Archive for the ‘Gaza’ Category

Rafah crossing with Egypt opens to allow Gaza pilgrims out – Wafa – WAFA – Palestine News Agency

Rafah crossing with Egypt opens to allow Gaza pilgrims out

RAFAH, August 14, 2017 (WAFA) Egypt opened Monday Rafah crossing with Gaza to allow the first group of pilgrims to leave the blockaded coastal enclave heading to Saudi Arabia.

WAFA correspondent said the first batch of 800 pilgrims left Gaza through Rafah crossing heading to Cairo airport from where they will fly to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

A total of 2508 pilgrims from the Gaza Strip are going to attend the annual pilgrimage this year. They will leave Gaza in four batches, the first left on Monday.

Egypt opens Rafah crossing, one of two border crossings for the Gaza Strip the second being Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing with Israel, only when need arises for humanitarian reasons.

M.N./M.K.

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Israel Delays Half of Gazans Seeking to Leave Strip for Medical Care, WHO Says – Haaretz

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All those who seek permission are patients whom the Palestinians have allowed to leave Gaza and for whom theyve committed to pay

The World Health Organization has revealed that Israel delayed about half of those seeking to exit the Gaza…

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Israel Delays Half of Gazans Seeking to Leave Strip for Medical Care, WHO Says – Haaretz

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Vybz Kartel Gaza Fans Trolling Alkaline Over This Photo – Dancehall HipHop

Vybz Kartels Gazanation fans are some of the most loyal fans in dancehall and its always best to not get on their bad sides.

By extension, a lot of Gaza fans will also support former Gaza members like Tommy Lee Sparta. Last week, Sean Kingston and Tommy Lee Sparta got into it with Alkalines Vendetta fans when the reggae pop singer posted a video of himself playing with the Mobay deejays hair and another clip of him sleeping inside his Porsche.

Alkaline took a subliminal shot at both artists calling them b*tches and that didnt go over well for the Gaza/Sparta fans. Over the weekend someone went a dug up an old photo of Alkaline and another man, but it wasnt just another old pic. If you look closely, you will see the man finger touching Alkalines nipple. This could be just mere coincidence or it could be calculated. Nevertheless, this is what the beef has come down to, a war of who have the gayest pictures.

The photo has been online since around 2015, and Gazation fans are are going in on social media about it. Long time we know that Alkline is a fish but this prove it, one fan wrote. This is the video that Sean Kingston posted on IG of himself putting his hands in Tommy Lee Spartas hair. Do you think fans are reaching or is there something in this photo and video to be concerned about? Sound off in comments below.

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Israel Girds for Next Round of Battle in Gaza Strip – smallwarsjournal (blog)

Israel on Thursday released detailed intelligence on how Hamas is using newly constructed residential buildings in the coastal strip to disguise the expansion of underground tunnels and command centers from which the Jewish state says the group plans to wage urban war against it.

Israel released the intel to make its case for what it insists is an unwanted, yet potentially necessary new round of combat in Gaza.

See the intelligence report here.

Briefing reporters here, Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir, commander of the Israel Defense Forces Southern Command, described two homes carefully mapped out by military intelligence complete with geolocation target coordinates that he insists prove beyond a shadow of doubt that Hamas is operating within and underneath the cover of civilians, in preparation for the next war.

During the highly unusual briefing aimed at bolstering Israels case should it need to destroy the structures built in heavily populated residential neighborhoods, Zamir insisted Israel possesses many more such targets beyond what were showing you.

He repeatedly referred to the structures one a six-story building and private parking lot with access to a tunnel network, and the other a family home with an entrance to a tunnel that connects to a nearby mosque as legitimate targets. I say these are legitimate military targets, and whoever is endangering himself and his family needs to hold Hamas responsible for what happens, he said.

The IDF commander said Israel is fully aware of the humanitarian distress to the nearly 2 million residents of Gaza, many of whom are subsisting at below poverty levels with a mere four hours of electricity each day. If Israel has to act, Zamir said, it will do so with technology, tactics and procedures aimed at minimizing the so-called collateral damage to uninvolved civilians.

Nevertheless, he acknowledged that civilians would be harmed, which is exactly what Hamas and other Gaza-based groups are counting on in order to try to damage Israels legitimacy.

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UN expresses ‘deep concern’ over ever-worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza – Ma’an News Agency (press release)

(File)

At the height of summer, with soaring temperatures, electricity provision has not risen above six hours per day since the beginning of the current crisis in April, and has often been under four hours, OHCHR spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said during a media briefing in Switzerland.

This has a grave impact on the provision of essential health, water and sanitation services, Shamdasani said, adding that the large-scale power cuts were a life-threatening risk for vulnerable residents of the coastal enclave.Israel, the State of Palestine, and the authorities in Gaza are not meeting their obligations to promote and protect the rights of the residents of Gaza.

I cannot imagine seeing a patient (with cystic fibrosis) who was not receiving medication. This is fatal, Hiyam Marzouqa, the medical director at Caritas Baby Hospital in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, told Maan in July. Their lifespan is affected if they dont take proper medication.

While the average life expectancy of people suffering from cystic fibrosis stands between 37 and 41 years old in the United States and Europe, Marzouqa said that lack of access to holistic treatment has affected the lifespan of patients in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Caritas Baby Hospital has in the past received patients referred from the Gaza Strip, and most recently sent emergency rations of cystic fibrosis treatment to Gaza via the World Health Organization (WHO) on July 19, but Marzouqa said that no Gaza patients were being treated at the hospital as of mid-July.

Patients in Gaza need to receive medication urgently, and they need to have properly trained medical teams to follow up with care, Marzouqa said. Patients have the right to health and to receive treatment without gaps, which affect the effectiveness of treatment.

The Fatah-led PA has been accused of deliberately sending the impoverished Gaza Strip further into a humanitarian catastrophe in order to wrest control of the territory from Hamas, by slashing funding for Israeli fuel, medicine, and salaries for civil servants and former prisoners.

Numerous attempts have been made in the past to reconcile Hamas and Fatah since they came into violent conflict in 2007, shortly after Hamas 2006 victory in general elections held in the Gaza Strip.

However, Palestinian leadership has repeatedly failed to follow through on promises of reconciliations, as both movements have frequently blamed each other for numerous political failures.

Hamas authorities have also been accused of withholding funds collected in Gaza from the PA, as well as targeting Fatah officials in Gaza through detentions and restricting their freedom of movement.

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UN expresses ‘deep concern’ over ever-worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza – Ma’an News Agency (press release)

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Army Injures Several Palestinians, Including A Teen In Serious Condition, In Gaza – International Middle East Media Center

Israeli soldiers shot and injured, Friday, many young Palestinian men, including a teenager who suffered life-threatening wounds, during clashes that took place in several parts of the besieged Gaza Strip.

Medical sources said a teenage boy, 16 years of age, suffered a serious injury after the soldiers, stationed across the border fence, shot him with a gas bomb in the head, during clashes that took place in Jabalia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

The sources added that the soldiers also targeted several ambulances and medics, during their attempts to provide aid to wounded Palestinians.

Furthermore, two young men suffered moderate wounds during clashes that took place east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza, after the soldiers opened fire on Palestinian protesters.

More clashes took place between the soldiers, also across the border fence, near Nahal Oz military base, when the army fired many live rounds at the protesters, wounding two young men in their legs, before medics rushed them to the Shifa medical center, suffering moderate wounds.

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Gaza civil society organizations aim to empower women – Al-Monitor

A Palestinian woman carries bread to be baked, near the wreckage of her house that witnesses said was destroyed by Israeli shelling during a 50-day war last summer, in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, June 22, 2015.(photo byREUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

Author:Dina Farwana Posted August 11, 2017

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip The ongoing Israeli siege imposed on the Gaza Strip enters its 11th year with Palestinians suffering the ensuing crises that have affected all aspects of life in the enclave. Because women are a vulnerable group in society, a pressing need has emerged to support Gazan womenby empowering them to obtain their rights, promote their status and improve their financial situation.

TranslatorPascale el-Khoury

Civil society organizationssupporting marginalized groups in Gaza in general follow the policies of their financiers and the needs they identify, often disregarding the requirements of implemented projects or the needs of the targeted groups. However, the 2017Women’s Leadership Incubator(WLI) project is the first to allow women’s support organizations in Gaza to identify their needs as an organization as well as the needs of the community they target.

The 2017 WLI project implemented by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor funds, trains and supports the staff of organizationsthat were chosen to participate in the project, to strengthen their staffs sensitivity to marginalized womens needs and rights, and implement projects to support them.

The difficult economic situation of women in the Gaza Strip was the main motivation behind the launch of the project. AMarch 7press release by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics stated, The female participation rate in the labor force was 19.3% of the totalfemale population of working age [15 years or older] in 2016 while themale participation rate was 71.6% in 2016.”

Six organizationsfrom different areas in Gazahave been selected to join the project; staff members have received a number of initial training sessions and participated in workshops on gender-relatedand project management issues.

The projects of the six organizations funded by the WLI will be implemented over a five-month periodstarting in early August and running through January. Projects will mostly help theparticipating Gazan women to join the labor market and empower them economically by providing them with the required skills.

The first project aims to teach 30 Gazan female graduates the skills to obtain freelance online work and train them on the related mechanisms. The second project, implemented in the southern Gaza Strip, aims to train deaf women and girls on using social media, online marketingand content production. The third onetargets young female graduates to train them on how to manage and market e-commerce projects.

The fourth project is related to community initiatives that seek to introduce change within the scope of a systematic approach to serve the population of the central Gaza Strip,amid the scarcity of community development and voluntary initiatives. The fifth project promotes the idea of using art and theater to discuss and highlight the difficult reality of marginalized women and girls in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, through short comedy scenes and artistic performances. The finalproject aims to create a media dictionary that contains the terms required in thespeeches and campaigns of the women’s organizations.

Aya al-Zinati, the WLIs public relations and communication coordinator, told Al-Monitor, The challenges that the project aims to address are the status of marginalized women in Gaza and the ability of civil society organizationsto meet these womens rightful needs and address their concerns.

She noted that the WLI female advisers specialized in gender equality and human rights will be providing continuous follow-up throughout the period of implementation of the projects, and will make sure duringeach meeting to highlight the Gazan womens rights and teach the participants how to demand their rights.

She said, By targeting these organizations, the WLI project aims to support and empower women in various fields. The project also aims to tackle women’s exclusion from decision-making processes, leaving them constantly dependent on the support of men rather than becoming self-reliant and autonomous.

Zinati added, The project will be executed on two levels. The first is encouraging civil society organizationsto engage female employees in decision-making processes. The second is encouraging them to push targeted women to participate in debates about the challenges they face and to decide on programs to address these challenges, including design, planningand implementation.

She said that the involvement of civil society organizationsand women would make the implemented programs more efficient for targeted women and would allow such organizations, womenand societyin generalto give women their rights and enable them to claim theserightsthereby improving the status of women.

The WLI project directly targets female staff atcivil society organizations and women in marginalized areas, while it indirectly focuses onother groups targeted by the selected organizations, such as women’s families and society as a whole.

The project relied in the selection of the participating organizationson two main criteria: The applying organizations should have already managed women-related projects and should include a female member of staff, Zinati said.

Azza Kassem, the WLI gender expertand consultant for women affairs, told Al-Monitor, We noticed during training sessions and field visits that the concept of gender equality is still unclear to some human rights workers in particular, and to those working in fields related to a societal change in general. This concept is generally understood as limited to women only.

She argued that there is an urgent need to understand the tools of social change and to reshape the qualifications and skills of the participating civil society organizations’ staff and decision-makers through an in-depth understanding of the Palestinian situation and the prevailing culture in society.

She stressed the need to work hard to transform the human rights culture into a social culture, inculcate the concepts of women’s rights and gender equality insociety, and adopt gender equality approaches in the programs, policiesand objectives of women’s organizations.

Kassem pointed out that the superficial understanding of the gender equality concept among most of the workers in the field of womens rights and the prevalence of the male-dominant culture among political parties, as tools for social change, explain the low percentage of women in decision-making positions.

Wedad Sourani, the director of theSociety of Women Graduates in the Gaza Strip,one of the six organizations participating in the WLI,told Al-Monitor, Our participation in the WLI aims to empower femalegraduates to takea more efficient rolein the Palestinian society by building their capacities.

She said, The funding that our proposed project will receive from the WLI will allow us to achieve our objectives, including to empower Gazan women economically and improve their living conditions. We are working with 30 female graduates, and we aim to provide them with the skills required to find workwhether through freelance online platforms or in the local labor markets.

Sourani described her organization’s participation in the WLI as a preliminary step towardreducing unemployment among female university graduates in Gaza, explaining that the project they proposed to the WLI not only aims to help women advance economically but also gives them an opportunity to play an important and efficient role in the Palestinian society.

May Abu Zayed, the vice chairman of the board of directors of the Women and Child Development Association a civil society organizationthat provides care for women with special needs, orphans and widows, and combats child labor and violence against women told Al-Monitor, The financing by WLI of our proposed project will enable us to raise the awareness of 20 women who can’t hear andspeakabout their legal rights through the efforts of an integrated female staff.

She added, Our project also aims to socially integrate 17 other women by familiarizing them with the use of social media, breaking societal alienation and improving their psychological well-beingand interactivity. The WLI will allow us to build the capacities of the academic staff working within our civil society organizations.

Read More: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/08/palestine-gaza-civil-society-women-leadership-incubator.html

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Gaza’s little chefs have big dreams – Al-Monitor

Sana Abu Hasira, one of the young chefs taking part in culinary courses at Zad Al Khair restaurant, dreams of hosting her own cooking program on Youtube, Gaza City, Gaza, Aug 5, 2017. (photo byMajdi Fathi)

Author:Rasha Abou Jalal Posted August 11, 2017

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip Ten-year-old Sana Abu Hasiracan hardly believe that she was able to make it. She managed to cooka musakhan for the first time in her life. The musakhan is a traditional Palestinian dish of grilled chicken and onion, with a touch of olive oil, pepper and sumac. Hasira insisted that this Al-Monitor correspondent taste her food; it was absolutely delicious.

Amin Mashharawi, a 22-year-old cook who lives in Gaza City, assisted her in the preparation of the dish. Sana, who also lives in Gaza City, made this traditional Palestinian dishas part of the first culinary training program for kids in the Palestinian territories, The Little Chef.The program was launchedJuly 1 by Zad Al Khair restaurant in downtown Gaza City.

Sana told Al-Monitor, I have always loved to cook. All of the toys I have are either kitchen utensils or cooking kits. When I learned about the program on Facebook, I rushed to join it.

She saidshe usually watches cooking videos on YouTubeand is amazed by the beautiful sandwiches the cooks make. My mom yells at me when I come into the kitchen, hold a knife and try to cook. Butonce I obtain my certificate from the program, I will be able to help her prepare meals, she added.

Amin Mashharawi, a 22-year-old chef, helps his young trainee add a pinch of sumac to a dish duringthe culinary course at Zad Al Khair restaurant at Gaza, Aug. 5, 2017 (Photo by Majdi Fathi)

Khalil Ifranji, director of Zad Al Khair, told Al-Monitor that the idea to have cooking classes for kids, a first in Gaza, was spurred by a lack of social and entertainment programs for children.

When we first announced the kids culinary program, nearly 500 kids applied. We selected 120 and divided them into small groups, to be trained by the restaurants cooks at different times,” he said.

The programs coordinator, Hiba Ifranji, 21, told Al-Monitor that participants attend a three-hourtraining session daily, and that they obtain a certificate at the end of the free 40-daytraining program.

She said some Italian cooks contacted the restaurant and expressed their willingness to help teach Gazan kids how to prepare food. The Italians plan to arrive in Gaza as soon as possible for this purpose.

In the training station at the restaurant, 6-year-old Khaled Abu Obeidwas observing the trainer preparing the schnitzel sandwich he loves.

Obeid told Al-Monitor that he joined the program because he loves cooking. He added, My grandfather has always encouraged me to learn how to cook, because he is an excellent cook, and he is the one who prepareslunch when my aunties come to visit.

AlthoughObeids plan is to become an engineer, he also wants to be good at cooking, like his grandfather.

Mashharawi, who has been a cook since 2010, told Al-Monitor that the kids are taught some cooking basics and how to use kitchen utensilssuch as knives. They suggest what kind of dishes they want to prepare, and then we take off from there.

Gaza’s young chefs learn to be careful with knives during the culinary course at Zad Al Khair restaurant,Aug. 5, 2017 (Photo by Majdi Fathi)

He added, We teach the kids what sort of ingredients they need for making simple meals such as musakhan, various sandwichesand sweetssuch as the cream-filled semolina cake.

During the training, the children wear the traditional chef’s uniform, including the toque, and prepare the food under Mashharawis ongoing supervision. He guides theirhands when onions and chicken are cut, making sure no accidents occur.

As part of the training program, the children learn kitchen safety tipssuch as to stay a safe distanceaway from flames, not to hold hot utensils and how to holdknives safely.

Hiba Ifranji hopes to have the necessary financial and human resources to turn this program into a culinary academy for kids and adults. Some of his students are just as ambitious.Sana, for example, not only wants to become a cook when she grows up, but to have her own culinary YouTube channel.

Read More: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/08/gazas-little-chefs-have-big-dreams.html

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Israel accelerates plans to build underground wall on Gaza border – CNN International

CNN has learned that the wall will rise roughly 6 meters (20 feet) above the ground and penetrate to an undisclosed depth. It’s being described as a “smart wall” capable of detecting underground activity, and will sit behind the existing fence around the territory, creating a buffer zone between the two barriers.

“We are progressing according to plan, and in the upcoming months we will be accelerating and expanding the building of the barrier,” an Israeli military official told CNN. “The work is expected to be complete within two years. We hope that our work will not be disrupted or challenged, and that quiet will be preserved in the region.”

Construction has been taking place for months. The accelerated plans will see 1,000 people working on the project in shifts, 24 hours a day.

Southern Command chief Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir, according to local media reports, explained that the construction could escalate tensions between Israel and militants but said it wouldn’t deter their work even if militants attacked.

“I think the other side will have to reevaluate the situation in view of the barrier’s construction,” he is reported saying. “If Hamas chooses to go to war over the barrier, it will be worthy reason to go to war over — but the barrier will be built.”

Hamas confirmed to CNN that it is monitoring the construction of the “concrete wall on the border.”

“The occupation will not succeed in bringing security to its residents through the construction of a wall on the borders of Gaza; and nowhere on our land. The occupation must end.” a Hamas leader, Ismail Radwan, told CNN.

Although Israel withdrew military installations and settlements from Gaza in 2005, it maintains what the United Nations regards as a blockade of the enclave, controlling much of its land, air and sea borders.

The Palestinian Authority did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

Gaza’s tunnels are used for a range of purposes. On the Gaza-Egypt border, they’re used to smuggle in food, medicine, supplies and weapons. On the Gaza-Israel border, militants use the tunnels to conduct reconnaissance and raids into Israel.

Thousands of Israelis live within kilometers of the border.

The impact of Gaza’s tunnels was illustrated dramatically in July 2014 when Hamas militants from the territory sprung from a tunnel, which crossed into Israel, and surprised a military outpost. The daring, daylight raid killed five Israeli soldiers and left one Hamas militant dead. After the quick attack, the militants retreated back into the tunnel before Israeli reinforcements arrived.

The war eventually ended in a ceasefire. Dozens of tunnels were destroyed, but the concern was they could simply be replaced. Recently, Israel’s military released information on alleged new tunnel construction, accusing Hamas of using civilian infrastructure like schools as cover for the network. Israel hopes the new subterranean wall will accomplish what the 2014 war could not, and permanently end the tunnel threat.

CNN’s Amir Tal and Abeer Salman contributed to this report.

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Israel accelerates plans to build underground wall on Gaza border – CNN International

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Rafah crossing with Egypt opens to allow Gaza pilgrims out – Wafa – WAFA – Palestine News Agency

Rafah crossing with Egypt opens to allow Gaza pilgrims out RAFAH, August 14, 2017 (WAFA) Egypt opened Monday Rafah crossing with Gaza to allow the first group of pilgrims to leave the blockaded coastal enclave heading to Saudi Arabia. WAFA correspondent said the first batch of 800 pilgrims left Gaza through Rafah crossing heading to Cairo airport from where they will fly to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. A total of 2508 pilgrims from the Gaza Strip are going to attend the annual pilgrimage this year. They will leave Gaza in four batches, the first left on Monday. Egypt opens Rafah crossing, one of two border crossings for the Gaza Strip the second being Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing with Israel, only when need arises for humanitarian reasons. M.N./M.K.

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Israel Delays Half of Gazans Seeking to Leave Strip for Medical Care, WHO Says – Haaretz

Home > Middle East News > Palestinians All those who seek permission are patients whom the Palestinians have allowed to leave Gaza and for whom theyve committed to pay The World Health Organization has revealed that Israel delayed about half of those seeking to exit the Gaza… Want to enjoy ‘Zen’ reading – with no ads and just the article? Subscribe today We’ve got more newsletters we think you’ll find interesting. Please try again later. This email address has already registered for this newsletter.

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Vybz Kartel Gaza Fans Trolling Alkaline Over This Photo – Dancehall HipHop

Vybz Kartels Gazanation fans are some of the most loyal fans in dancehall and its always best to not get on their bad sides. By extension, a lot of Gaza fans will also support former Gaza members like Tommy Lee Sparta. Last week, Sean Kingston and Tommy Lee Sparta got into it with Alkalines Vendetta fans when the reggae pop singer posted a video of himself playing with the Mobay deejays hair and another clip of him sleeping inside his Porsche. Alkaline took a subliminal shot at both artists calling them b*tches and that didnt go over well for the Gaza/Sparta fans. Over the weekend someone went a dug up an old photo of Alkaline and another man, but it wasnt just another old pic. If you look closely, you will see the man finger touching Alkalines nipple. This could be just mere coincidence or it could be calculated. Nevertheless, this is what the beef has come down to, a war of who have the gayest pictures. The photo has been online since around 2015, and Gazation fans are are going in on social media about it. Long time we know that Alkline is a fish but this prove it, one fan wrote. This is the video that Sean Kingston posted on IG of himself putting his hands in Tommy Lee Spartas hair. Do you think fans are reaching or is there something in this photo and video to be concerned about? Sound off in comments below.

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Israel Girds for Next Round of Battle in Gaza Strip – smallwarsjournal (blog)

Israel on Thursday released detailed intelligence on how Hamas is using newly constructed residential buildings in the coastal strip to disguise the expansion of underground tunnels and command centers from which the Jewish state says the group plans to wage urban war against it. Israel released the intel to make its case for what it insists is an unwanted, yet potentially necessary new round of combat in Gaza. See the intelligence report here. Briefing reporters here, Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir, commander of the Israel Defense Forces Southern Command, described two homes carefully mapped out by military intelligence complete with geolocation target coordinates that he insists prove beyond a shadow of doubt that Hamas is operating within and underneath the cover of civilians, in preparation for the next war. During the highly unusual briefing aimed at bolstering Israels case should it need to destroy the structures built in heavily populated residential neighborhoods, Zamir insisted Israel possesses many more such targets beyond what were showing you. He repeatedly referred to the structures one a six-story building and private parking lot with access to a tunnel network, and the other a family home with an entrance to a tunnel that connects to a nearby mosque as legitimate targets. I say these are legitimate military targets, and whoever is endangering himself and his family needs to hold Hamas responsible for what happens, he said. The IDF commander said Israel is fully aware of the humanitarian distress to the nearly 2 million residents of Gaza, many of whom are subsisting at below poverty levels with a mere four hours of electricity each day. If Israel has to act, Zamir said, it will do so with technology, tactics and procedures aimed at minimizing the so-called collateral damage to uninvolved civilians. Nevertheless, he acknowledged that civilians would be harmed, which is exactly what Hamas and other Gaza-based groups are counting on in order to try to damage Israels legitimacy.

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UN expresses ‘deep concern’ over ever-worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza – Ma’an News Agency (press release)

(File) At the height of summer, with soaring temperatures, electricity provision has not risen above six hours per day since the beginning of the current crisis in April, and has often been under four hours, OHCHR spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said during a media briefing in Switzerland. This has a grave impact on the provision of essential health, water and sanitation services, Shamdasani said, adding that the large-scale power cuts were a life-threatening risk for vulnerable residents of the coastal enclave.Israel, the State of Palestine, and the authorities in Gaza are not meeting their obligations to promote and protect the rights of the residents of Gaza. I cannot imagine seeing a patient (with cystic fibrosis) who was not receiving medication. This is fatal, Hiyam Marzouqa, the medical director at Caritas Baby Hospital in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, told Maan in July. Their lifespan is affected if they dont take proper medication. While the average life expectancy of people suffering from cystic fibrosis stands between 37 and 41 years old in the United States and Europe, Marzouqa said that lack of access to holistic treatment has affected the lifespan of patients in the occupied Palestinian territory. Caritas Baby Hospital has in the past received patients referred from the Gaza Strip, and most recently sent emergency rations of cystic fibrosis treatment to Gaza via the World Health Organization (WHO) on July 19, but Marzouqa said that no Gaza patients were being treated at the hospital as of mid-July. Patients in Gaza need to receive medication urgently, and they need to have properly trained medical teams to follow up with care, Marzouqa said. Patients have the right to health and to receive treatment without gaps, which affect the effectiveness of treatment. The Fatah-led PA has been accused of deliberately sending the impoverished Gaza Strip further into a humanitarian catastrophe in order to wrest control of the territory from Hamas, by slashing funding for Israeli fuel, medicine, and salaries for civil servants and former prisoners. Numerous attempts have been made in the past to reconcile Hamas and Fatah since they came into violent conflict in 2007, shortly after Hamas 2006 victory in general elections held in the Gaza Strip. However, Palestinian leadership has repeatedly failed to follow through on promises of reconciliations, as both movements have frequently blamed each other for numerous political failures. Hamas authorities have also been accused of withholding funds collected in Gaza from the PA, as well as targeting Fatah officials in Gaza through detentions and restricting their freedom of movement.

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Army Injures Several Palestinians, Including A Teen In Serious Condition, In Gaza – International Middle East Media Center

Israeli soldiers shot and injured, Friday, many young Palestinian men, including a teenager who suffered life-threatening wounds, during clashes that took place in several parts of the besieged Gaza Strip. Medical sources said a teenage boy, 16 years of age, suffered a serious injury after the soldiers, stationed across the border fence, shot him with a gas bomb in the head, during clashes that took place in Jabalia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. The sources added that the soldiers also targeted several ambulances and medics, during their attempts to provide aid to wounded Palestinians. Furthermore, two young men suffered moderate wounds during clashes that took place east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza, after the soldiers opened fire on Palestinian protesters. More clashes took place between the soldiers, also across the border fence, near Nahal Oz military base, when the army fired many live rounds at the protesters, wounding two young men in their legs, before medics rushed them to the Shifa medical center, suffering moderate wounds.

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Gaza civil society organizations aim to empower women – Al-Monitor

A Palestinian woman carries bread to be baked, near the wreckage of her house that witnesses said was destroyed by Israeli shelling during a 50-day war last summer, in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, June 22, 2015.(photo byREUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa) Author:Dina Farwana Posted August 11, 2017 GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip The ongoing Israeli siege imposed on the Gaza Strip enters its 11th year with Palestinians suffering the ensuing crises that have affected all aspects of life in the enclave. Because women are a vulnerable group in society, a pressing need has emerged to support Gazan womenby empowering them to obtain their rights, promote their status and improve their financial situation. TranslatorPascale el-Khoury Civil society organizationssupporting marginalized groups in Gaza in general follow the policies of their financiers and the needs they identify, often disregarding the requirements of implemented projects or the needs of the targeted groups. However, the 2017Women’s Leadership Incubator(WLI) project is the first to allow women’s support organizations in Gaza to identify their needs as an organization as well as the needs of the community they target. The 2017 WLI project implemented by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor funds, trains and supports the staff of organizationsthat were chosen to participate in the project, to strengthen their staffs sensitivity to marginalized womens needs and rights, and implement projects to support them. The difficult economic situation of women in the Gaza Strip was the main motivation behind the launch of the project. AMarch 7press release by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics stated, The female participation rate in the labor force was 19.3% of the totalfemale population of working age [15 years or older] in 2016 while themale participation rate was 71.6% in 2016.” Six organizationsfrom different areas in Gazahave been selected to join the project; staff members have received a number of initial training sessions and participated in workshops on gender-relatedand project management issues. The projects of the six organizations funded by the WLI will be implemented over a five-month periodstarting in early August and running through January. Projects will mostly help theparticipating Gazan women to join the labor market and empower them economically by providing them with the required skills. The first project aims to teach 30 Gazan female graduates the skills to obtain freelance online work and train them on the related mechanisms. The second project, implemented in the southern Gaza Strip, aims to train deaf women and girls on using social media, online marketingand content production. The third onetargets young female graduates to train them on how to manage and market e-commerce projects. The fourth project is related to community initiatives that seek to introduce change within the scope of a systematic approach to serve the population of the central Gaza Strip,amid the scarcity of community development and voluntary initiatives. The fifth project promotes the idea of using art and theater to discuss and highlight the difficult reality of marginalized women and girls in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, through short comedy scenes and artistic performances. The finalproject aims to create a media dictionary that contains the terms required in thespeeches and campaigns of the women’s organizations. Aya al-Zinati, the WLIs public relations and communication coordinator, told Al-Monitor, The challenges that the project aims to address are the status of marginalized women in Gaza and the ability of civil society organizationsto meet these womens rightful needs and address their concerns. She noted that the WLI female advisers specialized in gender equality and human rights will be providing continuous follow-up throughout the period of implementation of the projects, and will make sure duringeach meeting to highlight the Gazan womens rights and teach the participants how to demand their rights. She said, By targeting these organizations, the WLI project aims to support and empower women in various fields. The project also aims to tackle women’s exclusion from decision-making processes, leaving them constantly dependent on the support of men rather than becoming self-reliant and autonomous. Zinati added, The project will be executed on two levels. The first is encouraging civil society organizationsto engage female employees in decision-making processes. The second is encouraging them to push targeted women to participate in debates about the challenges they face and to decide on programs to address these challenges, including design, planningand implementation. She said that the involvement of civil society organizationsand women would make the implemented programs more efficient for targeted women and would allow such organizations, womenand societyin generalto give women their rights and enable them to claim theserightsthereby improving the status of women. The WLI project directly targets female staff atcivil society organizations and women in marginalized areas, while it indirectly focuses onother groups targeted by the selected organizations, such as women’s families and society as a whole. The project relied in the selection of the participating organizationson two main criteria: The applying organizations should have already managed women-related projects and should include a female member of staff, Zinati said. Azza Kassem, the WLI gender expertand consultant for women affairs, told Al-Monitor, We noticed during training sessions and field visits that the concept of gender equality is still unclear to some human rights workers in particular, and to those working in fields related to a societal change in general. This concept is generally understood as limited to women only. She argued that there is an urgent need to understand the tools of social change and to reshape the qualifications and skills of the participating civil society organizations’ staff and decision-makers through an in-depth understanding of the Palestinian situation and the prevailing culture in society. She stressed the need to work hard to transform the human rights culture into a social culture, inculcate the concepts of women’s rights and gender equality insociety, and adopt gender equality approaches in the programs, policiesand objectives of women’s organizations. Kassem pointed out that the superficial understanding of the gender equality concept among most of the workers in the field of womens rights and the prevalence of the male-dominant culture among political parties, as tools for social change, explain the low percentage of women in decision-making positions. Wedad Sourani, the director of theSociety of Women Graduates in the Gaza Strip,one of the six organizations participating in the WLI,told Al-Monitor, Our participation in the WLI aims to empower femalegraduates to takea more efficient rolein the Palestinian society by building their capacities. She said, The funding that our proposed project will receive from the WLI will allow us to achieve our objectives, including to empower Gazan women economically and improve their living conditions. We are working with 30 female graduates, and we aim to provide them with the skills required to find workwhether through freelance online platforms or in the local labor markets. Sourani described her organization’s participation in the WLI as a preliminary step towardreducing unemployment among female university graduates in Gaza, explaining that the project they proposed to the WLI not only aims to help women advance economically but also gives them an opportunity to play an important and efficient role in the Palestinian society. May Abu Zayed, the vice chairman of the board of directors of the Women and Child Development Association a civil society organizationthat provides care for women with special needs, orphans and widows, and combats child labor and violence against women told Al-Monitor, The financing by WLI of our proposed project will enable us to raise the awareness of 20 women who can’t hear andspeakabout their legal rights through the efforts of an integrated female staff. She added, Our project also aims to socially integrate 17 other women by familiarizing them with the use of social media, breaking societal alienation and improving their psychological well-beingand interactivity. The WLI will allow us to build the capacities of the academic staff working within our civil society organizations. Read More: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/08/palestine-gaza-civil-society-women-leadership-incubator.html

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Gaza’s little chefs have big dreams – Al-Monitor

Sana Abu Hasira, one of the young chefs taking part in culinary courses at Zad Al Khair restaurant, dreams of hosting her own cooking program on Youtube, Gaza City, Gaza, Aug 5, 2017. (photo byMajdi Fathi) Author:Rasha Abou Jalal Posted August 11, 2017 GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip Ten-year-old Sana Abu Hasiracan hardly believe that she was able to make it. She managed to cooka musakhan for the first time in her life. The musakhan is a traditional Palestinian dish of grilled chicken and onion, with a touch of olive oil, pepper and sumac. Hasira insisted that this Al-Monitor correspondent taste her food; it was absolutely delicious. Amin Mashharawi, a 22-year-old cook who lives in Gaza City, assisted her in the preparation of the dish. Sana, who also lives in Gaza City, made this traditional Palestinian dishas part of the first culinary training program for kids in the Palestinian territories, The Little Chef.The program was launchedJuly 1 by Zad Al Khair restaurant in downtown Gaza City. Sana told Al-Monitor, I have always loved to cook. All of the toys I have are either kitchen utensils or cooking kits. When I learned about the program on Facebook, I rushed to join it. She saidshe usually watches cooking videos on YouTubeand is amazed by the beautiful sandwiches the cooks make. My mom yells at me when I come into the kitchen, hold a knife and try to cook. Butonce I obtain my certificate from the program, I will be able to help her prepare meals, she added. Amin Mashharawi, a 22-year-old chef, helps his young trainee add a pinch of sumac to a dish duringthe culinary course at Zad Al Khair restaurant at Gaza, Aug. 5, 2017 (Photo by Majdi Fathi) Khalil Ifranji, director of Zad Al Khair, told Al-Monitor that the idea to have cooking classes for kids, a first in Gaza, was spurred by a lack of social and entertainment programs for children. When we first announced the kids culinary program, nearly 500 kids applied. We selected 120 and divided them into small groups, to be trained by the restaurants cooks at different times,” he said. The programs coordinator, Hiba Ifranji, 21, told Al-Monitor that participants attend a three-hourtraining session daily, and that they obtain a certificate at the end of the free 40-daytraining program. She said some Italian cooks contacted the restaurant and expressed their willingness to help teach Gazan kids how to prepare food. The Italians plan to arrive in Gaza as soon as possible for this purpose. In the training station at the restaurant, 6-year-old Khaled Abu Obeidwas observing the trainer preparing the schnitzel sandwich he loves. Obeid told Al-Monitor that he joined the program because he loves cooking. He added, My grandfather has always encouraged me to learn how to cook, because he is an excellent cook, and he is the one who prepareslunch when my aunties come to visit. AlthoughObeids plan is to become an engineer, he also wants to be good at cooking, like his grandfather. Mashharawi, who has been a cook since 2010, told Al-Monitor that the kids are taught some cooking basics and how to use kitchen utensilssuch as knives. They suggest what kind of dishes they want to prepare, and then we take off from there. Gaza’s young chefs learn to be careful with knives during the culinary course at Zad Al Khair restaurant,Aug. 5, 2017 (Photo by Majdi Fathi) He added, We teach the kids what sort of ingredients they need for making simple meals such as musakhan, various sandwichesand sweetssuch as the cream-filled semolina cake. During the training, the children wear the traditional chef’s uniform, including the toque, and prepare the food under Mashharawis ongoing supervision. He guides theirhands when onions and chicken are cut, making sure no accidents occur. As part of the training program, the children learn kitchen safety tipssuch as to stay a safe distanceaway from flames, not to hold hot utensils and how to holdknives safely. Hiba Ifranji hopes to have the necessary financial and human resources to turn this program into a culinary academy for kids and adults. Some of his students are just as ambitious.Sana, for example, not only wants to become a cook when she grows up, but to have her own culinary YouTube channel. Read More: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/08/gazas-little-chefs-have-big-dreams.html

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Israel accelerates plans to build underground wall on Gaza border – CNN International

CNN has learned that the wall will rise roughly 6 meters (20 feet) above the ground and penetrate to an undisclosed depth. It’s being described as a “smart wall” capable of detecting underground activity, and will sit behind the existing fence around the territory, creating a buffer zone between the two barriers. “We are progressing according to plan, and in the upcoming months we will be accelerating and expanding the building of the barrier,” an Israeli military official told CNN. “The work is expected to be complete within two years. We hope that our work will not be disrupted or challenged, and that quiet will be preserved in the region.” Construction has been taking place for months. The accelerated plans will see 1,000 people working on the project in shifts, 24 hours a day. Southern Command chief Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir, according to local media reports, explained that the construction could escalate tensions between Israel and militants but said it wouldn’t deter their work even if militants attacked. “I think the other side will have to reevaluate the situation in view of the barrier’s construction,” he is reported saying. “If Hamas chooses to go to war over the barrier, it will be worthy reason to go to war over — but the barrier will be built.” Hamas confirmed to CNN that it is monitoring the construction of the “concrete wall on the border.” “The occupation will not succeed in bringing security to its residents through the construction of a wall on the borders of Gaza; and nowhere on our land. The occupation must end.” a Hamas leader, Ismail Radwan, told CNN. Although Israel withdrew military installations and settlements from Gaza in 2005, it maintains what the United Nations regards as a blockade of the enclave, controlling much of its land, air and sea borders. The Palestinian Authority did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication. Gaza’s tunnels are used for a range of purposes. On the Gaza-Egypt border, they’re used to smuggle in food, medicine, supplies and weapons. On the Gaza-Israel border, militants use the tunnels to conduct reconnaissance and raids into Israel. Thousands of Israelis live within kilometers of the border. The impact of Gaza’s tunnels was illustrated dramatically in July 2014 when Hamas militants from the territory sprung from a tunnel, which crossed into Israel, and surprised a military outpost. The daring, daylight raid killed five Israeli soldiers and left one Hamas militant dead. After the quick attack, the militants retreated back into the tunnel before Israeli reinforcements arrived. The war eventually ended in a ceasefire. Dozens of tunnels were destroyed, but the concern was they could simply be replaced. Recently, Israel’s military released information on alleged new tunnel construction, accusing Hamas of using civilian infrastructure like schools as cover for the network. Israel hopes the new subterranean wall will accomplish what the 2014 war could not, and permanently end the tunnel threat. CNN’s Amir Tal and Abeer Salman contributed to this report.

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