06 | 12 | 2019

The rate of unemployment in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) rose in 2018 to about 31% of the participants in the labor force compared to about 28% in 2017. In absolute terms, the number of unemployed individuals increased from 377,000 in 2017 to 426,000 in 2018, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) in an announcement made to mark International Workers’ Day.

In the last year alone, numerous events took place in Gaza, and in the region more broadly, that contributed to a significant deterioration in the economic and humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.

Israel tightened restrictions on movement and imposed punitive closures; reconciliation attempts between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority faltered, causing the PA to carry out further economic sanctions and withdraw staff from Kerem Shalom and Rafah crossings; the United States cut funding to UNRWA and USAID; and hundreds were killed and thousands injured by Israeli forces in the Great March of Return protests, straining an already depleted health sector.

A special, government-appointed task force dubbed the “Zandberg Committee” submitted its final report to the office of the Prime Minister in February of this year. The report is designed to provide the government with tools for retroactively authorizing (implementing “regularization”) for scores of Israeli outposts and neighborhoods built illegally over the years of occupation in the West Bank without official government approval.

The Palestinian People's Party announced its decision to participate in the new Palestinian government putting forward a memorandum including social and political issues.

According to the official website of the Palestinian People’s Party (PPP), the Secretary-General of the People's Party, Bassam Al-Salhi, said in a press statement last Wednesday, that the PPP selected Comrade Abu-Jaysh as PPP’s candidate for the ministry in the government. Regarding the ministerial position to be occupied by Abu Jaysh, Salehi said that the special arrangements for the formation of the government would be completed with the Prime Minister in accordance with the agreement made during the dialogue of government formation.

The establishment of a Palestinian State living in peace alongside Israel represents the solution long agreed by the international community to resolve one of the world’s oldest conflicts and most long-standing historical injustices.

President Donald Trump has now expressed his disagreement. So where does that leave this demand?

Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel commemorated the 44th Land Day on Saturday, March 30, a day they have been observing since that date in 1976 (the first Land Day), when Israeli security forces shot dead six young Arab men who were protesting the expropriation of Arab-owned land in northern Israel to build Jewish communities.

The World Federation of Trade Unions, representing more than 95 million workers in 130 countries on the five continents, honors the Palestinians Land Day, commemorated since March 30th 1976, when the Israeli police shot and killed six Palestinians who were protesting against the Israeli governments’ expropriation of thousands of acres of Palestinian land, while hundreds of other Palestinian protesters were injured.

An 18-year-old Palestinian search-and-rescue service volunteer died from wounds on Wednesday morning, March 27, after being shot a few hours earlier with live ammunition fired by Israeli military forces that entered a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

According to the Communist daily newspaper Al Ittihad, Sajed Abed al-Hakim Mizher died on Wednesday morning from wounds he sustained during predawn clashes with Israeli forces in the Dheisheh refugee camp in the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem. Palestinian medical sources confirmed the death of the young paramedic volunteer who was wearing his reflective vest when he was mortally shot.

The United Nations Humans Rights Council voted Friday, March 22, to adopt a report accusing Israel of war crimes for its handling of Palestinians protests on the border with Gaza Strip. Twenty-three countries voted to in favor of the measure, with nine opposing it. Another 14 countries abstained, while one was absent.

The World Federation of Trade Unions, on the behalf of its 95 million members in 130 countries on the five continents, is strongly opposing the fact that Greek private and public companies have expressed their interest in constructing and expanding the Israeli metro/tram Green Line, inside the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem.

The Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA), a coalition consisting of more than 80 international organizations working in the occupied Palestinian territory, has said that the transfer of a population, whether by force or not, violates international law, including the international humanitarian law.

AIDA’s remark was in reaction to Israeli government plans to evict the Palestinian Sabbagh family from its home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem in order to turn it over to Jewish settlers who claim ownership of the Sabbagh home.

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