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De Nakba die maar niet eindigt

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By Engelbert Luitsz                  ©             (www.alexandrina.nl/?p=4436)

Wij hebben één droom
Een droom te vinden die ons draagt
zoals een ster de doden draagt!

Mahmoud Darwish

ismael_schilderij2

Een aquarel van Ismail Shammout uit de jaren vijftig.

De Palestijnse kunstenaar en kunsthistoricus Ismail Shammout werd in 1930 geboren in Lydda, een Palestijns stadje op zo’n twintig kilometer van Tel Aviv. Hij was dus nog een jongen toen hij in juli 1948 samen met duizenden anderen uit de stad verdreven werd door zionistische milities. Er werden bloedbaden aangericht onder de bevolking, waarna er enkele tienduizenden mensen op een dodenmars werden gestuurd, waarbij talloze ongelukkigen het leven lieten. Ismail overleefde de helse tocht en wist naar de Gazastrook te vluchten. Daar vond hij onderdak in het vluchtelingenkamp Khan Younis (dat na 68 jaar nog steeds bestaat!). Enkele jaren lukte het hem naar Caïro te gaan om daar aan de kunstacademie te studeren. Maar hij nam geen afstand van Palestina. In 1953 hield hij als eerste Palestijnse kunstenaar ooit een expositie in Palestina, in Gaza Stad.

Ismail_Shammout's_Where_to_...

“Waarheen…?”
Een schilderij uit 1953 van Ismail Shammout, waarmee hij de dodenmars uit Lydda verbeeldt. Het wegkwijnende boompje was een bij Palestijnen gangbaar symbool voor het verlies van hun land en hun wortels. Dit werk was direct zeer geliefd.

Zijn levensloop illustreert de niet eindigende Palestijnse catastrofe – de Nakba. Ismail vertrok naar Beiroet in Libanon, maar werd daar in het begin van de jaren tachtig opnieuw verdreven door Israëlisch geweld. Hij vluchtte naar Koeweit. Tot de Golfoorlog, waarna hij naar Duitsland ging. Weer enkele jaren later vestigde hij zich in Jordanië. In 1997 ging hij nog een keer terug naar Lydda, om te constateren dat zijn geboortestad definitief onderdeel van de joodse staat was geworden (de stad is zeker 7000 jaar oud en bestond dus al lang voordat er sprake was van enige Hebreeuwse aanwezigheid in de regio).

Planmatige executies

verdeelplan_detail
Complete kaart van het verdeelplan.

Lydda behoorde tot de steden en dorpen die buiten het door de V.N. voorgestelde “verdeelplan” lagen, maar die om strategische en ideologische redenen door de zionisten werden veroverd, gezuiverd en vaak vernietigd. De Israëlische historicus Benny Morris telde in die periode meer dan twintig bloedbaden die door de zionisten waren aangericht, zodat de rest van de bevolking op de vlucht zou slaan (dat werden er zo’n 750.000).

De ergste gevallen waren Sahila (70-80 doden), Deir Yassin (100-110), Lod [Lydda] (250), Dawayima (honderden) en wellicht Abu Shusha (70). Er is geen onweerlegbaar bewijs van grootschalige slachtpartijen in Tantura, maar daar werden wel oorlogsmisdaden gepleegd. Er had een bloedbad in Jaffa plaatsgevonden waar tot nu toe niets over bekend was. Hetzelfde geldt voor Arab al Muwassi in het noorden. Ongeveer de helft van de bloedbaden waren onderdeel van Operatie Hiram (in oktober 1948, in het noorden): bij Safsaf, Saliha, Jish, Eilaboun, Arab al Muwasi, Deir al Asad, Majdal Krum, Sasa. Tijdens Operatie Hiram was er een opvallend groot aantal executies van mensen tegen een muur of bij een waterput, op een zeer geordende manier.

Dat kan geen toeval zijn.

Interview van Ari Shavit met Benny Morris in Haaretz in 2004

Het was ook na 15 mei 1948 duidelijk dat Israël verdere expansie beoogde en geenszins uit was op een fatsoenlijke overeenkomst met de verdreven bevolking. Toen er sprake was van een bestand zette men juist alles op alles om voor die tijd nog zoveel mogelijk buit te maken. De historicus Ilan Pappe beschrijft het in De etnische zuivering van Palestina zo:

Het nieuws van een ophanden zijnd tweede bestand dat op 18 juli 1948 moest ingaan kwam op een ongelukkig moment voor de operatie van etnische zuivering. Sommige operaties werden versneld uitgevoerd zodat ze voltooid waren voordat het bestand zou ingaan, zoals het geval was met de bezetting van de dorpen Qula en Khirbat Shaykh Meisar. Tegen die tijd hadden de Israëliërs twee steden, Lydda en Ramla, en nog eens 68 dorpen toegevoegd aan de 290 die ze al bezet en gezuiverd hadden.

Verwante zielen

schilderij_tamam

Een schilderij van Tamam Alakhal uit de jaren vijftig.

Tamam Alakhal was pas dertien jaar oud toen ze door de zionisten werd verdreven uit haar geboortestad Jaffa. Tamam kwam aanvankelijk in een vluchtelingenkamp in Libanon terecht, maar ook zij ging uiteindelijk naar Egypte, waar ze net als Ismail de kunstacademie bezocht. Daar ontmoetten ze elkaar. Samen vertrokken ze later naar Beiroet waar ze in 1959 trouwden. Voor beiden was kunst een integraal onderdeel van hun geschiedenis, hun strijd voor rechtvaardigheid en hun Palestijnse identiteit. Door de jaren heen hebben ze samen overal in de wereld geëxposeerd.

Ismail overleed in 2006, Tamam leeft nog voor zover ik weet. Zij zal het einde van de Nakba niet meer meemaken.

Tamam en Ismail hebben de verschrikkingen overleefd. Voor hun verhalen geen Hollywood kaskrakers, geen tranentrekkende bestsellers en geen musicals. Maar hun getuigenis blijft staan. Hun geschiedenis laat zien hoeveel moois en menselijks er is vernietigd en nog steeds vernietigd wordt in Palestina. Al die talenten, al die mensen die gewoon wilden leven, maar dat niet mochten van de bezetters. Meer dan ooit hebben de Palestijnen noodzaak aan een droom die hen draagt. Iets daarvan is te vinden in de kunst van hen die mochten overleven.

Written by altahrir

May 15, 2016 at 7:13 pm

Posted in Engelbert Luitsz

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What cost, Israel…

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By Jamal Kanj

Jamal Kanj

 

Much had been argued about the creation of Israel and the ensuing 1948 ethnic cleansing of non-Jewish Palestinians. Sadly however, most had become a desensitised academic debate. A lifeless abstract portrayal failing to depict what it really meant for one to be a refugee without a country.

On this 68th commemoration of the Nakba (or catastrophe), I wanted to show what it meant to one Palestinian refugee.

On May 15, 1948, Zionist Jews danced and firecrackers burst over the streets of New York celebrating the founding of Israel. About the same time, and on the other side of the world, Zionist terrorists’ mortar exploded in the middle of Jebal Al Luz (mountains of almonds) burning homes and forcing civilians to flee their village.

In the middle of the night, Abu Musa carried his physically disabled blind mother on his shoulders. His wife, Um Musa picked up their infant baby Musa and joined a throng of refugees escaping for their lives. Abu Musa’s family hid in a ditch on the outskirts of their village. The morning sun exposed the scattered refugees hiding in nearby bushes and under trees.

Sorties after sorties, Zionist planes strafed the area pushing the villagers further north towards Lebanon. Under heavy gun fire, panicking civilians ran in all directions. Abu Musa picked up his newborn son and ran for his life. Um Musa followed in his footsteps. Panting for air an hour later, Abu Musa realised he had left his blind mother behind.

Zionist forces continued to bomb from air and ground. Abu Musa attempted to go back, but all was in vain. The next day and during a lull in the Zionist terrorist bombardment, Abu Musa went looking for his mother. But she was nowhere to be found. He came across local villagers who returned to check on their properties. They told him they had just buried the remains of what had appeared to be an elderly woman. Her body ripped apart by animals.

“Was my mother eaten alive by wild animals? Or had she been murdered by Zionists?” Those questions haunted Abu Musa all his life. The loss of his country and mother were just the start of his lugubrious life until his death in the mid-1990s.

Abu Musa ended up settling in the same camp as my parents. In addition to baby Musa, he had three more children in the camp, two boys and a girl.

Musa, who had left Palestine as an infant, joined the revolution in the early 1970s and returned to Palestine. He was murdered by the Israeli army and was buried in an unmarked grave. Abu Musa, who did not see his mother’s corpse, was unable to see or bury his eldest son either.

A short time after losing Musa, Abu Musa became disabled. I made it a point to call on him whenever I visited the camp. It broke my heart during the last visit before his death as I watched him crawling out of the bathroom like a little baby. I knelt down and kissed him; he kissed me back and then asked, “Who are you, my son?”

Calamity was a continuum to this one refugee. In the early 1990s, his youngest son Kamal was murdered while he was on his way to school in Tripoli, Lebanon. He was butchered in the year he would have graduated from high school.

For Israel, Abu Musa and the other Palestinian refugees like my parents were dispensable nuisances. In a 1948 foreign ministry study, Israel predicted the refugees “… will waste away. Some will die but most will turn into human debris and social outcasts … in the Arab countries.”

To Israel’s chagrin, the grandchildren from Abu Musa’s surviving son and daughter did not turn to “human debris.” Sixty-eight years later, Abu Musa’s progenies are more determined to find and bury their great-grandmother’s remains, in their original village.

* Mr Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America. A version of this article was first published by the Gulf Daily News newspaper.

Written by altahrir

May 15, 2016 at 6:36 pm

Posted in Jamal Kanj

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THE NAKBA: THE PALESTINIAN CATASTROPHE OF 1948

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One of the most jarring and important events of recent Islamic history has been the Arab-Israeli Conflict. This conflict is multifaceted, complex, and is still one of the world’s most problematic issues in international relations. One aspect of this conflict is the refugee problem that began in 1948, with the creation of the State of Israel. Over 700,000 Palestinians became refugees that year, in what is known as the “Nakba”, which is Arabic for catastrophe. 

Background

In the 1800s, a new nationalistic movement was born in Europe. Zionism was a political movement advocating the creation of a Jewish state. Many Jews believed having their own state was necessary in the face of discrimination and oppression by Europeans that went back centuries. After debating where to create this new state should exist at the First Zionist Congress in 1897, the Zionist movement decided to aim at creating their state in Palestine, which was then part of the Ottoman Empire. The sultan-caliph of the Ottoman Empire, Abdülhamid II, refused, even in the face of a 150 million British pound payment proposed by Theodor Herzl, the founder of the Zionist movement, in exchange for ownership of Palestine.

The door would open for Zionism however, after the First World War. During the war, Britain conquered Palestine from the Ottomans in 1917. At around the same time, the British foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, issued a declaration to the Zionist movement promising British support for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine.

After the war, Palestine became a League of Nations mandate under British control in 1920. Since it was under British control, the Zionist movement heavily advocated the emigration of European Jews to Palestine. The result was an exponential rise in the number of Jews living in Palestine. According to British census data, in 1922, there were 83,790 Jews in Palestine. By 1931, it was 175,138. And by 1945, the number had jumped to 553,600 people. In 25 years, Jews had gone from 11% of the total population to 31%.

Naturally, the reaction from the Palestinian Arabs was less than enthusiastic. Tension between new Jewish settlers and native Palestinians erupted on numerous occasions.  Eventually, the British decided by the 1940s that they could no longer control the territory, and decided to end the mandate of Palestine and leave the country.

United Nations Plan and Israeli Independence

The left map shows the Jewish-majority areas in the Mandate of Palestine. The right map illustrates the UN Partition Plan.

The left map shows the Jewish-majority areas in the Mandate of Palestine. The right map illustrates the UN Partition Plan.

Seeing the coming end of British control over Palestine, and the inevitable conflict between the Arabs and the Jews that would follow, the newly-created United Nations took up the issue in 1947. It came up with a plan known as the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. In it, they advocated the creation of two states in what has historically been known as Palestine. One for Jews, known as Israel, and one for Arabs, Palestine.

While the Jews in Palestine accepted the plan with enthusiasm, the Arabs vehemently rejected it. In their view, it took away land that had been a historically Muslim Arab land since the Crusades and gave it to the new Jewish minority in the country. Tensions continued to rise between the two sides.

In the midst of this rising tension, Britain declared an end to the Mandate of Palestine, and withdrew from the country on May 14th, 1948. That day, the Zionist movement in Palestine declared the establishment of a new country, Israel. The following day, the neighboring Arab countries declared their rejection of the declaration and invaded Israel.

The result of the 1948 war was an enormous increase in the size of Israel. The resulting state was much larger than the state proposed by the United Nations, capturing approximately 50% of the proposed Arab state.

Expulsion of the Palestinians

Perhaps the largest human impact of the 1948 War was the expulsion of much of the Palestinian population. Within the borders of the new State of Israel, there had been close to 1,000,000 Palestinian Arabs before the war. By the end of the war in 1949, between 700,000 and 750,000 of them had been expelled. Only 150,000 remained in Israel.

Palestinian refugees in 1948

Palestinian refugees in 1948

Refugees are always an unfortunate side-effect of war. Throughout history, groups of people have always fled to escape fighting and conquest. What makes the Palestinian refugees of 1948 unique, however, is why they became refugees. Since this is still very much a real conflict today, many historians analyzing the causes of the Palestinian exodus are still heavily influenced by politics and international relations. Historians (including some Israeli historians) have however defined a few key reasons for the exodus:

Fear: Many Palestinians left because due to fear of Israeli attacks and atrocities. These fears were not unwarranted. On April 9th, 1948, about 120 Israeli fighters entered the Palestinian town of Deir Yassin, near Jerusalem. 600 villagers were killed. Some died defending the city in battle against Israeli forces, while others were killed by hand grenades thrown into their homes, or executed after being paraded through the streets of Jerusalem.

Naturally, once word of this massacre spread throughout Palestine, Palestinians feared the worst from the Israelis. In many cases, entire Palestinian villages fled Israeli advances, hoping to avoid the same fate as Deir Yassin. Some Israeli groups, such as Yishuv, accelerated this flight through psychological warfare intended to intimidate Palestinian towns into surrendering or fleeing. Radio broadcasts were aired in Arabic, warning Arab villagers that they could not stand up to Israeli advances, and resistance was futile.

Expulsion by Israeli Forces: While fear was the main motivating factor for refugees early in the war, as the war dragged on through 1948, deliberate Israeli expulsion became more common. As the Israelis conquered more and more territory, their forces became more thinly spread throughout the country. In order to maintain control over these areas, many newly-conquered villages were forcibly emptied by Israeli forces.

Notable examples of this were the cities of Lydda and Ramla, near Jerusalem. When they were conquered in July of 1948, Yitzhak Rabin signed an order expelling all Palestinians from the two towns, amounting to between 50,000 and 70,000 people. Israeli forces bused some of them to the Arab front lines, while others were forced to walk, only being allowed to take with them whatever they could carry. This expulsion alone accounted for about 10% of the total Palestinian expulsion in 1948.

Encouragement by Arab Forces: In some cases, the Arab armies from neighboring countries, particularly Jordan, encouraged Palestinian towns to evacuate. One possible reason for this was that to provide an open battlefield without civilians in the crossfire. In any case, many Palestinian civilians left their homes under direction from Arab armies, hoping to return soon after the inevitable Arab victory, only to become refugees in neighboring countries.

After the War

A Palestinian refugee camp in 1948 near Damascus, Syria.

A Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus, Syria in 1948

The 1948 Arab-Israeli War created a massive refugee problem in the Middle East. Over 500 towns and cities throughout Palestine were completely depopulated during this time. The 700,000+ refugees from these towns became an economic and social burden on neighboring countries and the West Bank, Palestinian land under Jordanian authority. In 1954, Israel passed the Prevention of Infiltration Law. It allowed the Israeli government to expel any Palestinians who managed to sneak back to their homes in what was now Israel. It also allowed the government to expel any internally displaced Palestinians still within Israel if they sought to return to their homes.

Today, the right of return is still a major problem that has yet to be solved by peace negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis. The forcible expulsion of Palestinians in 1948 proved to be a problem that continues even after the lives of the original refugees draw to a close in the 21st century.

 

(Source / 14.05.2016)

Written by altahrir

May 14, 2016 at 6:31 pm

UNRWA: 40,000 Palestinians in Gaza suffer from diabetes

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GAZA, (PIC)– 40,000 Palestinians in Gaza Strip suffer from diabetes, half of them are women, UNRWA said in a new report issued On the occasion of World Health Day. The Gaza Strip is an environment where malnutrition and infectious diseases can coexist with non-communicable health conditions such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes. Forced urbanization, over-crowding and the related psychosocial stress can aggravate these diseases, the report said. According to the UNRWA health programme in Gaza, in 2015, approximately 12.2 per cent of Palestine refugees aged 40 years or more were suffering from diabetes.  In total, the UNRWA health programme in Gaza reported 16,889 male and 23,118 female Palestine refugee diabetes patients in 2015. Through the provision of basic health care in its health centres, as well as regular awareness sessions for the community, UNRWA is working towards Sustainable Development Goal 3 – good health and well-being – which calls for the reduction of premature death from non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, by 30 per cent by 2030. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of people living with diabetes globally has almost quadrupled since 1980 to 422 million adults, with most living in developing countries.

(Source / 29.04.2016)

Written by altahrir

April 29, 2016 at 9:14 pm

Posted in Zorg / Health

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Israël executeert zwangere vrouw

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By Engelbert Luitsz                    ©                   (www.alexandrina.nl/?p=4426)

Maram_Ibrahim-e1461800901749

Het is betrekkelijk rustig in Israël de laatste weken. Als we tenminste alleen naar de extreme vormen van geweld kijken. Een bewusteloze Palestijnse man die op straat lag werd door zijn hoofd geschoten. De dader wordt door een deel van de Israëlische bevolking als een held vereerd. Er kwam een 12-jarig meisje vrij dat 75 dagen lang had vastgezeten in een Israëlische gevangenis. Ik ben niet op zoek gegaan naar een verslag van wat ze heeft meegemaakt, maar de lege blik in haar ogen zegt voldoende. Martelingen, ook van kinderen, en seksueel misbruik komen veel voor bij niet-joodse gevangenen.

gevangen_meisjeHet 12-jarige meisje Dima na haar vrijlating na 75 dagen in een Israëlische cel.

Een internationaal bekende Palestijnse astrofysicus werd opnieuw gearresteerd, om maar weer eens te laten zien dat men in Israël overal lak aan heeft. Een circusartiest, pedagoog en steun voor de getraumatiseerde Palestijnse kinderen zit nog steeds in hechtenis. Zonder aanklacht, zonder advocaat of proces.

En er werd een zwangere vrouw van 24, moeder van twee kinderen, met haar broer van 16 geëxecuteerd.

zwangere_moeder_vermoord_israel

Maram Salih Hassan Abu Ismail was op weg naar een ziekenhuis in Jeruzalem voor een test vanwege haar zwangerschap. Ze had een pasje ontvangen, want bewegingsvrijheid zit er niet in voor Palestijnen. Maar Maram was daar nieuw en liep op een weg waar ze niet behoorde te zijn volgens de bezetters. Bovendien sprak ze geen Hebreeuws, dus ze begreep niets van het geschreeuw van een paar soldaten. Ze werd daarop vanaf grote afstand neergeschoten. Toen haar broertje haar wilde helpen werd ook hij neergeschoten. Daarna kwamen de soldaten naderbij en vuurden volgens getuigen nog zo’n 15 kogels af op de twee hulpeloze mensen. Hier zullen de soldaten nog wel over berispt kunnen worden. Wanneer je iemand met kogels doorzeeft zijn de organen doorgaans niet meer verhandelbaar. De voorkeursprocedure is een schot door het hoofd, zodat de rest van het lichaam intact blijft. Maar wellicht waren dit beginnende fascisten die de executie als een oefening zagen.

377628C

Na de moorden werden er naar goed Israëlisch gebruik een paar messen neergelegd, waarmee de woordvoerder weer een passend verhaal kon maken. Dat er af en toe video’s opduiken die de leugens van de bezetter onderuit halen is geen belemmering om gewoon door te gaan met een beleid van liegen en bedriegen.

De arrogantie beperkt zich niet tot Palestina, ook in de Verenigde Staten en Engeland wordt iedereen die zich kritisch uitlaat over Israël belaagd en indien mogelijk uit zijn of haar functie gezet. En ook het plan van Frankrijk om opnieuw tot vredesbesprekingen te komen werd van de tafel geveegd. Maar ondertussen werd er wel weer meer geld geëist van de Amerikaanse belastingbetaler om precies die lobbygroepen in stand te houden die deze ellende mogelijk maken.

t-shirt israel twee voor de prijs van een

T-shirt van Israëlische sluipschutters met de opdruk “Twee voor de prijs van één”, met een afbeelding van een zwangere Palestijnse vrouw. Ze zijn er in ieder geval duidelijk over.

Er is al vaak gewaarschuwd voor het zionistische fascisme. De kiem van het ultra-nationalisme was al duidelijk geworden na het eerste Zionistische Congres in 1897, maar de ontwikkelingen in de 20e eeuw hebben het wezen van de beweging naar de achtergrond gedrongen, daarbij geholpen door een zeer efficiënte en machtige propagandamachine. Er is echter te weinig aandacht voor een simpel feit: wanneer iedereen het er uiteindelijk over eens is dat we hier met een vorm van fascisme te maken hebben is het veel te laat. Hoe langer er tijd wordt gerekt met semantische acrobatiek over wat termen als fascisme, Apartheid, bezetting, etnische zuivering, genocide, moord en oorlogsmisdaden precies betekenen, hoe kleiner de kans dat we nog kunnen terugkeren tot een menswaardige samenleving. Het menselijke vermogen tot het begaan van wreedheden is niet veranderd in de afgelopen duizenden jaren, de technologie van de dood echter wel.

Written by altahrir

April 29, 2016 at 9:10 pm

Posted in Engelbert Luitsz

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Gaza still clearing rubble from 2014 war

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A Palestinian schoolgirl walks past the remains of a house, destroyed during 2014 war, as she returns to her home in the northern Gaza Strip, Feb. 10, 2016

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — June 2016 is the deadline set by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with the Palestinian Ministry of Public Works and Housing, to complete the removal of the rubble from buildings destroyed in 2014 during the Israeli war on Gaza. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) estimates that 141,000 homes were completely or partially damaged, in addition to dozens of institutions, industrial installations and government buildings.

Mufeed al-Hasayneh, minister of public works and housing, told Al-Monitor that 97% of the rubble from the homes destroyed has been removed. The remaining rubble is from large buildings, such as the so-called Italian tower in the center of Gaza City, the Awda food factory in central Gaza and the Zu’rob Tower in Rafah.

Hasayneh said that the project would cost some $14 million. Of that amount, the United States has provided $10 million, and other donors, including Sweden, contributed $3.2 million.

Omran al-Kharroubi, manager of the UNDP’s Rubble and Debris Removal project, told Al-Monitor that an estimated 1.1 million tons of rubble have been removed to allocated areas east of Rafah, in southern Gaza, and to Johr al-Deek, east of Gaza City. The rubble collected will be recycled and reused for infrastructure projects.

“The crews that worked on the ground to remove the rubble have faced numerous obstacles during their work, including the presence of suspicious objects in buildings,” Kharroubi said. “International explosive specialists removed 3,000 suspicious objects, including unexploded ordnance.”

Kharroubi added, “Other obstacles we faced involved the removal equipment required. Israel has allowed the entry of only three pieces of equipment out of a large list, following a request submitted a year ago. This forced the workers to use old and dilapidated equipment, thus delaying the project’s completion.”

A project to recycle and reuse the rubble, also funded by the UNDP, has begun, Kharroubi said, with 150,000 tons of rubble thus far having been crushed.

Osama Kahil, head of the Palestinian Contractors Union, told Al-Monitor that 40 to 50 Palestinian construction companies are participating in the rubble removal under UNDP supervision. Kahil said that about a month ago the union sent a request to Israel to import spare parts and equipment for rubble removal and to erect new buildings, but so far they have not received an answer.

“Israel claims that equipment such as bulldozers and diggers has dual uses, meaning that it can be used to remove and build buildings in addition to building military tunnels into Israel by the Palestinian resistance,” said Kahil.

Mahmoud Jehjouh and Sons, a contracting and general trading firm, submitted a bid of $550,000 to remove some of the rubble in Gaza City. The company director, Maher Jehjouh, told Al-Monitor that the UNDP program trained about 60 of his workers before the project got underway.

“Our company was able to fully remove the rubble of about 150 houses in Gaza City,” said Jehjouh. “We removed thousands of tons of rubble. The UNDP requires that extracted cement blocks not exceed 50 x 50 centimeters so that they can be crushed and converted into usable materials. We were given seven months to finish the job, but we finished it in five.”

Baha al-Agha, general director of the Environmental Protection Department, told Al-Monitor that the project has several environmental benefits because it involves a lot of recycling. Agha explained that his department, in collaboration with the UNDP and the Energy Authority, inspect the rubble to make sure that it is free from radiation that can harm people and the environment.

It will take Gaza one and a half years, with international assistance, to remove all the rubble from the war. The question now is when the reconstruction process will be finished. The process is proceeding very slowly, with $5.4 billion in pledges still outstanding. Only 3,000 houses have been constructed, during the wait for financial assistance arrive and pressure on Israel to allow the entry of construction materials. Last year Oxfam estimated that at the current rate, Gaza’s reconstruction will take 100 years due to inadequate funding and ongoing siege.

(Source / 21.04.2016)

Written by altahrir

April 21, 2016 at 8:51 pm

Posted in Zorg / Health

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Palestinian hunger-striker’s health takes turn for worse

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AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– The health status of the Palestinian detainee Sami Janazra, 43, has remarkably deteriorated after 48 days of ongoing hunger strike in the Israeli Negev desert jail. Speaking in an exclusive statement to the PIC, Janazra’s wife expressed concern over his exacerbating health status. She added that her husband has started suffering frequent fainting after he fell off his bed in the prison cell and was taken to hospital.  The lawyer was informed that Janazra might be moved to hospital in the coming hours.  Prisoner Janazra, from al-Khalil, to the south of the occupied West Bank, spent seven years in Israeli jails in separate arrests before being detained administratively on November 15, 2015 which made him declare an open-ended hunger strike 48 days ago.

(Source / 21.04.2016)

Written by altahrir

April 21, 2016 at 10:18 am

Posted in Zorg / Health

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