Al Mezan Center for Human Rights commends the latest efforts made by the Municipality of Gaza (MoG) to clean the rainwater collection site in the Sheikh Radwan area in northern Gaza City. The site, which Al Mezan received complaints about only recently, had not been cleaned for over three years, and became infested with insects and rodents. As such, it posed serious health risks to the population living in the area.
In the context of Israel’s continued violation of patient rights, which are rooted in Israel’s Gaza closure policy, the Israeli authorities have arrested a Palestinian patient at Erez crossing. With total control over Gaza’s border crossings with Israel, the Israeli authorities use Erez crossing to regulate movement in and out of Gaza, with individuals—particularly patients—often detained, and sometimes ill-treated and coerced by Israeli security agents in exchange for crossing permits.
On Saturday, 2 September 2017 at 4 pm, Mustafa Fayeq Salman, a 16-year-old resident of Beit Lahia, was brought to the intensive care unit of the Indonesian Hospital in the North Gaza district where he was declared clinically dead. According to Al Mezan’s field investigations, Mustafa had been detained at a police station in Beit Lahia from 2 July 2017 for participating in a family feud. He was held with adult detainees. While in detention, he submitted a request to spend the Eid holidays with his family.
Two more Palestinian patients of Gaza have died after being denied permits by the Israeli authorities that would have allowed them access to hospitals. The women’s’ deaths bring the total to 15 patients in 2017. The deaths occurred in the context of the Israeli-imposed closure and blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has crippled the healthcare system and forced Palestinian patients to seek the necessary care outside of Gaza.
On Thursday, 17 August 2017 at 12:30 am, a suicide bomber blew himself up at one of the security posts in the border city of Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. The 20-year-old attacker and a security officer were killed, and a number of other security personnel were injured.
On 16 August 2017, Mr. Younis and civil society figures in Gaza held a meeting by video-conference with a delegation from the US Consulate in Jerusalem and USAID. The delegation included Deputy Consul General, Mike Hankey, the USAID mission’s Director in the West Bank and Gaza, Monica Stein-Olson, the mission’s deputy director, Courtney Chabb, Gaza coordinator, Daniel Morris, and the development assistant specialist at the mission, Nisrin Nuzayen. The delegation also included Mary Vargas and Cynthia Cook from the US Consulate General in Jerusalem.
Palestinian child Mohammed Salim Al-Sayis, 5, from Az-Zaytoun neighborhood in eastern Gaza City died on Saturday, 29 July 2017, at around 2 am. He was diagnosed with Ekiri syndrome, which caused lethal toxic encephalopathy. He died as a result, according to the diagnosis in his medical report.
While at the Gaza City beach, Mohammed and his siblings swam in areas close to Ash-Shaikh Ejleen on 19 July 2017. The next day, they showed symptoms of illness and were rushed to the hospital.
On Tuesday, 8 August 2017, 47-year-old resident of Gaza, Etimad Rabee, died while waiting for a permit to access the Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem, where she was to receive treatment for colon cancer. Mrs. Rabee’s death comes in the context of Israel’s systematic and increasing denial and delay in granting permits for patients seeking urgent medical care outside of the Gaza Strip.
Health conditions in the Gaza Strip continue to worsen as the Israeli authorities tighten its restrictions under the closure and blockade, and the Palestinian government of national consensus in Ramallah pursues procedures that in effect compound the health crisis. Palestinian patients requiring urgent transfer to hospitals in the West Bank and Israel are among those worst impacted.
1 August 2017 marks three years since “Black Friday”, a key event at the beginning of the Israeli military’s invocation of the so-called “Hannibal Directive” in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. The go-ahead on the Directive brought four days of intensive, continuous military attacks on the city and severe restrictions on movement that cut it off from the rest of the Gaza Strip. The military assault resulted in the killing of 255 Palestinians, including 85 children, and the injury to hundreds more during these four days alone.
In July 2014, Israel began a military assault on the Gaza Strip, including an indiscriminate bombing campaign and a brutal ground invasion. In total, the assault killed 1,545 Palestinian civilians, including 556 children, and made 11,166 families homeless.
7th of July 2017 marks the third anniversary since Israel’s relentless military assault on Gaza codenamed “Operation Protective Edge” (OPE). The downpour of Israel’s military might lasted for 51 days, leaving thousands of casualties, destroying more than ten thousand houses, public facilities and private properties, and resulting in systematic violations of human rights and international humanitarian law (IHL).
The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) strongly denounces the decision of the Israeli Occupying Authorities to reduce the amount of electricity provided to the Gaza Strip. PHROC further warns the international community of the dangerous repercussions of this decision, which could exacerbate the humanitarian crisis which Gaza has been under due to Israel’s 10-year long closure.
Israel’s security cabinet, which convened on 11/6/2017, has reportedly approved the reduction of the electricity provided to the Gaza Strip by 35%.
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continue to target civilians and use excessive force during peaceful protests frequently organised by Palestinian youth calling for an end to the closure of the Gaza Strip. Israeli soldiers located along eastern borders opened fire at civilans with live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas canisters killing one and injuring 19. With this incident, the number of fatalities since the begigning of demonstrations on 19 May 2017 rose to two, while the number of injuries increased to 52, including 8 children.
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continue to violate rights of civilians in Gaza by denying freedom of movement to patients in need of access to hospitals outside of Gaza. The Israeli restrictions exacerbate the fragile public health conditions in Gaza, putting patients at risk from imminent death, and subjecting them and their companions to extortion and arrest. In a recent incident, a patient died after being denied access to a hospital outside Gaza. In a separate incident a patient companion has been arrested at the Erez crossing into Israel.
On 17 April 2017, Aya Khalil Abu Metalq, five, from Abasan Al Kabera in east Khan Younis died after her request to exit Gaza for medical treatment in East Jerusalem was denied by Israeli authorities. Al Mezan Center for Human Rights strongly condemns Israel’s practices and policies that form the basis of its closure of Gaza, and which hinder and prevent access of medical patients to adequate medical care.
On Wednesday, 19 April 2017, in Al Shejaiya quarter in Gaza City anonymous armed individuals kidnapped Mahmoud Al-Zeq, Secretary of the National Action Committee in Gaza, and took him to an unknown location, assaulted him and later released him.
Field investigations indicate that four armed men in civilian clothes forced Mahmoud Al-Zeq, 62, into their green vehicle at gun point.
The Ministry of Interior and National Security in the Gaza Strip has recently taken a number of exceptional measures, which included imposing restrictions on travelling via Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing and banning fishermen from sailing and fishing in the Gaza Sea. Those measures came in the context of ongoing investigations into the assassination crime of Hamas leader and former prisoner, Mazen Faqha, on Friday, 24 March 2017.
Representatives of Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights attended the thirty-fourth regular session of the Human Rights Council from March 16, 2017. The session came to a close today, with _inter alia _the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands abstaining from resolution, ‘Ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem’.
In the evening hours on Tuesday, 21 March 2017, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired several artillery shells targeting a group of Palestinian civilians in eastern Rafah. As a result, one child was killed and another person was injured.