Palestinian-Portuguese Parliamentary Friendship Groups

IMG_9462
Exchange of presents between MP Mr. Bruno Dias and MP Mr. Bassam Al-Salhi members of the Palestinian-Portuguese Parliamentary Friendship Groups.

The Palestinian Parliamentary Friendship with Portugal Group  was received by the The Portuguese Parliamentary Friendship with Palestine Group between the 28th and the 29th of May 2014.

The Portuguese-Palestinian Parliamentary Friendship Group was established late 2014, chaired by MP Mr. Bruno Dias. Reciprocally a similar Palestinian Parliamentary (legislative council) Friendship Group was established and chaired by MP Mr.Azzam Al-Ahmad.

Statement by Palestine Football Association Head Gen. Jibril Rajoub

The head of the Palestine Football Association General Jibril Rajoub left for Switzerland in order to attend the 65th FIFA Congress. Before departing he said “we are going to Zurich in order to protect Palestinian footballers and to fulfill our rights according to the FIFA Statutes. Nobody should be treated as an association above the law.”

“Our asks are clear, just and fair: Freedom of movement, end of racism and expulsion of all teams from illegal Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestine competing in the Israeli league.” Gen. Rajoub added: “Our asks are in accordance with the obligations and rights of the FIFA , and if they are not met, we will push for our resolution to be voted in the FIFA congress to suspend the Israeli Football Association. This is not a situation that we have invented but rather one that the Israeli Football Association has created.”

For more information on the Palestinian motion, please see the following link: http://pfa.ps/index.php/news/et7ad-news/1969-questions-answers-palestine-football-association-s-initiative-65th-fifa-congress-zurich-28-29-2015.html

Questions & Answers Palestine Football Association’s Initiative 65th FIFA Congress (Zurich 28 – 29, 2015)

On May 28th, a resolution presented by the Palestine Football Association (PFA) will be discussed at the 65th FIFA Congress. It proposes to suspend the Israeli Football Association (IFA) for its failure to honor its obligations under FIFA Statutes. Unfortunately the Israeli Association, and its complicity with the policies of its government, left no alternative but to submit the above mentioned proposal.

This fact sheet explains main positions and goals regarding this move.

·        Is this the first time that PFA asks FIFA to take action regarding Israeli violations and restrictions imposed upon Palestinian football?

No. After years of written complaints, PFA raised the issue at the 63rd FIFA Congress in Mauritius (2013) and at the 64th Congress of Sao Paulo, Brazil (2014). During both congresses PFA accepted a compromise to its position to suspend Israel in exchange of solutions presented by FIFA in order to facilitate the practice of football in Palestine.

·        What were the solutions presented by FIFA? Did it change the situation on the ground?

 In Mauritius it was agreed to have a bilateral mechanism between PFA and IFA, which did not produce any permanent or consistent results.

In Brazil PFA accepted a FIFA proposal to call upon the Israeli authorities to establish a mediation mechanism under FIFA’s leadership. This also failed, resulting in the resignation of the FIFA mediator (head of the Cypriot Association) after only six months due to the intransigence of the Israeli officials.

·        What is PFA’s position against IFA violations?

 1)     The Israel Football Association continues to assume, defend and justify the position of the Israeli government and occupation forces in their daily violations against the rights of Palestinian football. This is a violation of article 17-1 of FIFA statutes which clearly states that “each member shall manage its affairs independently and with no influence from third parties.”

2)     The IFA continues to organize football official activities in areas under the jurisdiction of the Palestine Football Association. This is a violation of international law and of articles 10-1, 13-1/I and 17-1 of the FIFA statutes.

3)     IFA has not tackled the issue of discrimination and racism. It has allowed Beitar Jerusalem to continue its racist stands and the presence of incitement and hate-speech against Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims. The team refuses to hire Arabs or Palestinians, despite constituting 20% of Israel’s population. Supporters of the team chant “Beitar forever pure.” Only last week, IFA refused to deduct two points from Beitar Jerusalem after its fan’s incitement against a Palestinian football player in the Israeli league.

·        Is the PFA proposal mixing politics with sports?

No. PFA’s proposal is fully based in the rights and obligations that all member associations have under the FIFA statutes. Our proposal aims at taking concrete action, as stipulated by the FIFA statutes, against an Association (IFA) which is directly involved in violations of the FIFA statutes that directly affect the lives and development of football in Palestine. Acting on the same grounds FIFA suspended South Africa and Yugoslavia in 1962 and 1992 respectively. 

·        Is the FIFA Congress the appropriate venue to discuss the suspension of a member?

Yes. When a FIFA member is in violation of FIFA Statutes, particularly when it comes to accusations of being involved in racism, the Congress is the right place to discuss a suspension. In this case, the stipulated sanctions for an association involved in racism are either suspension or expulsion. The PFA is simply asking for IFA’s suspension due to its failure to meet its obligations under the FIFA Statutes.

·        The Israeli Football Association isn’t responsible for the activities of the Israeli Military in Occupied Palestine. Why is the PFA asking to suspend them?

The IFA has been acting as a tool of the Israeli occupation. While it is true that they haven’t ordered the killing, injuries and/or arrests of PFA members, or the storming of PFA stadiums and football association, they have never condemned such actions. In fact, they have justified the military actions in Palestine.

Meanwhile, IFA has accepted five teams that play in the territory of Palestine, an area that is the sole responsibility of PFA. The presence of those teams is an attempt to legitimize the illegal Israeli colonization of Occupied Palestine, a war crime under international law. The decision to keep those teams in the Israeli league is the sole responsibility of the Israeli Association.

·        Are Israeli violations documented?

Yes. PFA has a long list of ongoing Israeli violations, including limitations of movement within the West Bank, between the West Bank and Gaza, between East Jerusalem and the rest of Palestine as well as between Palestine and the rest of the world. It also includes issuance of permits for foreign delegations based on arbitrary decisions (teams that are allowed in but their coaches excluded, part of the team or even permits raised for referees), humiliating treatment at border crossings for PFA and international football officials, violent acts by Israeli Occupation Forces and racism in Israeli football matches. The presence of federated teams representing illegal Israeli settlements is also documented. FIFA has been informed of all Israeli violations.

·        What is the Palestine Football Association requesting?

PFA wants to exercise its full rights and obligations under the FIFA Statutes. This includes:

1)     IFA or Israeli authorities recognizing PFA as the sole governing body responsible for organizing and supervising football in all of the internationally recognized territory of Palestine (Article 10-1 of the FIFA Statutes).

2)     To ban all football teams from illegal Israeli settlements from participating in competitions organized by IFA; and

3)     For Israel to fully recognize that the Palestine Football Association enjoys the right of movement of football people and goods into, out of, and within Palestine including East Jerusalem; the right to develop football infrastructure in all the territory of Palestine including East Jerusalem; as well as the right to import and export sport goods in and out of Palestine.

At the same time, PFA calls upon FIFA to ensure that racism is unacceptable in the Israeli league, especially ongoing incitement and hate-speech against Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims, which so far has not been a zero tolerance issue for FIFA.   

Israeli Forces Delay Palestinian National Football Team

IMG_3883 (1)On May 21, 2015, Israeli Forces delayed the Palestinian National Football Team at the Allenby/Al Karamah Crossing, the only international border for Palestinians living in the Occupied West Bank. The national team was on its route to Tunisia as part of their preparation for its upcoming official matches.

This new Israeli violation occurred less than 24 hours after Mr. Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA, left Israel and Palestine, having received a commitment from Israeli PM Mr. Netanyahu about facilitating the travel of Palestinian athletes. The Israeli Football Association, as usual when Palestinian athletes are harassed by Israeli Forces, haven’t issued any condemnation.

Below is the letter sent by the head of the Palestine Football Association Gen. Jibril Rajoub to FIFA President Mr. Sepp Blatter on this new Israeli violation against Palestinian sports.

Mr. Joseph Blatter
President
Fédération Internationale de Football Association
Subject: VIP escort for Palestinian Footballers on the border

Dear President,
Dear Brother

I hope you had the time to rest after your trip to our region and the busy schedule of meetings with both the Palestinian and Israeli sides.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the Israeli Government’s promise to facilitate the movement of our players is having its first test as I am writing this letter. Our National team, which is heading for Tunisia for a training camp, has been delayed at the Allenby crossing point by the Israeli authorities.

Player Sameh Maraabah has been detained by the Israeli authorities for two hours now, and the team has decided it will not leave without him.

The implications of this incident can only confirm the PFA’s position on the promises given by the Israeli Government; that they are only words unless they are included in solution that can only come through, and be guaranteed by the FIFA congress.

Sincerely Yours
Jibril Rajoub
President
Palestine Football Association

Israeli football cannot continue as a vehicle to legitimise racism

Op-Ed by the head of the Palestine Football Association (PFA) Gen. Jibril Rajoub published on May 19, 2015 in The Guardian.

Just over a year ago, the world watched as AC Milan footballer Mario Balotelli shed tears during a match, following repeated racist insults. The photographs were published by newspapers worldwide and Fifa was caught between club rivalry and race relations. Balotelli’s experience, however, sparked Fifa into delving deeper into sanctions regarding racism in football – but even such willingness to tackle one of the core issues facing Fifa today has been exclusionary in and of itself.
Not long ago, Fifa president Sepp Blatter – who is on a visit to Israel/Palestine today and tomorrow – called for tougher sanctions in regard to racism within football. “We have to use our rules to suspend teams, to take away their points or even to relegate them if racism continues,” he said. He added that individual sanctions weren’t enough – that it is necessary to ban football clubs in violation of racism and discrimination from competitions altogether, as a way to ensure their adherence to Fifa standards.
We need actions in order to foster what football should be: a vehicle of peace, not a tool to whitewash occupation
One Fifa statute specifically comes to mind: “Discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.”
While Israel continues to participate in Fifa matches internationally with impunity, Palestinian football players have been shot and arrested, our football association raided by Israeli army forces, our clubs more often than not forbidden from bringing players, coaches or even materials from abroad, just as the restriction of movement imposed on our players and technical staff, within, from and to Palestine have turned the game into a real act of resistance.
Participation of a Palestinian or Muslim during a match against Beitar Jerusalem has been met with chants of “Death to Arabs” from the stands, the crowd encouraged by the failure of the IFA to properly sanction the club for its fans’ behaviour. This failure has enabled Beitar to remain a sanctuary for racism in Israel. Its fans raise banners such as “Beitar forever pure” against the hiring of any Arab players (20% of Israel’s citizens are Palestinians), and beat up Palestinians, including women and children, with neither the Israel FA or Uefa taking adequate steps to end racism in the Israeli league. On the contrary, Uefa rewarded Israel with the U21 European championship– a move Palestinians believe is a political tool to whitewash the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
If Fifa is willing to follow its own norms, there can be no question that Palestinians have the right to play. When the Israel FA could no longer exclude us from joining Fifa, they simply continued their policy to fully align with their government’s position against the right of the Palestinian people of self-determination. “[T]he Palestine Football Association must operate through the formal channels of the state of Israel,” a letter from the Israel FA to Fifa stated in 2013. Palestine’s response: “Each member shall manage its affairs independently and with no influence from third parties [article 17-1, Fifa statute].”
The Israel FA not only remains silent when attacks against Palestinian sports are committed, but is complicit with the occupation, having accepted five teams from Israeli settlements internationally recognised as illegal under international law. This is also illegal under the Fifa charter, though Israel continues to be treated differently.
We don’t need any more promises, committees or postponements that only serve to prolong our footballers’ suffering. We need actions in order to foster what football should be: a vehicle of peace, not a tool to whitewash occupation and apartheid.
As head of the Palestine FA, I have faced my share of restrictions and attacks at the hands of Israel, the settler-colonial occupying power determined to strip Palestinians of even our basic right to play. Everyone involved knows full well that, despite everything, we have been willing to resolve this issue without having to go to Fifa’s general assembly. We have asked other confederations to interfere just as we gave a chance to the Israeli federation to solve the matter bilaterally, but nothing was solved. The Israeli federation has chosen to be a vehicle to legitimise racism and colonisation rather than one representing Fifa values.

In response to President Blatter’s recent remarks to the Confederation of African Football Congress, we ask Fifa to act accordingly by suspending Israel’s membership from Fifa until it respects the values and principles that Fifa promotes and stands for.

Link to the article: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/19/israeli-football-cannot-continue-vehicle-legitimise-racism

Foreign Ministry: Treaty with Vatican Step in Interest of Peace and Stability

Palestinian Foreign Ministry hailed Wednesday the treaty that would be signed with Vatican, which would include recognition of the State of Palestine as a step that is in the interest of peace and stability.

The conclusion of the first treaty on the relation between the State of Palestine and the Holy See is a step that serves the interest of peace and stability, reinforces peaceful coexistence and builds bridges among different cultures, civilizations and religions,” stated the Foreign Ministry in a press release.

The Foreign Ministry affirmed that the conclusion of this treaty comes as the result of the development of historical relations between the State of Palestine and the Holy See and that it affirms Palestine’s status as the birthplace of the divine religions.

The Vatican announced in  a press statement reported by AP that it has concluded the first treaty that formally recognizes the State of Palestine and that the text of the treaty will be signed officially ‘in the near future’.

The treaty “aims to enhance the life and activities of the Catholic Church and its recognition at the judicial level,’ Vatican’s Deputy Foreign Minister Monsignor Antoine Camilleri was quoted in AP as saying.

Palestinian Ambassador to the Holy See ‘Issa Kassissieh confirmed that the deal tackles political relations between Palestine and the Holy See and includes general principles about the Catholic Church’s status and rights in Palestine.

Member of PLO Executive Committee Hanna ‘Amira noted the  Vatican’s recognition of the State of Palestine would have “great impact on the humanitarian and political levels” and affirm the expanding solidarity with the Palestinian people.

PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi welcomed the Vatican’s recognition of the State of Palestine as a genuine contribution to peace and justice.

The significance of this recognition goes beyond the political and legal into the symbolic and moral domains and sends a message to all people of conscience that the Palestinian people deserve the right to self-determination, formal recognition, freedom, and statehood,” Ashrawi said.

Ashrawi added that the move gains an added significance in the context of the imminent canonization of the two 19th century Palestinian nuns, Sister Marie Alphonsine Ghattas from Jerusalem and Sister Mariam Bawardy from Ibilin village in the Galilee, by His Holiness Pope Francis on May 17.

It added that the move points to the long-standing relationship between the Vatican and the Palestinians and is an affirmation of Palestinian identity, culture and narrative in Palestine as the Holy Land.

We are extremely encouraged and appreciative of this courageous and moral stand, and it is our hope that those countries that have not yet recognized Palestine will do so in the immediate future,” the statement concluded.

While it will be the first time the Roman Catholic Church has signed a treaty with the State of Palestine, the Vatican has recognized the state since February 2013.”

According to NY Times, ‘Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it was “disappointed” by the Vatican’s decision and that the recognition would “not advance the peace process.”

This move does not promote the peace process and distances the Palestinian leadership from returning to direct and bilateral negotiations,” the ministry said in a text message received by the Associated Press. “Israel will study the agreement and will consider its steps accordingly,” reported the Guardian on its website.

Source>

The Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe)

Issued by the Diplomatic Mission of Palestine in Portugal

 Annually and for the past 67 years, the Palestinians commemorate, the 15th of May, the most calamitous day in their contemporary history.  In 1948, the Jewish Zionists widened their territorial control by using all kinds of force and massacres on every front and in the end commanded 78%, instead of the 56% allotted to them by the United Nations’ partition plan of Historic Palestine (Resolution 181).

In the same short period approximately 800,000 Palestinians were forced to leave their homes , at the hands of Zionist gangs, and thus found themselves until this date, homeless and stateless refugees, inside and outside Palestine. Meanwhile, the Zionist gangs wiped more than 531 of the Palestinian villages off the face of earth purposefully to make way for an expanded Jewish state in Historic Palestine.  Palestinian and Israeli historians, of them the Jewish historian Illan Pappe, now approve, the Zionist gangs conducted a campaign of terror and atrocities including massacres against the Palestinians; the indigenous population of Palestine.

The protection of human lives and the civilian infrastructure at times of war and under occupation are the core principles of the International Law and its bolsters; the International Humanitarian Law and the four Geneva Conventions. In contrast, the Palestinian civilian population has never received such protection, and were mercilessly slaughtered and maimed indiscriminately by the Israeli occupying forces, in their regular military assaults and incursions launched in densely populated Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Israel, the occupying power has so far left no safe place for any civilian anywhere in Palestine particularly in Gaza.

 In 1988, Palestine unilaterally recognized Israel over 78% of Historic Palestine. Ironically, Israel the occupying power, met this historic Palestinian compromise with the creation and expansion of illegal settlements on Palestinian territory, as well as systematic violations of international law.

On the other hand   the international community continued failure to demand justice and accountability has provided tacit impunity to Israel in all of its violations in a manner that makes the Nakba an ongoing process.

Hikmat Ajjuri, the Palestinian Ambassador to Portugal says: “The Israelis succeeded in wiping off our villages but failed to do so with our memory.” DR. Ajjuri added by saying: “The only assurance that the Palestinian catastrophe becomes a frozen moments in history, exactly as the Jewish holocaust has become frozen moment in history, is by achieving peace based on justice and mutual respect by granting the Palestinians their inalienable right for self-determination and to celebrate their independence as their Israeli neighbours do”.

 

Special Statistical Bulletin On the 67th Anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba

By: Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics

The Nakba: historical Facts
Nakba literally means a natural disaster such as an earthquake, volcano, or hurricane. However, the Nakba in Palestine is a process of destroying unarmed indigenous nation to replace it by another ‘grouped-up ‘ nation.

In 1948, 1.4 million Palestinians lived in 1,300 Palestinian towns and villages spreading over all of historic Palestine. More than 800 thousand of them were forcibly displaced from their original towns and cities into the West Bank and Gaza Strip, neighboring Arab countries, and other countries of the world. Along with the displaced, some thousands remained in their hometowns in the so-called ‘1948 areas’. Documentary evidence shows that the Zionist troupes laid hand on 774 towns and villages and destroyed 531 Palestinian towns and villages during the Nakba. The atrocities of Israeli Zionist forces also included over 70 massacres in which 15 thousand Palestinians were killed.

The Demographic Reality: Palestinian population has increased about 9-fold since the Nakba
The estimated of Palestinian population in the world totaled 12.1 million by the end of 2014. This indicates that the number of Palestinians worldwide has multiplied 8.6-fold in the 67 years since the Nakba. According to statistics, the total number of Palestinians living in historic Palestine (between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean) by the end of 2014 was 6.1 million and this number is expected to rise to 7.1 million by the end of 2020 based on current growth rates.

Statistical data ·also show that refugees constitute 43.1% of the total Palestinian population in State of Palestine. UNRWA records showed that there were 5.49 million Palestinian refugees registered in mid- 2014. Around 29.0% of Palestinian registered refugees live in 58 refugee camps, of which 10 are in Jordan, 9 in Syria, 12 in Lebanon, 19 in the West Bank, and 8 in Gaza Strip.

These estimates represent the minimum number of Palestinian refugees, given the presence of non­ registered refugees. These estimates also do not include Palestinians who were displaced between 1949 and the 1967 war, according to the UNRWA definition, and do not include the non-refugees who left or were forced to leave in the aftermath of the war in 1967. The number of Palestinians who remained in their homeland in the 1948 territory after the Nakba was estimated at 154 thousand persons, now in 2014 estimated to be 1.5 million on the 67th anniversary of the Nakba. In the 1948 territories, the sex ratio is 102.2 males per 100 females, while 35.4% of the population are below 15 years of age and 4.3% are aged 65 years and over, based on available statistics relating to Palestinians living in Israel in 2013. This illustrates that the composition of the Palestinian population in the 1948 territory is young, as it is in Palestinian society as a whole.

The number of Palestinians in State of Palestine was estimated at 4.6 million at the end of 2014 : 2.8 million in the West Bank and 1.8 million in Gaza Strip. The number of Palestinians in Jerusalem governorate at the end of 2014 was around 415 thousand, of whom 62.1% live in the areas of Jerusalem illegally annexed by Israel in 1967 (Jl). The fertility rate in Palestine is high, compared to other countries. The total fertility rate in the period 2011-2013 was 4.1 births (3.7 births in the West Bank and 4.5 births in Gaza Strip).

Population Density: Gaza Strip the most crowded place in the world
The population density in State of Palestine at the end of 2014 was 767 individuals per square kilometer (km2 : 500 individuals/km2 in the West Bank and 4,904 individuals/km2 in Gaza Strip. In
Israel, the population density of Arabs and Jews in 2014 was 383 individuals/km2.

Settlements:Most settlers live in Jerusalem as part of Israeli Judaization policy
There were 409 Israeli settlements and military bases in the West Bank at the end of 2013 and the number settlers was around 580,801 at the end of the same year. Most settlements are located in the Jerusalem govemorate. According to data, about 281,684 (48.5%) settlers live in Jerusalem govemorate, of whom 206,705 live in Jerusalem (Jl). The ratio of settlers to Palestinians in the West Bank is 21 settlers per 100 Palestinians compared to 69 settlers per 100 Palestinians in Jerusalem govemorate.

Israeli Settlers Use More Than 50 Million m3 of Water from the Palestinians Water to Cultivate the Land Seized by the Israeli Occupation

Data from the Ministry of Planning on the national strategic framework for the development of policies and interventions in the Area C, based on World Bank report indicates that the total cultivated area in Israeli settlements in the West Bank during 2013 was about 100 km2. The majority of the land is irrigated using more than 50 million m3 of the Palestinians ground water. Irrigated areas cultivated by
Palestinians 2011, are about 78 km2•

Historical Palestine: Israel controls more than 85% of its land
The area of the historical land of Palestine totals about 27,000 km2. Jews exploit more than 85% of the total area of land. Palestinian comprise 48% of the total population in historical Palestine and exploit less than 15% of the land. A Palestinian therefore has less than one fifth of the area available to an Israeli.

Water crisis in Palestine
The situation of water in Palestine differs from other countries in terms of water shortage and the limited water sources that include only the groundwater and surface water. The amount of groundwater pumped in Palestine in 2013 was 262.9 MCM and the water discharged from Palestinian springs was 39.5 MCM in the West Bank for the same year.

The amount of water obtained for Palestinians from groundwater aquifers is estimated at only 15%, while 85% is drawn by Israel. To cover the shortage the Palestinians are forced to purchase water from Israeli Water Company “Mekorot” _ at quantities totaling 63.3 MCM in 2013.

The daily allocation per capita from consumed water for domestic use in 2013: 78.8 Litter/capita/day (1/c/d) in the West Bank and 91.3 1/c/d in Gaza Strip. However, 95% of drinking water in Gaza Strip doesn’t meet WHO standards and is also less than the minimum quantities recommended by WHO (100 1/c/d).

Martyrs: Continuous efforts to build a state
The number of martyrs killed in the al Aqsa Intifada between September 29, 2000 and December 31, 2014 was 10,062. The highest toll was in 2014 with 2,240 Palestinian martyrs, followed by 2009 with 1,219 martyrs. In addition, 306 martyrs, were killed during 2012, 15 of them from the West Bank, and

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291 from Gaza Strip; 189 of them were killed during the Israeli attack on Gaza Strip in November 2012, and 56 martyrs, were killed during 2013, 42 of them from the West Bank, and 14 from Gaza Strip.

Detainees
Data from the Palestinian Commission of Detainees and Ex-detainees show that Israel has arrested more than 850 thousand Palestinians since i 967: more than 85 thousand were arrested since the A1- Aqsa Intifada. Know there are around 6,500 Palestinians in detention. Of these, 24 detainees are female, 200 are children, about 500 Palestinians are held under administrative detention (without trial) and 480 detainees are serving life sentences. Israel arrested 6,059 detainees during 2014. Since 1967, 206 Palestinians have died in Israeli jail s as a result of torture, denial of health treatment or deliberate killing

Health
Statistics for 20 13 showed that the number of physicians per 1,000 population registered in the Physicians’ Union in the West Bank was 1.3 and 2.1 in Gaza Strip. In addition, there were 2.1 nurses per 1,000 population in the West Bank and 4.5 nurses per 1000 population in Gaza Strip in 2013. There were 80 hospitals in Palestine in 2012: 50 hospitals in the West Bank and 30 in Gaza Strip. These included 25 governmental hospitals, 34 non-governmental, 17 private and 3 hospitals run by military
institutions, and one run by UNRWA. There were 5,619 hospital beds: 1.3 beds per 1,000 population
and allocated as 3,263 beds in the West Bank and 2,356 in Gaza Strip. There were 622 primary health care centers in the West Bank in 2013 and 137 centers in the Gaza Strip.

Jerusalem; Systematically Judaizing
The Israeli occupation authorities don’t only demolish Palestinian houses but also hinder the issuance of any building licen es for Palestinians in Jerusalem and its boundaries.

According to Al-Maqdisi Institute, between 2000 and 20 14, the Israeli authorities demolished 1,342 Palestinian buildings in East Jerusalem (the areas annexed by Israel in 1967). This has resulted in the displacement of 5,760 people.

Data show an increase in the cases of residents forced to demolish their own houses: 340 people were forced to demolish their own homes during the period between 2000 and 2014, the highest rate of which was recorded in 2010 with 70 demolitions and 49 in 2009.

Thousands of buildings were destroyed during the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip in 2014 Data indicate that the number of completely destroyed housing units during the Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip in summer 2014 was about 9 thousand units. Moreover, 47 thousand housing units suffered partial destruction. Furthermorer , 327 schools were completely destroyed, 50% of which served double shifts. In addition, six universities were partially destroyed. Holy places didn’t survive the attack either with the destruction of 71 mosques and some churches. 20 government buildings were completely destroyed, in addition to the damage caused to 29 hospitals and primary health care centers.

Labor Market 2014
The labor force participation rate in Palestine in 2014 was 45.8%: 45.7% among refugees and 45.8% among non-refugees. The participation rate in the West Bank was 46.6% (47.6% among refugees and 46.2% among non-refugees) compared with 44.4% in Gaza Strip for both refugees and non-refugees. The unemployment rate in Palestine was 26.9% (33.7% among refugees and 22.3% among non­ refugees). The unemployment rate in the West Bank was 17.7% (19.3% among refugees and 17.1%

among non-refugees) compared with 43.9% in Gaza Strip (44.0% among refugees and 43.5% among non-refugees).

Education
According to the primary results of the Education data the 20 14/2015 scholastic year, there were 2,843 schools in Palestine: 2, 145 in the West Bank and 698 in Gaza Strip. Their distribution according to the supervisory authority was follows: 2,096 governmental schools, 349 lJNRWA schools and 398 private schools. The total number of students in these schools exceeded 1.177 million, of whom 586 thousand were male and 591 thousand female. There were 778 thousand students enrolled in governmental schools, 290 thousand enrolled in UNRWA schools, and 109 thousand enrolled in private schools.

The illiteracy rate among Palestinians aged 15 years and above was 3.6% in 2014, distributed as 1.6% of males and 5.6% of females. It was 3.3% among refugees and 3.8% among non-refugees. Inthe field of higher education, there are 14 universities: 5 universities in Gaza Strip and nine universities in the West Bank, in addition to 19 colleges that grant bachelor 1s degrees: 6 in Gaza Strip, and 13 in the West Bank. while, there is only University for Open Education has 15 centers in the West Bank and 5 centers in the Gaza Strip, while there are 18 community colleges: 11 in the West Bank and 7 in the Gaza Strip.

Macroeconomics: Consumer Price Index during 2014
The Palestinian Consumer Price Index increased by 1.73% in 20 14 compared with 2013: by 3.84% in Gaza Strip, 2.85% in Jerusalem (JI), and by 1.20% in the West Bank. In comparison with the base year of 2010, the Consumer Price Index in Palestine increased by 9.42%: by 13.65% in Jerusalem (Jl), 12.44% in the West Bank, and 3. 14% in Gaza Strip.

Trade: Limited Palestinian exports
Both imports and exports of registered goods increased in 2013 over 20 12. In 2013, the value of imported goods totaled USD 5,163.9 million, an increase of 9.9% compared with 2012. The total value of exports was USD 900.6 million, and increased by 15.1% compared with 2012. As a result, the net trade balance in goods recorded a deficit of USD 4,263.3 million in 2013, an increase of 8.9% over 2012.

The results indicate that 87.3% of exports destination was Israel, while only 12.7% of total exports reached other countries excluding Israel. The limited value of exports to other countries was due to Israeli restrictions on Palestinian exports, especially from the Gaza Strip.

Information Society
The percentage of household s that have a computer in the State of Palestine, 63.1% for 20 14, by 66.9% in the West Bank and 55.6% in Gaza Strip, compared with 50.9% of households in 2011. The results show that 48.3% of households in the state of Palestine has a connection to the Internet in 20 14, compared with 30.4% in 2011.

Source: http://www.pcbs.gov.ps/default.aspx

Statement by Head of Palestine Football Association on his Meetings with FIFA and the Israeli Football Association

“If the Israeli Association is concerned about being suspended, they should respect the FIFA Statute and stop being an integral part of the Israeli occupation and its Apartheid policies”

Head of the Palestine Football Association (PFA) Gen. Jibril Rajoub met with Sepp. Blatter in Switzerland earlier today to discuss the latest meeting between FIFA and the Israeli Football Association (IFA) regarding Israeli violations of the FIFA Statute and the ongoing oppression against Palestinian athletes which has been continuously denounced by the PFA. Gen. Rajoub accepted a request from Mr. Blatter to meet the head of the Israeli Football Association after their meeting.

Gen. Rajoub declared the following after his meeting with the IFA:

We accepted to meet with the Israeli Association in appreciation to the efforts made by FIFA Chairman Sepp Blatter for the development of football in Palestine. Unfortunately, the meeting simply reaffirmed that the Israeli Football Association does not want to stop being a tool of the Israeli occupation or to respect the FIFA Statutes. It is clear that the Israeli Football Association is not willing to recognize PFA as a federation with equal rights and obligations, just as they continue to violate their commitments made before FIFA.

We are therefore determined to continue our path to suspend the Israeli Football Association during the next FIFA Congress, this May 29. If the IFA is concerned about being suspended, they should respect the FIFA Statute and stop being an integral part of the Israeli occupation of the State of Palestine and its Apartheid policies.