The Gaza Strip, the small enclave that sees Israel to the north and east of it and that forms part of the occupied Palestine territories (oPt), has been subject to a blockade since 2006, which is facilitated at the border with Egypt. The Hamas controlled area has also more recently been subject to punitive measures by the Palestinian Authority.
While it affects almost all parts of life there is currently a particular urgency to the impact to the health sector which has received a hit when it comes to medicine, medical supplies, lab equipment and blood supply, which is devastating for patients in both accident and emergency situations as well as those suffering from serious diseases.
If medical equipment breaks or becomes obsolete, there is no way to fix it, power cuts from electricity cuts imposed by the PA prevent hospital machines from operating and generators also need spare parts and fuel also lacking in Gaza.
While many patients used to travel outside Gaza for surgery, this option has also diminished for many because of the closure of the Rafah border for long periods of time and exit permits have been in decline.
Past offensives that have resulted in medical facilities being hit has meant that a number of hospitals were irreparable due to construction materials being inadmissible to the country. This has overloaded other facilities. However, as of February 2018, 19 health centres had reportedly closed down because they could not run their electricity generators including major facilities Beit Hanoun Hospital and Al-Durra.
The withholding of salaries by the PA has also hit workers in the health sector. On the brink of collapse, humanitarian actors have taken some action help fund the health sector in Gaza but it needs greater attention from the international community at large.
Focused alleviation of the healthcare crisis
There needs to be a two-fold commitment by the international community:
- An estimated $6.5 million is needed in 2018 to provide emergency fuel to prevent collapse. This requires urgent funding from international donors.
- Political action is required to end the Gaza blockade, which has been ongoing since 2006.
According to theUN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs(OCHA) oPt on 6 February, without support emergency fuel for the most critical services will run out in as little as 10 days. The emergency fuel would enable minimum life-saving health, water and sanitation services.However, for the full functioning of critical services, OCHA estimated the need for $10 million per year and this requires international donor support.
A more sustainable solution however is for the Gaza siege to be completely lifted. This is not only pertinent for the health sector but it is necessary for Gazans to escape poverty by opening the borders and allowing imports and exports to restore its economy and development.
As the occupying state, it is primarily Israel’s responsibility to end the blockade. The siege is a violation of international law. The purpose of the siege has been stated as for reasons of security and to keep out dangerous materials, which could be then used against Israel. However, the measures amount to collective punishment as well as amounting to a breach of fundamental economic and social rights.
Individual states can place pressure on Israel to abide by international law and lift this blockade on Gaza as well as on the PA to refrain from punitive measures.
The siege on Gaza intensified after Hamas gained control of the territory in 2006. Various parts of the international community have had difficulty accepting Hamas as an international political player. However, the party was elected through a democratic process. Therefore, states must accept Hamas as the legitimate government of Gaza and continue relations with it in order to facilitate lasting measures to end the suffering of those who live there.
International Conference on World Policy to convene in Doha in December 2018
London, (Newswire Now) – As many of the worlds top decision-makers and influencers prepare to conven..
London, (Newswire Now) – As many of the worlds top decision-makers and influencers prepare to convene in Qatars capital for the 2018 Doha Forum, the gatherings organizers announced this years Forum will launch a remarkable new era of Forum partnerships with several of the worlds most prestigious international policy institutions.
The theme for the solutions-focused 2018 Doha Forum is “Shaping Policy in an Interconnected World.”
Among the world leaders, policymakers, business leaders and advocates participating in the Doha Forum will be 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad, the inspiring young Iraqi human rights activist.
For the first time, the Doha Forum is teaming up with many of the worlds most acclaimed international institutions as partners, ensuring the 2018 gathering will showcase an unprecedented diversity of views and be extraordinarily compelling and impactful.
The Forum also released a refreshed visual identity and slogan Diplomacy, Dialogue, Diversity. Channeling the Forums renewed ambition, Doha Forums new logo and brand have been crafted to enhance and unify the Forums identity while strengthening its global presence and reputation for policy innovation. The slogan speaks to the forums efforts to position itself at the forefront of global policy-making, promote critical dialogue, and engage leaders from diverse policy backgrounds and expertise.
His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry stated: “Today, Qatar is a different place, therefore its only natural that the Doha Forum, like our country, is given new life. The rebranding of the Forum in 2018 is a result of organic progression. It has evolved, much like our country.”
His Excellency Ahmed bin Hassan Al Hammadi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Qatar, commented, “Today we are launching a new visual identify for the Doha Forum because we recognize the importance of keeping up with the fast-paced changes our world is witnessing today, while ensuring that the principles that the Forum was built on remain steadfast. These principles are embodied in our belief in activating diplomacy to resolve disputes; employing genuine and honest dialogue in policy-making, and preserving diversity of thought and representation.”
Her Excellency Lolwah Al Khater, Spokesperson for Ministry of Foreign Affairs Qatar stated: “The Doha Forum was established 18 years ago as the regions only large-scale international forum designed to address global challenges and advance pragmatic solutions. Since its inception, the Forum has evolved into an ideal vantage point to explore the issues that affect us all.”
“This year, the Doha Forum is returning to build on its track record of advancing agendas for leaders and citizens alike, and we look forward to working with our strategic partners to enhance Doha Forums impact and network,” she added.
Director of Brookings Doha Center, Tarik Yousef, stated: “The events taking place in Doha this week alone demonstrate that Qatar is a place where we can engage freely and openly on the most difficult subjects we face in the Arab world. Qatar is well positioned to claim its title of capital of ideas, free thought and honest debate. The Brookings Doha Center is incredibly privileged to be part of this edition of the Doha Forum.”
Elizabeth Schaeffer Brown, Co-executive Director of Nadias Initiative, stated: “Nadia has been working on peace-building and mediation for over three years in Iraq, and she is looking forward to sharing her experience at the Doha Forum”.
The 2018 Forums overarching strategic partners: the Munich Security Conference, the International Crisis Group, and the European Council on Foreign Relations. The Forums content partners, co-producing individual Forum sessions, include RAND, the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism, the Observer Research Foundation, the Center for the National Interest, the UCLA Middle East Development Center, the S. Rajartnam School for International Studies, the Doha Institute, the Valdai Discussion Club, the Global Dryland Alliance and the Brookings Center in Doha. Qatari government partners are the Ministry of Finance, the Minister of Economy and Commerce, the Ministry of Energy and Industry, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and Qatar Tourism Authority.
The children lost to China’s Muslim crackdown
Tens of thousands of Chinese Uyghur Muslim families are being torn apart in a crackdown that’s seen ..
Tens of thousands of Chinese Uyghur Muslim families are being torn apart in a crackdown that’s seen as many as one million people detained, according to the UN. Emily Wither speaks to one mother, now in Istanbul, who has lost her children to the state.
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Chinas crackdown on Muslims in Xinjiang is sure to backfire
By Michael Auslin – After repeated denials, Chinese officials finally admitted last month that they ..
By Michael Auslin – After repeated denials, Chinese officials finally admitted last month that they have set up internment camps in the far-western province of Xinjiang, where up to one million ethnic Uighurs, almost all of whom are Muslim, are being held. Under Chinas anti-terrorism law and religious affairs regulation, the government in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region publicly introduced the Regulation on De-extremification. What itdescribes is a new gulag, where re-education and the suppression of Uighur identity is its main goal.
There are approximately 25 million Muslims in China today, but these new draconian laws in Xinjiang are aimed solely at the ethnic Uighurs, of which there are just over 11 million. Unlike the Hui, another major Muslim ethnic group who have largely assimilated into Chinese society, Uighurs have resisted intermarriage, speak their own Turkic language, and advocated for some level of autonomy, making them a target for suppression. Over the decades, Beijings heavy-handed approach has helped outside Islamist elements make inroads among Uighur youth, and spurred the formation of radical groups. As a result, the Uighurs have remained a largely colonised people, and Xinjiang has become the epicentre of Chinese Muslim resistance to Beijing.
Uighur activists have conducted numerous violent attacks since 1990, including bus bombings in Shanghai and Kunming, multiple sword and knife attacks at train stations in major cities, and a car bombing in Tiananmen Square, the symbolic centre of China. Ties between Uighur radicals, previously known as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, and the Taliban and Al Qaeda are among the reasons Beijing has cracked down on them so strongly.
That some Uighurs are extremists is undeniable. But the new measures introduced by the Chinese authorities do not just aim to prevent religious violence. At first glance, many of the new regulations concern activities that bedevil Western states, such as the forced wearing of the burqa in Muslim communities; or which occur in Islamist-run territories around the Middle East, such as ethnic cleansing by forcing those of other faiths out of their homes. Yet read a little further, and the real objectives of the regulations are soon revealed. In order to contain and eradicate extremification, the state will make religion more Chinese…and actively guide religion to become compatible with socialist society (Sec. 1, Article 4). In other words, the goal is to Sinicize Islam and make it serve the state.
To achieve this, those suspected of being extremists or being susceptible to extremist ideology are being interned in military school-style camps, with regimented daily schedules. The provincial regulation mandates Maoist-style ideological education, psychological rehabilitation and behaviour correction and the use of informants throughout society. The totalitarian reach of the law is shown by the fact that it is now illegal in Xinjiang to reject or refuse public goods and services such as radio and television. Reminiscent of the Stalinist era, it is now a crime simply to opt out of listening to state propaganda.
Xinjiang has become, in essence, a police state, controlled by a massive paramilitary force; ubiquitous, intrusive surveillance, including advanced facial recognition technology; regular roundups of suspected radicals; and a stifling of civil society. Sinification takes various forms, including the authorities cutting short the dresses of Muslim women. More controversially, reports from Chinese state media suggest mandatory heath examinations in Xinjiang have allowed the state to collect DNA from Uighurs, in order to build a genetic database that will allow even tighter control. And then there are the internment camps.
To understand the driving motive behind the new laws, it is important to remember that the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) is, fundamentally, an empire. Over the centuries, Chinas Han majority, which today makes up 91 per cent of the Chinese population, has pressured and actively suppressed ethnic minorities. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continued these assimilationist policies as part of a strategy for ruling one of the most linguistically and ethnically diverse polities on earth. From Tibetans to Tatars, and from Kazakhs to Uzbeks, todays Chinese empire is built on the control of dozens of minority groups and the tight monitoring of their religions and cultures. Maintaining the integrity of the state is a priority for president Xi Jinping second only to ensuring the Partys own survival and both aims are inextricably linked.
Uighurs portray themselves as freedom fighters, challenging Beijing for their independence, little different from Tibetans or Taiwanese, other than being ethnically distinct and Muslim. Any viable separatist movement in the region alarms the central government, as other autonomy movements are watching closely what happens in Xinjiang. If Xi relaxes his grip there, activists in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Tibet are sure to take advantage to press their own claims.
The Uighurs and Xinjiang pose another problem for the central government, this one geopolitical. Xinjiang sits squarely along Beijings One Belt, One Road (OBOR) corridor. President Xi Jinpings flagship foreign policy initiative, OBOR aims to be a $1 trillion (£780 billion) infrastructure development which will create land and maritime-based trade routes reaching all the way from China to Western Europe.
Xinjiangs geostrategic location along the Belt and Road means it is the access point to much of Central Asia. Just as importantly, Xinjiang contains vast natural resources, with estimates of up to 5 billion barrels of oil and up to 13 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. Any effective resistance to Chinese control over Xinjiang, let along the formation of an independent Islamic republic, would pose a huge threat to Beijings plans to increase its influence throughout Eurasia.
Ethnic separatism, driven by religious radicalisation, is one of the greatest fears of Xi Jinping and his fellow rulers. As a multi-ethnic empire, the PRC cannot allow successful independence movements in any of its subordinate areas for fear of contagion. This political concern is heightened by the transnational nature of the Islamist movement. Even moderate Muslims in Xinjiang are perceived by Beijing as a threat, the leading edge of a radicalisation movement that could challenge central control of the strategic province, as well as infect other Muslims in China and spill over to other regions. Xi will not soon ease his heavy-handed control over Xinjiang and its Uighurs, and as a result is engendering more of the anti-Chinese sentiment that he is trying to stamp out. Such repression is becoming a hallmark of Xis rule, and is increasingly defining Chinas direction over the next decade.
Source: Spectator Blogs
The post China’s crackdown on Muslims in Xinjiang is sure to backfire appeared first on NewswireNow – A Press Release Publishing Service.
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