As hundreds of legislators descend on Mexico City for the second GLOBE Summit, slated to run from Jun. 6-8, many rising nations are taking stock of their national policies in relation to climate change and global warming.
18 Sep 2013 | by Mohammed Omer | Themes ì | Armed Conflicts - Original Feature
Ibrahim Dahman would need to leave Gaza for surgical treatment, yet the Palestinian Authority denied his right to a passport.
He is only one of the tens of thousands of Palestinians that have been refused a passport for alleged “security reasons”.
Ibrahim believes the real reason lies in his political loyalties.
IPSTV Correspondent Mohammed Omer reports from Gaza
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Ibrahim Dahman shares the burden of being trapped inside the Gaza Strip with many others who live under Israeli occupation. His pain goes beyond lack of freedom of movement. He suffers from acute pain stemming from shrapnel embedded in his head during an Israeli airstrike. He would need to leave Gaza in order to seek surgical treatment. Yet, he has been denied his right to a passport by the Palestinian Authority for “security reasons”. But Ibrahim believes the real reason lies in his political loyalties.
Ibrahim Dahman, Gaza national: “I was hit by Israeli shelling, directly and need medical care abroad… I received a phone call from Palestinian intelligence in Ramallah stating never dream of receiving a passport… I am now sending a message to President Abu Mazen, that I am a Palestinian national, my mom is Palestinian, my father is Palestinian, my grandfather is Palestinian and we are originally Canaanites. If we were not Palestinians, say Somalis, we’d send it to Somalia to apply for a Somali passport or Eritrean passport”.
Ibrahim is only one of the tens of thousands of Palestinians that are denied a passport for alleged security reasons. Following the 2007 fighting between Hamas and Fatah, passports for Gazans started to be issued by the Palestinain Authority. Since then, a local service office prepares the file which must then be sent to Ramallah for final approval. The owner of a public service office, explains how the procedure works:
“The middle office has direct contact with the Ministry of Interior in Ramallah. In most cases, the justifications are related to security and you can’t interfere with those reasons for denying passport applications”.
Students looking for higher education (pause), sick people in need of medical care (pause) and those looking for work abroad (pause) – all are affected, not just due to a blanket Israeli closure policy but also PA’s discriminatory practices based on political affiliations. Internal political squabbling in a nation under occupation has meant that their futures and sometimes even their survival remain in limbo.
Wissam Alramalwi, Gaza Interior Ministry: “According to statistics from the Ministry of Interior, it is estimated around 20,000 people have been denied passports, including students who missed opportunities because they do not have one and sick people who have died as a result of the ban or security denial”.
Human rights groups are exploring the possibility of litigation against the Palestinian Authority for violating basic legal rights of Gazans.
Human Rights lawyer Samir Zaqout: “This restriction or ban form a dangerous violation of the law, and I believe this requires the need to prosecute whoever deprives citizens of their right to a passport, as this is a crime in violation of Palestinian law itself.”
Despite official withdrawal of Israeli forces in 2005, Gaza continues to be under a siege with economic, political and humanitarian repercussions . Aside from the closure policies of Israel, Gazans also lack basic constitutional rights to have a passport and mobility, not for tourist or entertainment purposes, but for vital access to education, health care and employment.
Divisive politics in the Palestinian territories has worsened living conditions for Gazans already living in an open prison.
19 Jul 2013 | by Mohammed Omer | Civil Society - Original Feature
After years of Israel’s siege, Palestinians in Gaza find themselves in an ever-increasing struggle for one of life’s most basic necessities: water.
For people like Umm Ghassan – as she explains to IPSTV – the situation is getting more desperate by the day.
With 90-95 percent of the territory’s only aquifer contaminated by sewage, chemicals and seawater, Gaza is heading inexorably into a water crisis that the United Nations says could make the Strip unlivable by 2020.
18 Nov 2013 | by Mohammed Omer | Civil Society - Original Feature
Like any graduate, Jehad and Nasser await their diplomas to formally enter the employment market. But like many other university students living in the #Gaza Strip, they are unable to pay their tuition fees.
No matter how difficult for students, universities insist they pay the full cost of tuition before issuing their certificates. For many students in poverty-stricken Gaza Strip, this is just unfeasible. But no certificate means no options for better employment or employment at all.
IPSTV Correspondent Mohammed Omer reports from Gaza.