16 October 2019

Palestine

Amerika, Israel dan China dalam Pusaran Pilpres 2019

KONFRONTASI- Konprensi AIPAC Israel yang biasanya berlangsung meriah di Amerika baru baru ini mendapat sejumlah penolakan dari beberapa kelompok masyarakat dalam negeri Amerika.

Hal itu terutama setelah Ilhan Omar, wanita asal Somalia yang anggota Kongres Amerika, melakukan serangan atas AIPAC karena dukungan Amerika pada Israel telah melahirkan kejahatan Israel atas Palestina dan kerusakan di Timur Tengah.

Palestinians vow hunger strikes if Israel worsens jail conditions

KONFRONTASI-Hundreds of Palestinians held in Israeli jails, detention facilities, and interrogation centres are preparing to launch a mass hunger strike once Israel implements new measures that will worsen conditions for prisoners.

In a joint statement, prisoners, including administrative detainees who are held without charge, said their decision was in response to a "new level of oppression".

"These measures are a declaration of war that marks a new phase of our struggle," the statement read.

They also called on Palestinian factions and activists to stand in solidarity with them and demanded nationwide rallies.

Israel holds 5,500 Palestinian prisoners, including nearly 500 administrative detainees, according to the Jerusalem-based Palestinian prisoners' rights group, Addameer.
The call to action is in response to Israel's plans to worsen what are already poor conditions for Palestinians held in its jails. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan announced the measures last week and the Israeli government is expected to enforce the measures in the coming weeks.

One of the more "serious" changes pending approval by the Israeli cabinet, is ending the policy of separating Hamas prisoners from those affiliated with rival Palestinian faction Fatah, according to Amjad al-Najjar, spokesperson for Hebron-based Palestinian Prisoners Club.

"This has worried prisoners the most," al-Najjar told Al Jazeera from the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

"This may cause fights to break out which could even lead to killings inside the prisons - especially in light of the current political climate," he said.

Other measures include rationing water supplies, blocking funds to the Palestinian Authority, reducing the number of family visits, and preventing access to jail canteens.

For the past 12 years, detainees have mostly lived off food they pay for from the prison canteen.

There, they would buy things like chicken, meat, and canned goods as an alternative to prison meals that are not enough to "sustain detainees throughout the day", al-Najjar explained.

"If they (Israeli Prison Service) take that away, the alternative is simply not an option," he added.

'Diseases' among prisoners

During the first Palestinian Intifada, or uprising, al-Najjar was sentenced to 25 years in prison, but spent six years in detention before being released as part of a prisoner swap deal in 1995.

At the time, prison canteens did not exist, and prisoners had to rely on meals distributed by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS).

Najjar said portions were small, and often infested with bugs.

"It would cause cases of food poisoning and all sorts of chronic diseases among prisoners," he recalled.

"For lunch, each serving wouldn't be enough for a child, let alone a grown man," he said.

Israel has for years held Palestinians in overcrowded prisons with poor hygiene standards which each prisoner confined to a 2.9sq-metre cell, according to Addameer.

Some of the most severe policies Palestinians are subject to include the use of isolation for punishment and medical negligence.
Every year, dozens of Palestinian prisoners are held in isolation under the pretext of "security", Lana Ramadan, Addameer's international advocacy officer, told Al Jazeera.

"The length of time in isolation that prison officials can order extends from 12 hours … to longer periods of six months to one year," Ramadan said.

Another major issue is medical negligence, where doctors employed by the IPS have minimal medical qualifications and are not under the authority of the Israeli Ministry of Health.

Ramadan noted that medical issues among Palestinian prisoners are widespread and range in severity from chest infections and diarrhoea to heart problems and kidney failure.

"Although all prisons include a medical clinic, physicians are on duty irregularly and specialised medical healthcare is generally unavailable," she said, adding that most prisoners are usually prescribed painkillers instead of being given treatment for their condition.

In the past, such conditions have forced prisoners to start open-ended hunger strikes in order to secure basic rights. At times, prison authorities would resort to force-feeding, a practice that sometimes led to the death of Palestinians.

The most recent hunger strike, called for by Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, lasted 40 days in 2017. It called for the installation of public telephones, resuming bi-monthly family visits, and ending the policy of solitary confinement, among other demands.

The strikes succeeded in forcing some changes, such as the installation of pay phones.

Israel-Gaza border falls quiet after botched Israeli operation

KONFRONTASI- The Israel-Gaza border fell quiet on Monday after a botched Israeli undercover operation in the Gaza Strip led to fighting that killed a Hamas commander, six other Palestinian militants and an Israeli colonel.

Palestinians fired 17 rockets into southern Israel late on Sunday in response to the incursion and air strikes, which Hamas, the dominant armed group in Gaza, said were intended to cover the retreat of a car used by the Israeli troops.

Israeli army wounds 'iconic' Palestinian protester

KONFRONTASI-Israeli soldiers have wounded a young Palestinian man whose photo has become recognised worldwide as a symbol of Palestinian resistance.

With a Palestinian flag in one hand and a slingshot poised in the other, the photo of 22-year-old A'ed Abu Amro has drawn comparisons with the iconic French Revolution painting, Liberty Leading the People.

Israeli air raid kills three Palestinian boys in Gaza

KONFRONTASI-Three Palestinian boys aged between 13 and 14 have been killed in an Israeli air strike in the southeastern Gaza Strip near the fence with Israel, according to health officials.

Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesperson for the health ministry in the besieged enclave, identified the children as Khaled Bassam Mahmoud Abu Saeed, 14; Abdul Hameed Mohammed Abdul Aziz Abu Zaher, 13; and Mohammed Ibrahim Abdullah al-Sutari, 13.

He said ambulances brought their bodies to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.

Palestinian refugees angry and dismayed at US for halting funds to UN agency

KONFRONTASI-Palestinian refugees reacted with dismay on Saturday to a United States decision to halt funding to a U.N. agency, warning that it would lead to more poverty, anger and instability in the Middle East.

The U.S. announcement on Friday that it will no longer support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has deepened a cash crisis at the agency, and heightened tensions with the Palestinian leadership.
The 68-year-old UNRWA provides services to about 5 million Palestinian refugees across Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank and Gaza. Most are descendants of the roughly 700,000 Palestinians who were driven out of their homes or fled the fighting in the 1948 war that led to Israel's creation.

In Gaza, Nashat Abu El-Oun, a refugee and father of eight, said: "The situation is bad and it will become worse...People can hardly afford living these days and if they became unable to earn their living they will begin thinking of unlawful things."

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Friday that UNRWA's business model and fiscal practices were an "irredeemably flawed operation" and that the agency's "endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries is simply unsustainable."

UNRWA rejected the criticisms, with spokesman Chris Gunness describing it as "a force for regional stability."

Speaking in Jordan, where more than 2 million registered Palestinian refugees live, including 370,000 in ten refugee camps, Gunness said: "It is a deeply regrettable decision...some of the most disadvantaged, marginalized and vulnerable people on this planet are likely to suffer."

Gunness said UNRWA provides health clinics, schooling for 526,000 refugee children across Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and food assistance to 1.7 million people - a million of them in Gaza.

The agency will now ask existing donors for more money, and seek new sources of income.

"Our funding gap is US$217 million (£167.5 million)... so although we have opened up our schools just this week we have made it clear that we only have money until the end of September," he said.

Palestinians face explosive bullets, dangerous gas bombs

KONFRONTASI-After he was hit with a bullet shot by Israeli forces during demonstrations in Gaza on April 6, Mohammed al-Zaieem lost so much blood and his left leg was so deformed he feared he wouldn't survive.

His arteries, veins and a large piece of bone were destroyed. His right leg wasn't spared either as the round created a massive exit wound and then hit it as well.

By the time he was transferred to Istishari Arab Hospital in Ramallah after undergoing seven surgeries in Gaza, there was nothing doctors could do to save his left leg.

It had to be amputated, unbeknown to Zaieem, 22, who was unconscious at the time.

"No one dared to tell him [when he woke up from the surgery]. I couldn't," said his cousin of the same name, who lives in the occupied West Bank.

"As he was trying to get up, he suddenly felt the imbalance in his legs. He was in shock. It's like he was searching for his leg. It was the hardest moment for him. He kept silent for five minutes while I was talking with him."

Zaieem is among the 24 Palestinians who have had their limbs amputated since the March of Great Return mass protests started on March 30.

Medics on the ground say Israeli forces are shooting at demonstrators with a new type of round, unseen before - known as the "butterfly bullet" - which explodes upon impact, pulverizing tissue, arteries and bone, while causing severe internal injuries.

All 24 amputees were shot with a single explosive bullet, including journalists Yaser Murtaja and Ahmad Abu Hussein who succumbed to their wounds after taking rounds in the abdomen.

"All of their internal organs were totally destroyed, pulverized," said Ashraf al-Qedra, Gaza's health ministry spokesman.

The bullets are the deadliest the Israeli army has ever used, according to Qedra.

"Normally, a regular bullet breaks the leg [upon impact]. But these bullets create massive wounds, indicating that an explosion happened inside the body. It's an expanding bullet. It pulverizes the leg and the leg gets cut off [as a result]," Qedra explained.

Four Palestinian militants dead in Gaza blast

KONFRONTASI-The Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group said four of its members were killed in an apparent accidental blast in the Gaza Strip on Saturday.

The group said in a statement that it was “mourning its fighters who were martyred during preparations”.

It usually employs those terms to refer to casualties caused by the accidental detonation of weapons or explosives used in attacks against Israel.

Israeli warplanes kill one civilian during Gaza raid

KONFRONTASI-At least one Palestinian has been killed and another wounded in an Israeli airstrike on the besieged Gaza Strip.

According to reports early on Thursday, the casualties occurred as Israeli fighter jets carried out raids on the Shujaiyya district in eastern Gaza.

Israeli warplanes also pounded the central and northern parts of the coastal sliver  

Israeli military forces arrest dozens of Palestinians across occupied West Bank

KONFRONTASI-Israeli military forces have reportedly arrested at least 43 Palestinians, including a woman, during separate overnight operations across the occupied West Bank. 

Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israeli military vehicles rolled into the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and violently ransacked houses before taking Udayy al-Baajawi and Mahdi Abu al-Hassan away to an unknown location.

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