive a response and was unable to join the team.

In 2021, al-Ghawash signed a contract with a different West Bank team, the Hilal al-Quds club. The Palestinian Football Federation again applied, but this time, the Israeli army denied the permit on unspecified security grounds. Al-Ghawash said he does not belong to any armed group or political movement and has no idea on what basis Israeli authorities denied him a permit.

Missing these opportunities has forced al-Ghawash to forgo not only higher pay, but also the chance to play for more competitive West Bank teams, which could have brought him closer to his goal of joining the Palestinian national team. “There’s a future in the West Bank, but, here in Gaza, there’s only a death sentence,” he said. “The closure devastates players’ future. Gaza is full of talented people, but it’s so difficult to leave.”

Palestinian students and professionals are frequently unable to obtain permits to study or train in the West Bank. In 2016, Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem agreed to have 10 physics students from Al-Azhar University in Gaza come to the hospital for a six-month training program. Israeli authorities denied five students permits without providing a rationale, two of the students said.

The five other students initially received permits valid for only 14 days, and then encountered difficulties receiving subsequent permits. None were able to complete the full program, the two students said. One, Mahmoud Dabour, 28, said that when he applied for a second permit, he received no response. Two months later, he applied again and managed to get a permit valid for one week. He received one other permit, valid for 10 days, but then, when he returned and applied for the fifth time, Israeli authorities rejected his permit request without providing a reason. As a result, he could not finish the training program, and, without the certification participants receive upon completion, he said, he cannot apply for jobs or attend conferences or workshops abroad in the field.

Dabour said that the training cannot be offered in Gaza, since the necessary radiation material required expires too quickly for it to be functional after passing through the time-consuming Israeli inspections of materials entering the Gaza Strip. There are no functioning devices of the kind that students need for the training in Gaza, Dabour said.

One of the students whose permit was denied said, “I feel I studied for five years for nothing, that my life has stopped.” The student asked that his name be withheld for his security.

Two employees of Zimam, a Ramallah-based organization focused on youth empowerment and conflict resolution, said that the Israeli authorities repeatedly denied them permits to attend organizational training and strategy meetings. Atta al-Masri, the 31-year-old Gaza regional director, said he has applied four times for permits, but never received one. Israeli authorities did not respond the first three times and, the last time in 2021, denied him a permit on the grounds that it was “not in conformity” with the permissible exemptions to the closure. He has worked for Zimam since 2009, but only met his colleagues in person for the first time in Egypt in March 2022.

Ahed Abdullah, 29, Zimam’s youth programs coordinator in Gaza, said she applied twice for permits in 2021, but Israeli authorities denied both applications on grounds of “nonconformity:”

This is supposed to be my right. My simplest right. Why did they reject me? My colleagues who are outside Palestine managed to make it, while I am inside Palestine, I wasn’t able to go to the other part of Palestine … it’s only 2-3 hours from Gaza to Ramallah, why should I get the training online? Why am I deprived of being with my colleagues and doing activities with them instead of doing them in dull breakout rooms on Zoom?


Human Rights Watch has previously documented that the closure has prevented specialists in the use of assistive devices for people with disabilities from opportunities for hands-on training on the latest methods of evaluation, device maintenance, and rehabilitation. Human Rights Watch also documented restrictions on the movement of human rights workers. Gisha, the Israeli human rights group, has reported that Israel has blocked health workers in Gaza from attending training in the West Bank on how to operate new equipment and hampered the work of civil society organizations operating in Gaza.

Israeli authorities have also made it effectively impossible for Palestinians from Gaza to relocate to the West Bank. Because of Israeli restrictions, thousands of Gaza residents who arrived on temporary permits and now live in the West Bank are unable to gain legal residency. Although Israel claims that these restrictions are related to maintaining security, evidence Human Rights Watch collected suggests the main motivation is to control Palestinian demography across the West Bank, whose land Israel seeks to retain, in contrast to the Gaza Strip.

Egypt

With most Gaza residents unable to travel via Erez, the Egyptian-administered Rafah crossing has become Gaza’s primary outlet to the outside world, particularly in recent years. Egyptian authorities kept Rafah mostly closed for nearly five years following the July 2013 military coup in Egypt that toppled President Mohamed Morsy, whom the military accused of receiving support from Hamas. Egypt, though, eased restrictions in May 2018, amid the Great March of Return, the recurring Palestinian protests at the time near the fences separating Gaza and Israel.

Despite keeping Rafah open more regularly since May 2018, movement via Rafah is a fraction of what it was before the 2013 coup in Egypt. Whereas an average of 40,000 crossed monthly in both directions before the coup, the monthly average was 12,172 in 2019 and 15,077 in 2021, according to Gisha.

Human Rights Watch spoke with 16 Gaza residents who sought to travel via Rafah. Almost all said they opted for this route because of the near impossibility of receiving an Israeli permit to travel via Erez.

Gaza residents hoping to leave via Rafah are required to register in advance via a process the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has deemed “confusing” and “obscure.” Gaza residents can either register via the formal registration process administered by Gaza’s Interior Ministry or informally via what is known as tanseeq, or travel coordination with Egyptian authorities, paying travel companies or mediators for a place on a separate list coordinated by Egyptian authorities. Having two distinct lists of permitted travelers coordinated by different authorities has fueled “allegations of the payment of bribes in Gaza and in Egypt to ensure travel and a faster response,” according to OCHA.

The formal process often takes two to three months, except for those traveling for medical reasons, whose requests are processed faster, said Gaza residents who sought to leave Gaza via Rafah. Egyptian authorities have at times rejected those seeking to cross Rafah into Egypt on the grounds that they did not meet specific criteria for travel. The criteria lack transparency, but Gisha reported that they include having a referral for a medical appointment in Egypt or valid documents to enter a third country.

To avoid the wait and risk of denial, many choose instead the tanseeq route. Several interviewees said that they paid large sums of money to Palestinian brokers or Gaza-based travel companies that work directly with Egyptian authorities to expedite people’s movement via Rafah. On social media, some of these companies advertise that they can assure travel within days to those who provide payment and a copy of their passport. The cost of tanseeq has fluctuated from several hundred US dollars to several thousand dollars over the last decade, based in part on how frequently Rafah is open.

In recent years, travel companies have offered an additional “VIP” tanseeq, which expedites travel without delays in transit between Rafah and Cairo, offers flexibility on travel date, and ensures better treatment by authorities. The cost was $700, as of January 2022.

The Cairo-based company offering the VIP tanseeq services, Hala Consulting and Tourism Services, has strong links with Egypt’s security establishment and is staffed largely by former Egyptian military officers, a human rights activist and a journalist who have investigated these issues told Human Rights Watch. This allows the company to reduce processing times and delays at checkpoints during the journey between Rafah and Cairo. The activist and journalist both asked that their names be withheld for security reasons.  

The company is linked to prominent Egyptian businessman Ibrahim El-Argani, who has close ties with Egypt’s president, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. Ergany heads the Union of Sinai Tribes, which works hand-in-hand with the Egyptian military and intelligence agencies against militants operating in North Sinai. Ergany, one of Egypt’s few businessmen able to export products to Gaza from Egypt, owns the Sinai Sons company, which has an exclusive contract to handle all contracts related to Gaza reconstruction efforts. Human Rights Watch wrote to El-Argani to solicit his perspectives on these issues, but had received no response at this writing.

A 34-year-old computer engineer and entrepreneur said that he sought to travel in 2019 to Saudi Arabia to meet an investor to discuss a potential project to sell car parts online. He chose not to apply to travel via Erez, as he had applied for permits eight times between 2016 and 2018 and had either been rejected or not heard back.

He initially registered via the formal Ministry of Interior process and received approval to travel after three months. However, on the day assigned for his exit via Rafah, an Egyptian officer there said he found his reason for travel not sufficiently “convincing” and denied him passage. A few months later, he tried to travel again for the same purpose, this time opting for tanseeq and paying $400, and, this time, he successfully reached Saudi Arabia within a week of seeking to travel.

He said that he would like to go on vacation with his wife, but worries that Egyptian authorities will not consider vacation a sufficiently compelling reason for travel and that his only option will be to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to do tanseeq.

A 73-year-old man sought to travel via Rafah in February 2021, with his 46-year-old daughter, to get knee replacement surgery in al-Sheikh Zayed hospital in Cairo. He said Gaza lacks the capacity to provide such an operation. The man and his daughter are relatives of a Human Rights Watch staff member. They applied via the Interior Ministry process and received approval in a little over a week.

After they waited for several hours in the Egyptian hall in Rafah on the day of travel, though, Egyptian authorities included the daughter’s name among the 70 names of people who were not allowed to cross that day, the daughter said. The father showed the border officials a doctor’s note indicating that he needed someone to travel with him given his medical situation, but the officer told him, “You either travel alone or go back with her to Gaza.” She said she returned to Gaza, alongside 70 other people, and her father later traveled on his own.

Five people who did manage to travel via Rafah said that they experienced poor conditions and poor treatment, including intrusive searches, by the Egyptian authorities, with several saying that they felt Egyptian authorities treated them like “criminals.” Several people said that Egyptian officers confiscated items from them during the journey, including an expensive camera and a mobile phone, without apparent reason.

Upon leaving Rafah, Palestinians are transported by bus to Cairo’s airport. The trip takes about seven hours, but several people said that the journey took up to three days between long periods of waiting on the bus, at checkpoints and amid other delays, often in extreme weather. Many of those who traveled via Rafah said that, during this journey, Egyptian authorities prevented passengers from using their phones.

The parents of a 7-year-old boy with autism and a rare brain disease said they sought to travel for medical treatment for him in August 2021, but Egyptian authorities only allowed the boy and his mother to enter. The mother said their journey back to Gaza took four days, mostly as a result of Rafah being closed. During this time, she said, they spent hours waiting at checkpoints, in extreme heat, with her son crying nonstop. She said she felt “humiliated” and treated like “an animal,” observing that she “would rather die than travel again through Rafah.”

A 33-year-old filmmaker, who traveled via Rafah to Morocco in late 2019 to attend a film screening, said the return from Cairo to Rafah took three days, much of it spent at checkpoints amid the cold winter in the Sinai desert.

A 34-year-old man said that he planned to travel in August 2019 via Rafah to the United Arab Emirates for a job interview as an Arabic teacher. He said, on his travel date, Egyptian authorities turned him back, saying they had met their quota of travelers. He crossed the next day, but said that, as it was a Thursday and with Rafah closed on Friday, Egyptian authorities made travelers spend two nights sleeping at Rafah, without providing food or access to a clean bathroom.

The journey to Cairo airport then took two days, during which he described going through checkpoints where officers made passengers “put their hands behind their backs while they searched their suitcases.” As a result of these delays totaling four days since his assigned travel date, he missed his job interview and found out that someone else was hired. He is currently unemployed in Gaza.

Given the uncertainty of crossing at Rafah, Gaza residents said that they often wait to book their flight out of Cairo until they arrive. Booking so late often means, beyond other obstacles, having to wait until they can find a reasonably priced and suitable flight, planning extra days for travel and spending extra money on changeable or last-minute tickets. Similar dynamics prevail with regard to travel abroad via Erez to Amman.

Human Rights Watch interviewed four men under the age of 40 with visas to third countries, whom Egyptian authorities allowed entry only for the purpose of transit. The authorities transported these men to Cairo airport and made them wait in what is referred to as the “deportation room” until their flight time. The men likened the room to a “prison cell,” with limited facilities and unsanitary conditions. All described a system in which bribes are required to be able to leave the room to book a plane ticket, get food, drinks, or a cigarette, and avoid abuse. One of the men described an officer taking him outside the room, asking him, “Won’t you give anything to Egypt?” and said that others in the room told him that he then proceeded to do the same with them

EINDE ARTIKEL

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Noot 12/Blokkade Gaza

Opgeslagen onder Divers

Noten 13, 14 en 15/Blokkade Gaza

[13]

”Because of the continuing controls Israel exercises over the lives and welfare of Gaza’s inhabitants, Israel remains an occupying power under international humanitarian law, despite withdrawing its military forces and settlements from the territory in 2005”

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

GAZA: ISRAEL’S ”OPEN AIR PRISON” AT 15

14 JUNE 2022

https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/06/14/gaza-israels-open-air-prison-15

ZIE VOOR GEHELE TEKST, NOOT 12

[14]

”Gaza wordt al 14 jaar geblokkeerd door Israël, waardoor inwoners Gaza niet kunnen verlaten. De economie is mede door de blokkade verwoest en mensen hebben nauwelijks toegang tot de meest onmisbare diensten, zoals gezondheidszorg en onderwijs”

OXFAM NOVIB

IN GAZA VREZEN WE DE DUISTERNIS EN WACHTEN

OP DE VOLGENDE AANVAL

17 MEI 2021

https://www.oxfamnovib.nl/blogs/de-wereld-rond/in-gaza-vrezen-we-de-duisternis-en-wachten-we-op-de-volgende-aanval

ZIE VOOR GEHELE TEKST, NOOT 11

[15]

AD

PALESTIJNSE BABY’S OVERLEDEN NADAT ISRAEL BEHANDELING

BUITEN GAZA WEIGERDE

2 AUGUSTUS 2020

https://www.ad.nl/buitenland/palestijnse-babys-overleden-nadat-israel-behandeling-buiten-gaza-weigerde~a1b55aec/

Mensenrechtenorganisaties slaan alarm over de situatie van ernstig zieke Palestijnen. Ze krijgen door de Israëlische blokkades geen levensreddende behandelingen buiten Gaza. In juni overleden twee baby’s, omdat ze niet op tijd medische zorg kregen.

Slechts drie dagen was Omar Ahmad Yagi verwijderd van een cruciale hartoperatie. De acht maanden oude Palestijnse baby had op 21 juni een afspraak staan in een Israëlisch ziekenhuis. Daar was hij al twee keer eerder met toestemming vanuit Gaza naar afgereisd, samen met zijn oma of moeder, voor behandeling van zijn hartaandoening.

De artsen zeiden dat hij dringend geopereerd moest worden. Twee keer – in april en juni – miste Omar de afspraak omdat zijn ouders geen toestemming van de Israëlische autoriteiten konden krijgen.

Kort voor de derde afspraak verslechterde zijn situatie. Zijn vader reed hem nog naar een ziekenhuis in Gaza, maar onderweg kreeg hij verstikkingsverschijnselen. Op 18 juni overleed Omar.

Checkpoint

Vier dagen na zijn dood overleed in Gaza ook baby Anwar Muhammad Harb. Hij was slechts negen dagen oud. Anwar had eveneens een hartaandoening. Hij had een verwijzing van het Palestijnse ministerie van Gezondheid voor een behandeling in een ziekenhuis in Oost-Jeruzalem. Maar de ambulance die hem naar de Israëlische checkpoint zou vervoeren, kreeg geen toestemming.

Palestijnse mensenrechtenorganisaties en Save the Children slaan alarm over de situatie van duizenden ernstig zieke kinderen en volwassenen. In Gaza is een groot tekort aan medicijnen, middelen en apparatuur. Velen hebben een behandeling buiten Gaza nodig, maar stuiten op tegenwerking van de Israëlische autoriteiten.

Doodsvonnis

,,De weigering van toegang tot de gezondheidszorg buiten Gaza betekent een doodsvonnis voor kinderen’’, zegt Jeremy Stoner, directeur Midden-Oosten bij Save the Children.

De mogelijkheid om buiten Gaza medische zorg te krijgen, was al beperkt. Die is verder ingeperkt nadat de Palestijnse Autoriteit de samenwerking met Israël op het gebied van veiligheid stopzette, omdat Israël de afspraken schendt en delen van de Westelijke Jordaanoever wil annexeren.

Sindsdien blijven zieke Palestijnen verstoken van acute medische zorg buiten Gaza. Sommigen hebben al toestemming of werden al elders behandeld, maar kunnen dat nu niet voortzetten.

Onmenselijk

Volgens de mensenrechtenorganisaties is van ruim 8300 kankerpatiënten in Gaza de situatie verslechterd en hebben honderden andere patiënten acute zorg nodig. Er zijn tientallen verzoeken van patiënten die geen tijd te verliezen hebben. De organisaties doen een dringend beroep op de Verenigde Naties om een eind te maken aan deze ‘wrede en onmenselijke omstandigheden’.

Voor de coronacrisis begon en de veiligheidscoördinatie werd stopgezet, dienden maandelijks tweeduizend Palestijnen een verzoek in voor een medische behandeling buiten Gaza. In april waren dat er nog slechts 159. Ondanks die daling weigerde Israël een derde van de aanvragen. In mei kregen 28 zieke kinderen geen toestemming Gaza te verlaten voor een behandeling. 

In Gaza wonen ruim vijftig kinderen met kanker. Vijftien van hen zijn ernstig ziek. Maar door de beperkingen die Israël oplegt, kunnen ze geen behandeling met chemo of bestraling krijgen. Hun levens hangen daardoor aan een zijden draad.

Reisbeperkingen

Save the Children heeft de Israëlische regering herhaaldelijk opgeroepen de reisbeperkingen voor ernstig zieke kinderen en hun verzorgers op te heffen. ,,Hoe is het te rechtvaardigen dat kinderen levensreddende zorg wordt ontzegd?’’ zegt regiodirecteur Stoner van Save the Children.

,,Deze wanhopig zieke kinderen moeten Gaza verlaten om te overleven. Er is gewoon geen andere optie. Het is wreed dat kinderen sterven of extreme pijn lijden terwijl ze iets verderop, net buiten de checkpoints, behandeld zouden kunnen worden.’’

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Noten 13, 14 en 15/Blokkade Gaza

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Voor de Vierde Keer/Vomar, STOP met de verkoop van Israelische producten, deze meer mango’s!

Image result for Destruction of Gaza/Images

MISDADEN VAN DE ISRAELISCHE BEZETTINGVERWOESTING VAN GAZA

BEZETTINGSTERREUR
foto Oda Hulsen Hebron 2 mei 2017/Verwijst naar foto van een Palestijnse jongen, die tegen de muur wordt gezet doorIsraelische soldaten, die hem toeriepen ”Where is your knife!”/Later vrijgelaten

NB Het is dus NIET de foto van een Palestijnse jongen, die bij de kraag wordt gegrepen

Foto van Oda Hulsen valt soms weg

Image result for settlements/Images

BITTEREBIJPRODUCTEN VAN DE ISRAELISCHE BEZETTING:

Since late 2015, 249 Palestinians have been killed in Israel and the Palestinian territories [File: EPA]http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/01/palestinian-teen-killed-israeli-army-clashes-170116155810513.html

BITTEREBIJPRODUCTEN VAN DE ISRAELISCHE BEZETTING:

ISRAELISCHE NEDERZETTINGEN IN DE BEZETTE PALESTIJNSEGEBIEDENILLEGAAL VOLGENS HET INTERNATIONAAL RECHTAn aerial shot of a housing community

The Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim in the occupied West Bank, with the Palestinian neighborhoods of occupied East Jerusalem in the background. © 2020 Reuters
https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/04/27/qa-threshold-crossed

VOMAR, VERKOOP GEEN MANGO’S UIT ISRAEL! 1  11201×639

Mango No Background - Mango Kent, HD Png Download, Free Download

VOOR DE VIERDE KEER!/VOMAR, STOP MET DE VERKOOP

VAN ISRAELISCHE PRODUCTEN, DEZE KEER MANGO’S!

AAN

SUPERMARKT VOMARFILIAAL AMSTERDAMSE POORT
Directie en Management


Onderwerp:

Uw verkoop van mango’s uit bezettingsstaat Israel

De walrus sprak:

De tijd is daar
Om over allerlei te praten”

Een schoen, een schip, een kandelaar,

Of koningen ook liegen

En of de zee soms koken kan

En een biggetje kan vliegen.
Uit het Engels vertaald uit:

 THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTERLEWIS CARROLL: ALICE IN WONDERLAND

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Walrus_and_the_Carpenter

Geachte Directie

Geacht Management,

Een Ongerijmde Passage uit de klassieker ”Alice in Wonderland?” [1]

Niet minder ongerijmd is het, dat ondanks het feit, dat ik u er herhaaldelijk op gewezen heb [en hopelijk ik niet alleen] [2], u desondanks doorgaat met 

de verkoop van producten uit een land, dat niet alleen een Bezettingsstaat is, maar bovendien door gerenommeerde mensenrechtenorganisaties

als Amnesty International en Human Rights Watch is aangewezen

als Apartheidsstaat! [3]

VERKOOP VAN MANGO’S UIT ISRAEL

En ook nu was het weer raak!

In de week van 2 october t/m 8 october [Week 39/40]

bezocht ik de Vomar en wilde ik graag profiteren van uw

aanbieding van Mango’s [2 stuks voor 1,99, afgeprijsd van 2.89] [4],

om tot de conclusie te komen, dat deze Mango’s uit Israel kwamen!

Weer een minpunt voor u en reden tot het schrijven van deze Brief!

Want kennelijk moeten u opnieuw de oren gewassen worden en

dat doe ik dan bij dezen:

BEZETTINGSSTAAT EN APARTHEIDSSTAAT:

We gaan maar weer eens los!’

U zult weten, hoort dat althans te weten, dat de Staat Israel reeds 55 jaar de Palestijnse gebieden de Westelijke Jordaanoever, Gaza [5] en Oost-Jeruzalem bezet houdt.

En alsof dat al niet erg genoeg is, heeft die bezetting [zoals alle vreemde bezettingen, overal ter wereld] veroorzaakt onderdrukking, vernederingen,[oorlogs] misdaden.

Ik kan en wil die hier niet allemaal opsommen [trouwens, die lijst is onuitputtelijk], maar ernstige voorbeelden zijn  Israelische luchtaanvallen op Gaza uit 2021 [niet zo lang geleden dus], waarbij

in de periode tussen 10 en 21 mei 260 mensen zijn omgekomen,

onder wie tenminste 129 burgers [waaronder 66 kinderen] [5]

Mensenrechtenorganisatie Human Rights Watch wees in het

byzonder op een specifieke Israelische luchtaanval op vier dichtbevolkte

 gebouwentorens, waarin zich huizen, zaken en persagentschappen

bevonden.

Weliswaar leidde het niet tot dodelijke slachtoffers, maar drie Torens

werden met de grond gelijkgemaakt, velen werden dakloos en

verloren hun baan [6], in een gebied, wat door de wurgende

Blokkade van Gaza al economisch kapot gemaakt is [7]

NEDERZETTINGEN, IN STRIJD MET HET INTERNATIONAAL RECHT!

Dan heb ik het nog niet eens gehad over de in bezet Palestijns gebied

gestichte nederzettingen, waarvan de uitbreiding maar doorgaat en doorgaat [8].

Welnu, die nederzettingen zijn, zoals ik u al in een eerdere brief heb

meegedeeld [9], [dus kom me niet aan met het smoesje, dat

u daarvan niet op de hoogte was], illegaal volgens het Internationaal Recht

[10] EN regelrechte landdiefstal, omdat zij dus worden gebouwd op gestolen Palestijns land!

EN to add insult to injury, is er ook regelmatig sprake van geweld

van die kolonisten [bewoners van de nederzettingen] tegen de bezette

Palestijnse bevolking, vaak nog ondersteund door de Israelische Staat

Zie noot 11, rapportage van de Israelische mensenrechtenorganisatie

B’tselem! 

DE BITTERE VRUCHTEN VAN DE STAAT ISRAEL

Ik zou zo nog uren kunnen doorgaan, ik doe het niet, want ik denk

zo wel voldoende duidelijk gemaakt te hebben, dat iedere steun aan

de economie van de Israelische bezettingsstaat [en die verleent u, door

Israelische mango’s of whatever products uit Israel te importeren],

een ondersteuning is van de barbaarse Israelische Apartheidsstaat!

MAAR HET IS NOG ERGER!

U steunt hiermee ook een Land, dat tot stand is gekomen dankzij een neo-koloniaal

project! [12]

Kort gezegd:

Via diefstal van anderman’s land, de Arabische Palestijnen [13]

Wist u dat niet?

Dan weet u het nu!

Maar los van  hoe Israel is gevormd, het feit, dat zij een bezettingsstaat is

en reeds 55 jaar lang de bezette Palestijnen onderdrukt, vernedert, uithongert [Blokkade Gaza], hun [bezet] land steelt, militair

bestookt, discrimineert en foltert [14], is meer dan genoeg reden

voor u, deze besmette producten NIET te importeren.

PUNT, UIT!

EPILOOG

Ik heb u in het verleden reeds eerder aangeschreven over uw verkoop

van Israelische producten!

Zie noot 15

En ik blijf u bestoken, zolang het nodig is.

En het is nodig, zolang u in uw filial[en] Israelische producten

verkoopt!

STOP ER DUS MEE!

NU!

Vriendelijke groeten

Astrid Essed

Amsterdam

NOTEN

1 T/M 5

NOTEN 6 EN 7

NOOT 8

NOTEN 9 EN 10

NOTEN 11, 12 EN 13

NOTEN 14 EN 15

EINDE BRIEF

ZIE OOK DE ORIGINELE MAIL AAN VOMAR

DIRECTE MAIL AAN VOMAR:

Astrid Essed <astridessed@yahoo.com>

To:werkenbij@vomar.nl

Wed, Nov 16 at 2:19 PM

AAN

SUPERMARKT VOMARFILIAAL AMSTERDAMSE POORT
Directie en Management


Onderwerp:

Uw verkoop van mango’s uit bezettingsstaat Israel

De walrus sprak:

De tijd is daar
Om over allerlei te praten”

Een schoen, een schip, een kandelaar,

Of koningen ook liegen

En of de zee soms koken kan

En een biggetje kan vliegen.
Uit het Engels vertaald uit:

 THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTERLEWIS CARROLL: ALICE IN WONDERLAND

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Walrus_and_the_Carpenter

Geachte Directie

Geacht Management,

Een Ongerijmde Passage uit de klassieker ”Alice in Wonderland?” [1]

Niet minder ongerijmd is het, dat ondanks het feit, dat ik u er herhaaldelijk op gewezen heb [en hopelijk ik niet alleen] [2], u desondanks doorgaat met 

de verkoop van producten uit een land, dat niet alleen een Bezettingsstaat is, maar bovendien door gerenommeerde mensenrechtenorganisaties

als Amnesty International en Human Rights Watch is aangewezen

als Apartheidsstaat! [3]

VERKOOP VAN MANGO’S UIT ISRAEL

En ook nu was het weer raak!

In de week van 2 october t/m 8 october [Week 39/40]

bezocht ik de Vomar en wilde ik graag profiteren van uw

aanbieding van Mango’s [2 stuks voor 1,99, afgeprijsd van 2.89] [4],

om tot de conclusie te komen, dat deze Mango’s uit Israel kwamen!

Weer een minpunt voor u en reden tot het schrijven van deze Brief!

Want kennelijk moeten u opnieuw de oren gewassen worden en

dat doe ik dan bij dezen:

BEZETTINGSSTAAT EN APARTHEIDSSTAAT:

We gaan maar weer eens los!’

U zult weten, hoort dat althans te weten, dat de Staat Israel reeds 55 jaar de Palestijnse gebieden de Westelijke Jordaanoever, Gaza [5] en Oost-Jeruzalem bezet houdt.

En alsof dat al niet erg genoeg is, heeft die bezetting [zoals alle vreemde bezettingen, overal ter wereld] veroorzaakt onderdrukking, vernederingen,[oorlogs] misdaden.

Ik kan en wil die hier niet allemaal opsommen [trouwens, die lijst is onuitputtelijk], maar ernstige voorbeelden zijn  Israelische luchtaanvallen op Gaza uit 2021 [niet zo lang geleden dus], waarbij

in de periode tussen 10 en 21 mei 260 mensen zijn omgekomen,

onder wie tenminste 129 burgers [waaronder 66 kinderen] [5]

Mensenrechtenorganisatie Human Rights Watch wees in het

byzonder op een specifieke Israelische luchtaanval op vier dichtbevolkte

 gebouwentorens, waarin zich huizen, zaken en persagentschappen

bevonden.

Weliswaar leidde het niet tot dodelijke slachtoffers, maar drie Torens

werden met de grond gelijkgemaakt, velen werden dakloos en

verloren hun baan [6], in een gebied, wat door de wurgende

Blokkade van Gaza al economisch kapot gemaakt is [7]

NEDERZETTINGEN, IN STRIJD MET HET INTERNATIONAAL RECHT!

Dan heb ik het nog niet eens gehad over de in bezet Palestijns gebied

gestichte nederzettingen, waarvan de uitbreiding maar doorgaat en doorgaat [8].

Welnu, die nederzettingen zijn, zoals ik u al in een eerdere brief heb

meegedeeld [9], [dus kom me niet aan met het smoesje, dat

u daarvan niet op de hoogte was], illegaal volgens het Internationaal Recht

[10] EN regelrechte landdiefstal, omdat zij dus worden gebouwd op gestolen Palestijns land!

EN to add insult to injury, is er ook regelmatig sprake van geweld

van die kolonisten [bewoners van de nederzettingen] tegen de bezette

Palestijnse bevolking, vaak nog ondersteund door de Israelische Staat

Zie noot 11, rapportage van de Israelische mensenrechtenorganisatie

B’tselem! 

DE BITTERE VRUCHTEN VAN DE STAAT ISRAEL

Ik zou zo nog uren kunnen doorgaan, ik doe het niet, want ik denk

zo wel voldoende duidelijk gemaakt te hebben, dat iedere steun aan

de economie van de Israelische bezettingsstaat [en die verleent u, door

Israelische mango’s of whatever products uit Israel te importeren],

een ondersteuning is van de barbaarse Israelische Apartheidsstaat!

MAAR HET IS NOG ERGER!

U steunt hiermee ook een Land, dat tot stand is gekomen dankzij een neo-koloniaal

project! [12]

Kort gezegd:

Via diefstal van anderman’s land, de Arabische Palestijnen [13]

Wist u dat niet?

Dan weet u het nu!

Maar los van  hoe Israel is gevormd, het feit, dat zij een bezettingsstaat is

en reeds 54 jaar lang de bezette Palestijnen onderdrukt, vernedert, uithongert [Blokkade Gaza], hun [bezet] land steelt, militair

bestookt, discrimineert en foltert [14], is meer dan genoeg reden

voor u, deze besmette producten NIET te importeren.

PUNT, UIT!

EPILOOG

Ik heb u in het verleden reeds eerder aangeschreven over uw verkoop

van Israelische producten!

Zie noot 15

En ik blijf u bestoken, zolang het nodig is.

En het is nodig, zolang u in uw filial[en] Israelische producten

verkoopt!

STOP ER DUS MEE!

NU!

Vriendelijke groeten

Astrid Essed

 Amsterdam 

NOTEN

Voor uw gemak hieronder de noten in links ondergebracht

NOTEN 

1 T/M 5

NOTEN 6 EN 7

NOOT 8

NOTEN 9 EN 10

NOTEN 11, 12 EN 13

NOTEN 14 EN 15

Noten 14 en 15/Astrid Essed vloert Vomar | Astrid Essed

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Voor de Vierde Keer/Vomar, STOP met de verkoop van Israelische producten, deze meer mango’s!

Opgeslagen onder Divers