Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Palestinians occupy ICRC offices in support of hunger striker

JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Up to 80 Palestinian activists on Monday evening occupied the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross in occupied East Jerusalem to express solidarity with a Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike more than 50 days. The Palestinian youths were reported to have set up tents and raised Palestinian flags and posters inside the offices in East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Activist Muhammad al-Shalabi said that around 80 Palestinians had declared an open sit-in that will last until Israel ends the administrative detention of hunger striker Muhammad Allan.

Allan, who has been held without trial or charge since November, has been on hunger strike for at least 56 days, although the exact length is unclear.

On Monday, he was transferred to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, where it is feared Israeli doctors intend to force feed him. more

Gazans plan new round of protests against UNRWA cuts

Palestinian factions together with committees representing UNRWA employees on Monday agreed to ramp up protests against the embattled UN agency for Palestinian refugees, an official with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine said.

Mahmoud Khalaf said that factions had agreed to stage a rally next Monday in front of the UNRWA headquarters in Gaza City, as well as a number of sit-in protests outside UNRWA offices and UNRWA-run schools in refugee camps across the Gaza Strip.

Khalaf described ongoing cuts to UNRWA's services as "unjust," and claimed that they were part of a plot to undermine the Palestinian refugees' right of return to land inside Israel from which they were expelled in 1948.

He said that "the alleged financial crisis in UNRWA" had been made up as a pretext to shut down the UN agency and forego the refugees' right of return.

UNRWA was established in 1948 to provide relief to more than 700,000 Palestinians who were violently expelled from what became the state of Israel. more