Israel ‘blocking access’ of rights workers to Gaza

Human Rights Watch also criticized restrictions recently imposed by Hamas following the assassination of one of its officials in the strip on March 24.

Aid from the global community remains a lifeline for 1.1 million people in Gaza, and one in four children in Gaza is in need of psychosocial support, she says.

Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet charged the global aid agency’s Gaza manager Mohammed el-Halabi in August previous year with diverting millions of dollars to Hamas to help build tunnels and purchase weapons.

A Palestinian boy looks through the window of his family zinc sheet house in the Bedouin village, northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, January 26, 2016.

Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008.

In a 47-page report, the NY based right group, Human Right Watch (HRW) said the travel restrictions have been imposed by the Israeli regime since 2008.

The report said Israel maintained that its investigations were in accordance with global standards despite the investigators not entering the strip. Although Israel has said it is conducting its own investigation and that there in no need for an ICC inquiry, Monday’s report was highly skeptical of this claim.

Faqha was released from Israeli jail in 2011 and sent to Gaza.

Reports said Hamas was looking for the assassins of senior military figure Mazen Faqha, 38, believing they are still in Gaza, but the knock-on effects have been significant.

The office of Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT, ) the body who regulates access to Gaza, denies it prevent access of any human rights workers.

However, the MAG also criticised documentation by human rights organisations as suffering from “methodological, factual and legal flaws” and, in some cases, “a clear bias”.

“Security concerns do not give any actor free reign to violate human rights”, Gisha said.

It called the travel restrictions issued against human rights workers as “unavoidable … due to weighty security and political considerations”, HRW quoted the MAG as saying.

It said Hamas has failed to protect local human rights workers from retribution and sometimes arrested or harassed its critics.

“Impeding the work of human rights groups raises questions not just about the willingness of Israel’s military authorities to conduct genuine investigations, but also their ability to do so”, Bashi added.

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