Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, July 2013
Siege on Gaza Tightened After Egyptian Military Coup, Treatment of Palestinians Worsened, Infrastructure Projects Stopped
UFree calls for better treatment of Palestinians in Egypt
[ 12/07/2013 - 01:33 PM ]
UFree Network to Defend the Rights of Palestinian Political Prisoners and Detainees expressed deep concern over the Egyptian authorities' treatment of Palestinians since July 2 ,2013.
In a press release issued on Friday, UFree stressed the need to respect the right of freedom of movement provided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International covenants on civil and political rights.
In this regard, the Network strongly condemned arrest of Palestinians in Egypt illegally and the overuse of "deportation room" recently.
UFree documented dozens of detention cases in Cairo airport for more than five days in inhuman conditions. Palestinians are being held in rooms allocated for suspects and criminals without the most basic amenities. Large numbers of Palestinians were deliberately held in very small rooms suffering from food and medicines shortage.
A Palestinian journalist, who preferred to remain anonymous for security reasons, told UFree that he was detained with 15 Palestinians and 40 Egyptians crowded in a very small room for more than 10 hours, where they were treated as prisoners.
Palestinians who hold "permanent residence" were deported to other countries while the rest were detained amid fears of threats and assaults, the journalist added.
Among those detained in the "deportation room" at Cairo airport, two Palestinians managed to travel to Yemen, another was able to travel to Jordan, three Palestinians managed to travel to Tunisia, while the rest have declared an open hunger strike protesting their ill-treatment, he said.
The Egyptian authorities have banned the entry of any Palestinian to the Egyptian territories even those in possession of a valid visa. Hundreds of pilgrims are stuck in Saudi Arabia as the Egyptian authorities refused their return to the Gaza strip.
UFree Network called on Egyptian authorities to put an end to the deportation and detention policy against Palestinians especially that most of the detained travelers were on their way for treatment.
90% of infrastructure projects in Gaza stopped due to closure of crossings
[ 12/07/2013 - 02:17 PM ]
The Palestinian government in Gaza confirmed the suspension of works in 90 per cent of infrastructure projects, implemented by Gaza municipalities, due to the closure of the crossings.
Minister of Local Government in Gaza, Dr. Mohammed Al-Farra said in a press release on Thursday that these projects were stopped as a result of the current events and developments in Egypt and the closure of tunnels, as well as the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip since Hamas won the legislative elections.
He added that a large number of projects launched by the municipalities have been recently stopped for lack of raw materials after the closure of the tunnels, pointing out that these projects are funded by the State of Qatar, the Islamic Bank for Development and the UNRWA.
Dr. Al-Farra said his Ministry next week will announce all the projects which were stopped after the events in Egypt and the municipalities' losses caused by stopping the works in these projects that rely on materials smuggled from the tunnels.
He also pointed to the suspension of the work of a number of central and strategic projects due to the diesel crisis, stressing that the limited amount of diesel fuel that entered the Strip does not cover the needs.
The Palestinian official urged the international community to pressure on the Israeli occupation to open Gaza crossings and allow entry of building materials and fuel.
Al-Khudari: Gaza suffers economic suffocation
[ 12/07/2013 - 11:50 AM ]
MP Jamal Khudari, head of the Popular Committee against the Siege, said that Gaza suffers economic suffocation due to the ongoing Israeli siege imposed since 7 years on the strip.
Israel's siege of Gaza, including its land and sea blockade, bans the entry of certain goods to the strip and imposes severe restrictions on the freedom of movement.
MP Khudari stated on Thursday that the ongoing economic blockade prevents Gaza from exporting its goods, pointing out that Gaza is able to export crafts, foods, agricultural and wood products and other materials.
Unemployment, poverty and economic suffocation continue to rise in the strip in light the Israeli unjust siege that bans the entry of raw and construction materials into the Gaza Strip and restricts the entry of food, fuel, products, he explains.
Khudari stated that occupation controls Karem Abu Salem border crossing, therefore it restricts the movement of 1.7 million people in the strip.
He pointed out that the occupation closed all the commercial crossings except Karem Abu Salem crossing which is partly opened twice a week. The occupation authorities used to close it repeatedly under various pretexts.
He called for the lifting of the siege through opening the crossings, ending the ban list on exports and imports, re-building the Gaza international airport, and opening a safe passage between the West Bank and Gaza.
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