U.N. Chief: Israeli occupation destroyed Palestinian life

GAZA, (PIC)–  The Israeli occupation destroyed Palestinian lives in the blockaded Gaza Strip, the United Nations Chief Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday.  “I am honored to be in Gaza once again,” said the U.N. Chief during a press conference in Gaza. “The Palestinians in Gaza have a very special place in my heart.” “I have personally witnessed the ravages of war and have been profoundly moved by the resilience and determination of the Palestinian people. They have stood up and rebuilt their lives in the face of staggering obstacles and hardships,” he added. “I just had the privilege of visiting a rehabilitation hospital generously donated by the government of Qatar. I thank all donors for their support in the reconstruction effort,” Ban Ki-moon stated. “But so much more needs to be done. We can help rebuild houses. But can we rebuild lives? Can we help those who have suffered the terror of war deal with the deep scars that violence leaves behind? Can we ensure that accountability is upheld and the victims of conflict feel a profound sense of justice?” the U.N. Chief wondered. “Can we create jobs and prosperity so that peace is sustainable?” “I know what it is to live as a displaced person on the move with no home, in fear for your life and your own future,” the statement further read. “I stand with the people of Gaza to say that the United Nations will always be with you,” he vowed. “They are enduring enormously difficult living conditions. The closure of Gaza suffocates its people, stifles its economy and impedes reconstruction efforts. It is a collective punishment for which there must be accountability,” said Ban Ki-moon as he slammed the tough Israeli siege on Gaza. “Today, some 70 percent of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance, and over half of Gaza’s youth have little to no job prospects or horizons of hope,” he added. In Ki-moon’s terms “this situation cannot continue” for “it feeds anger and despair” and “increases the danger of a new escalation of hostilities, which can only bring further suffering to the people of Gaza.” “We need to speak openly of the challenges and the unacceptable difficulties that the people of Gaza face; of the humiliation of the occupation and the closures, but also of the division between Gaza and the West Bank,” he added. “The United Nations will continue to work for a future without occupation and oppression; with dignity and democracy,” he further pledged.

(Source / 29.06.2016)

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Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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