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Turkish forces, allied militants cut off drinking water to Syria’s Hasakah, environs

Press TV – March 29, 2020

Turkish forces and allied Takfiri militants have once again cut off drinking water supply to people in Syria’s northeastern city of Hasakah and surrounding areas, only a few days after the Damascus government complained to the United Nations and the Security Council over the issue.

Director General of Hasakah Water Company, Mahmoud al-Ukla, told Syria’s official news agency SANA in a statement on Sunday that the Turkish troops and their allies stopped the pumping of water from the Allouk water station at 10 p.m. local time (1900 GMT) last night, and have refused to reverse their decision.

He emphasized that the measure has deprived up to a million people in the Hasakah region of the essential resource.

Ukla then described the cut in water supply to the Hasakah region as a blatant violation of human rights, an appalling crime against the population of Hasakah, and an act in a way that increases the sufferings of the locals.

Allouk water station is located near the border town of Ra’s al-Ayn, which the Turkish troops and their allied militants seized in October 2019 during the so-called Peace Spring Operation.

“Turkish occupation forces and affiliated terrorists cut off drinking water from Allouk water station and feeding wells deliberately and systematically, depriving more than 600,000 Syrian citizens, mostly women and children, from drinking water,” the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said in identical letters sent to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and the rotating President of the UN Security Council Zhang Jun on Thursday.

The Syrian ministry noted that the Turkish forces shelled the water station during their cross-border military operation last October, putting it out of service.

Syrian officials, accordingly, briefed the UN Security Council on February 27, informing the international body of a water outage in Hasakah.

“But unfortunately the Security Council, its General Secretariat or relevant international organizations failed to condemn the Turkish forces’ bombing of such a critical civilian facility and their use of water as a weapon against civilians,” the letters pointed out.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry finally called on the Security Council to condemn the crimes being perpetrated by Turkish soldiers, and obligate Ankara to stop its violation of the international law and humanitarian principles, besides its support for terrorist groups wreaking havoc inside Syria.

Turkey has beefed up its military presence in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, the last militant bastion in a nine-year foreign-backed war, where several anti-Damascus terrorist outfits receive Turkey’s support in their persisting militancy against the Syrian government.

Last week, a United Nations official said interruption to the key water station in Syria’s northeast puts thousands of lives at risk as efforts ramp up to stop the outbreak of the novel coronavirus there.

UNICEF Representative in Syria Fran Equiza said the interruption “during the current efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease puts children and families at unacceptable risk.”

He underlined that the station is the main source of water for around 460,000 people in Hasakah city, the town of Tal Tamer as well as al-Hol and Areesha camps.

The Syrian government has applied a series of measures, as cases of COVID-19 infection have been found in the war-ravaged Arab country.

The measures include suspending schools, universities, as well as some ministries and closing marketplaces and restaurants.

The government also stopped public transportations nationwide.

March 29, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Israel settlers attack Palestinian farmers in Jordan Valley

MEMO | March 16, 2020

While Palestinians are busy fighting the outbreak of the coronavirus, Israeli occupation settlers have increased their attacks in the occupied Jordan Valley, Al Mugtama Magazine reported yesterday.

The armed settlers carried out a wide-scale campaign of attacks on the Palestinian herders and farmers. They stole scores of animals and damaged wide swathes of farmlands.

“The situation in the Jordan Valley is very difficult,” Mahmoud Bsharat, who has received an expropriation order for his farm, told the magazine.

He said that the “gangs of settlers” cut trees and steal cattle, as well as opening fire at the Palestinian shepherds. They also steal tractors from Palestinian farmers and damage their farms.

Activist Aref Daraghmeh told the magazine that Jewish settlers carried out 45 attacks over the past few days in the Jordan Valley, noting that they stole farming equipment in addition to damaging farms and homes.

He also said that the occupation imposed high fines on Palestinians and has been carrying out military drills that damage their crops.

This, Daraghmeh explained, was part of the settlers’ efforts to force Palestinians out of the area in preparation for its annexation by Israel.

The Palestinian Authority warned that Israel may use the state of emergency brought on by the COVID-19 to carry out its “colonial” plans in the occupied West Bank based on what was announced in the US ‘deal of the century’.

March 16, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 8 Comments

Investigation finds Israel soldiers shot at Palestinians simply making a U-turn

Israeli soldiers fire at Palestinians [Ahmad Talat/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli soldiers fire at Palestinians [Ahmad Talat/Anadolu Agency]
MEMO | March 13, 2020

An investigation by Israeli newspaper Haaretz has revealed that Israeli soldiers opened fire on a Palestinian vehicle whose driver was simply making a U-turn, in what military officials described at the time as an attempted ‘car-ramming’ attack.

According to the paper, on 20 February, the Israeli army spokesperson reported that soldiers had shot at a Palestinian vehicle that accelerated toward them in Beitin village, “in what media reports described as a suspected car ramming attack”.

In fact, after obtaining two videos and interviewing the survivors and witnesses, Haaretz reported that Israeli occupation forces opened fire “as the driver was making a U-turn and hit a rock, and that the soldiers faced no life-threatening situation”.

On the night in question, four Palestinian teenagers from nearby Deir Dibwan were driving toward Beitin at 8.30pm, when “they saw a military jeep coming down the road in the opposite lane”.

Panicking “because the driver had no license, they did a U-turn to head back to Deir Dibwan but struck a rock on the side of the road”, Haaretz described. The Israeli soldiers then got out of the jeep, shooting into the air and then at the car.

One of the passengers, Mohammed Sarameh, was seriously injured and is awaiting further surgery. According to the paper, “his medical file says one bullet had struck him in the back and another hit his left thigh”, and that “he cannot move his limbs and has sustained many injuries in his abdomen”.

Haaretz noted that none of the youths in the car were “suspected of any attacks or attempted attacks” by Israeli authorities.

Moreover, “a look at the car shows that signs of bullet entries appear only on the back of the vehicle. If the soldiers shot while the car was careening toward them then such signs should have appeared on the front or sides of the vehicle.”

The army has also “changed its version of events about the incident,” Haaretz added. For this latest article, the Israeli military spokesperson merely acknowledged that “troops saw a car accelerating toward them and thought it was an attempted car ramming therefore they shot at the vehicle”.

March 13, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 2 Comments

Israel kills 10,000th Palestinian since 2000, US media largely ignore it

Mohammed Hamayel, 15, killed by an Israeli sniper on March 11, 2020. (Credit: Palestine Chronicle )
By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | March 11, 2020

Israeli forces invading Palestinian Territory have just killed a 15-year-old unarmed Palestinian boy. A sniper shot him in the head with an expanding bullet. This is the 10,000th Palestinian killed by an Israeli since the round of violence that began in fall 2000. The boy was reportedly shot in the face.

During the same period, Palestinians have killed 1,270 Israelis. See the list and details on this Timeline of Israeli and Palestinian deaths.

Because US media rarely cover Palestinian deaths, while often emphasizing Israeli deaths, most Americans are unaware that Israeli forces have killed far more people than Palestinian resistance groups, and that Israel kills first in nearly all cycles of violence.

If the situation were reversed, and a Palestinian military force invaded an Israeli town and shot a teenager in the head, it would in all probability be front page news across the U.S.

US news reports also fail to mention that the violence began when colonizers began moving to Palestine in the early 1900s with the intention of taking over the land for a Jewish state, and that Israel was established through a war of what an Israeli historian terms “ethnic cleansing.”

Once again, U.S. news media are largely ignoring Israel’s latest killing of a Palestinian youth. Other than an automatic Associated press feed buried on their websites, there don’t seem to have been any reports on the death by NPR, CNN, the New York Times, Washington Post, PBS, etc.

Source: IsraelPalestineTimeline.org


Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel.

March 11, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , | 3 Comments

Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Teenager near Nablus

Mohammad Hamayel, 15, was killed by Israeli gunfire near Nablus.
Palestine Chronicle | March 11, 2020

A Palestinian teen was killed on Wednesday by Israeli gunfire during confrontations that broke out at Mount Al-‘Arma, south of Nablus, Palestinian Health Ministry announced.

The Ministry announced that Mohammad Hamayel, 15, succumbed to his critical injury at the Rafida Government Hospital after being hit in the head with a round of live ammunition shot by Israeli forces at Mount Al-‘Arma, also known in Arabic as Jabal al-‘Arma.

On Wednesday morning, scores of Israeli military vehicles stormed the site, on the outskirts of Beita town, and assaulted Palestinians who gathered atop the mountain to fend off an Israeli settlers’ attempt to seize it.

The spokesman for the Health Ministry Tarif Ashour confirmed that medics at the Rafidia Government Hospital treated 17 casualties, including the head of the Anti-Wall and Settlement Committee Walid Assaf.

Jewish settlers overnight renewed their attempt to reach the top of the mountain, but hundreds of the residents of Beita, which lies south of Nablus, repelled their attempt.

Residents of Beita have continued their daily sit-ins atop the mountain since Friday, February 28, when settlers made the first attempt to seize the mountain and turn it into an Israeli religious tourist route.

The confrontation left 93 people injured by Israeli live fire and rubber bullets.

Jabal al-‘Arma, which spreads over 250 dunums, is one of the most archeological sites in Nablus, and the highest peak in Beita.

According to historians, it has been inhabited since the early Bronze Age, about 3,200 years ago.

Such features make the mountain a prime target for Jewish settlers as colonial settlements are often positioned above water reserves, effectively stealing water as well as land.

March 11, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Israel’s persecution of Khalida Jarrar, Member of Palestinian Parliament

If Americans Knew | March 10, 2020

Tell Congress to Free Khalida Jarrar: https://israelpalestinenews.org/actio…

March 10, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Maiming Palestinians for Sport is a War Crime

By Marion Kawas | Palestine Chronicle | March 10, 2020

The new Haaretz report entitled “42 Knees in One Day” is a difficult and painful read, and many people of conscience have responded with disgust and rage.

For those few who have not seen the report, it details in chilling fashion the accounts of 6 Israeli snipers who were stationed at the border with Gaza during the Great Return March protests. The report is long and gruesome; I had to put it down and then return to it several times. The “42 knees” reference is the “high count” for how many Palestinians were maimed by a single sniper team in one day.

The overall message is one of devastating impunity and disregard for the sanctity of Palestinian life. Palestinians and their long-time supporters have always known this was the mentality at play, but to see it all compiled in one place, in black and white, in the soldiers’ own words, was damning. Especially here in Canada, where barely a week earlier, it was revealed that the Trudeau government had called on the International Criminal Court not to investigate war crimes accusations against Israel.

“Canada’s longstanding position is that it does not recognize a Palestinian state… In the absence of a Palestinian state, it is Canada’s view that the Court does not have jurisdiction in this matter under international law,” Canada’s Foreign Ministry reportedly told various media outlets.

This is the same Canadian government that is busy traveling the world trying to get (or buy) votes for a UN Security Council seat. That has sent Joe Clark, a former Prime Minister, to visit multiple Arab countries looking for support; the Joe Clark that pioneered the idea of moving Canada’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem back in 1979, an election promise that he was later forced to abandon.

The same government whose Deputy PM and former foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, informed an Israeli audience in late 2018 that Canada would be an “asset for Israel” at the UN Security Council if it got one of the non-permanent member seats.

Canada, and other governments, must understand that there is a direct trajectory from their unconditional support for Israel to the continuation of Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people.

Hampering the ICC investigation, refusing to accept your own court’s decision on labeling of Israeli settlement wines, smearing pro-Palestinian advocates as “anti-semitic” as happened at York University last year, all of this enables the Israeli government and military to feel they are immune to any sort of accountability.

This new report on Israeli sniper violence against Palestinians is most profound in what lies in the shadows: the Israeli military’s crude but effective approach. Promoting the concept that maiming these Palestinian youth is somehow “more humane” than killing them outright. But permanently disabling them in a poor society with few resources for the healthy let alone the injured, is an equally cruel fate. And a poignant and daily reminder to the rest of that society of the price to be paid for rebellion.

Most of the sniper accounts demonstrated a total lack of appreciation of the consequences or severity of their actions. One said, when talking about the other soldiers and their initial reaction to maiming their victims:

“He has fulfilled himself just now, it’s a rare moment. Actually, the more he does it, the more indifferent he’ll become. He will no longer be especially happy, or sad. He’ll just be.”

The snipers work in a team with a locator and the “42 in one day” soldier, related how he suggested to his locator to take over the shooting when they were getting close to the end of their shift because “he didn’t have knees”.

And “you want to leave with the feeling that you did something”. (Note its just “knees”, not Palestinian lives or limbs.) The parallel here with how sports teams allow rookie players to be involved at the end of a game that they know they are winning, is unmistakable. And it also highlights that these snipers didn’t seem to feel threatened and had few concerns about their own safety.

I realize that the Israeli snipers are themselves indoctrinated kids. But I hate the system and ideology that brought them to this, that placed them on those dirt embankments overlooking the people of Gaza, that made them think this was all “sport” or a video game where the player with the most points wins.

And if I feel such rage thousands of miles away, I can only imagine (and will never judge) how the youth of Gaza and their families must feel.

– Marion Kawas is a member of the Canada Palestine Association and co-host of Voice of Palestine.

March 10, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , , | 5 Comments

Israeli occupation forces impose closure on Bethlehem

Palestine Information Center – March 8, 2020

BETHLEHEM – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Thursday night closed off Bethlehem City in the West Bank at the pretext that a number of Palestinian citizens were diagnosed with coronavirus.

The IOF banned citizens from entering or leaving the city until further notice.

Local residents said that although there are infected people in both Bethlehem and the Israeli-controlled 1948 territories, stricter measures were taken in Bethlehem, which makes the IOF decision unclear.

On Friday, the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Health announced that the number of people tested positive for coronavirus increased to 16. All of them are placed under quarantine in a hotel in Beit Jala area in Bethlehem.

March 8, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Former Farc Combatant Astrid Conde Murdered in Bogota

Former guerrilla member Astrid Conde

teleSUR | March 6, 2020

Astrid Conde, a former guerrilla fighter in Colombia, was shot dead last Thursday in Bogotá.

Conde’s murder occurred at the entrance to her home, located in the El Tintal sector in the southwest of the city.

The Colombian party, the Alternative Revolutionary Force of the Common (FARC), published on its official Twitter profile, that this is one of the first crimes against former members in Bogotá. Still, until now, 191 former combatants have endured violent deaths.

According to the Legal Solidarity Corporation, which protected Astrid Conde, the ex-guerrilla member was complying with her social reintegration process and belonged to the women’s group Defense and Rights.

The murder of Astrid Conde occurred after the FARC denounced the growing violence against its former members who were being reintegrated into society and the lack of guarantees for them. The former guerrillas have said: “We don’t only need who shoots, we also need who gave the order.”

The political group also challenged the irresponsibility of the government of Iván Duque for allowing a lack of protection for its former members and the failure to comply with the Peace Accords, a situation that would endanger the maintenance of peace in Colombia.

Also recently, the United Nations Special Rapporteur, Michel Forst, highlighted the impunity of the murders of social leaders and the lack of preventive administrative measures against the crimes. The UN representative stated that “Colombia is the country with the highest rate of murders of human rights defenders.”

March 7, 2020 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Could US face ‘criminal liability’ for torture program? ICC greenlights inquiry into Afghan war crimes

RT | March 5, 2020

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has approved a probe into alleged war crimes committed in Afghanistan by the US and other parties, potentially exposing Washington to legal repercussions for its nearly 20-year occupation.

Hailed as a landmark ruling, the panel of judges at The Hague reversed a decision by the court’s Pre-Trial Chamber denying the ICC prosecutor’s request to open a formal inquiry into crimes committed in connection with the conflict in Afghanistan. The previous decision not to pursue an investigation was reportedly influenced by the belief that the United States would not cooperate with the proceedings.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that there were ample grounds to begin an investigation into Taliban crimes, as well as an alleged torture program operated by Afghan authorities, the US military and the CIA. The court agreed on Thursday, authorizing the investigation.

The court’s decision was applauded by many – but some warned that expectations should be tempered.

Mark MacKinnon, a correspondent for Canada’s Globe and Mail, said that the ICC had done the “right thing” by pushing forward with the investigation.

“Powerful nations can’t be above international law, or the whole concept collapses,” he wrote.

The Center for Constitutional Rights described the ruling as “the first time senior US officials may face criminal liability for their involvement in the torture program” in Afghanistan.

The ruling marks a “good day” for the ICC, but it’s far from certain that the investigation will lead to formal charges, cautioned Kevin Jon Heller, an associate professor of international law at the University of Amsterdam.

The United States is not a member of the ICC, but Afghanistan is – leaving open the possibility that US crimes committed on Afghan soil could be prosecuted by the court.

Even if the inquiry exposes serious wrongdoing, it’s unclear how the ICC would proceed. US President Donald Trump has been an outspoken opponent of the Hague-based court, and even imposed travel restrictions and other sanctions against ICC employees.

Trump has slammed the ICC for its “broad” and “unaccountable” prosecutorial powers, and has repeatedly scoffed at the idea of US soldiers being charged with war crimes. In November, he pardoned two army officers facing war crimes charges for their actions in Afghanistan, and reinstated the rank of Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL who was accused of similar atrocities during his deployment in Iraq, but was ultimately cleared of most wrongdoing.

March 5, 2020 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

American Citizens Killed and Tortured by Israel?

No one is ever held accountable

Palestinian-American Mahmoud Shaalan was shot five times by Israeli soldiers at a West Bank checkpoint
By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | February 15, 2020

One of the principal functions of a United States Embassy overseas is to provide citizen services, which includes coming to the assistance of Americans who are treated badly by the local government. It is a responsibility that most embassies take seriously, with the exception of the facility currently located in Jerusalem. One has to understand that that is so because the United States Embassy in Israel is like no other. In other countries, the American Embassy exists to support American travelers, businesses and a broad range of national interests. In Jerusalem the Embassy exists to support Israeli interests and to serve as an apologist every time the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu goes on a killing spree or does something else that is similarly outrageous, to include bombing neighboring Syria every other day.

America’s current ambassador, former Trump bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman, has funded Israel’s illegal settlements, which did not in any way complicate his confirmation as nearly everyone in Congress and the White House does not believe that the Palestinians actually are human beings. Since taking up his position, Friedman has defended Israel when its army sharpshooters have shot down scores of unarmed Gazans, including children, and has both praised and endorsed out-and-out theft by the Israeli government in Jerusalem, on the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

What the U.S. Embassy under Friedman will not do is put any real pressure on the Israeli government if its security forces or rampaging settlers kill, beat, maim or torture an American citizen, especially if said citizen happens to be of Palestinian descent. Indeed, Friedman is only the latest manifestation of Israel-first-itis among U.S. Ambassadors, the rot having started inevitably with Bill Clinton, who appointed Australian citizen Martin Indyk as the first Jewish ambassador to Tel Aviv. The two most recent ambassadors, Friedman and Daniel Shapiro, both political appointees, have also been Jewish. Shapiro so enjoyed being an Israeli that he decided to remain in the country after his appointment as ambassador was completed. He now works for an Israeli government funded think tank.

The Israeli army and police have in fact killed a number of American citizens without any real pushback from the Department of State or White House. The unwillingness to confront Israel on any level stems from the formidable Jewish power in the United States, which uses money and media control to corrupt the political system at national, state and local levels. The media and the chattering political class worry about Russian interference while ignoring the implications of a Haaretz article that appeared on February 12th entitled “AIPAC Must Stop Bernie Sanders – At All Costs!” AIPAC is, of course, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, widely regarded as the chief U.S. lobbying arm of the Jewish state.

And witness the fate of Congresswoman Betty McCollum from Minnesota, who fell afoul of the Israel Lobby when she introduced H.R.2407, legislation that prohibits American taxpayer money from being used by Israel to arrest and detain Palestinian children. She stated that “Israel’s system of military juvenile detention is state-sponsored child abuse designed to intimidate and terrorize Palestinian children and their families. It must be condemned, but it is equally outrageous that U.S. tax dollars in the form of military aid to Israel are permitted to sustain what is clearly a gross human rights violation against children.” She might have added that the estimated 10,000 Arab children who have been detained since 2000 are frequently tortured by the Israeli authorities. The bill currently has 23 cosponsors and is unlikely to attract more due to fear of the Lobby. It will never reach the House floor for a vote and will never become law.

Betty McCollum U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 4th congressional district at a women’s roundtable at Hillary for Minnesota Headquarters in St Paul, MN. Credit: Lorie Shaull/ Flickr

McCollum’s courage was on display when she was viciously attacked by AIPAC, which posted Facebook ads that referenced “radicals in the Democratic party,” including a photo of McCollum, with the text stating that “It’s critical that we protect our Israeli allies especially as they face threats from Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah ISIS and — maybe more sinister — right here in the U.S. Congress.”  McCollum stood her ground against being called “more sinister” than ISIS and released a statement that describes AIPAC as a “hate group,” which of course it is, but she will find few in the Democratic party brave enough to defend her.

Israel’s willingness to kill Americans in support of what it perceives as its own interests goes back nearly to the founding of the state in 1948. The Lavon Affair of 1954 was an Israeli plot to bomb the U.S. Embassy Information Agency libraries in Alexandria and Cairo Egypt, blaming the attacks on the Egyptians to draw the United States closer to Israel. The bombs were placed by Egyptian Jews acting for Israeli intelligence. They exploded, but fortunately no one was killed.

In June 1967 Israel was at it again, attacking the intelligence gathering U.S. naval vessel the U.S.S. Liberty in international waters, killing thirty-four American sailors, Marines and civilians in a deliberate air and sea onslaught that sought to sink the intelligence gathering ship and kill all its crew. It was the worst attack ever carried out on a U.S. Naval vessel in peace time. In addition to the death toll, 171 more of the crew were wounded in the two-hour assault. The Israelis, whose planes had their Star of David markings covered up so Egypt could be blamed, attacked the ship repeatedly from the air and with gunboats from the sea. When one Israeli pilot hesitated, refusing to attack what was clearly an American ship, he was instructed to proceed anyway.

The most disgusting part of the tale relates to how U.S. warplanes sent to the Liberty’s aid from an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean were called back by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara acting under orders from President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who declared that he would rather see the ship go to the bottom of the sea than embarrass his good friend Israel. Ironically, the first ship to reach the Liberty and offer assistance was from the Soviet Union, an offer that was declined.

More recently there have been a number of killings of Americans. In a bizarre incident in August 1988, an elderly Palestinian-American with a heart condition died after being forced to climb stairs to paint over anti-Israeli graffiti on a school wall. Rebhi Barakat Kaid, 67, of Columbus, Ohio, was on the West Bank visiting relatives. He died of a heart attack after three Israeli soldiers ordered him and his 14-year-old Chicago-born grandson at gunpoint to climb the 22 steep steps that led from the house to the street above without his being allowed to take his heart medicine first.

Much better known is the March 2003 killing of Washington State’s Rachel Corrie, who was deliberately run over by an Israeli military bulldozer when she was protesting the destruction of a Palestinian village. A month later there was an incident in which Brian Avery, a 24-year-old from Albuquerque, New Mexico, was shot in the face in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin by Israeli soldiers in an armored personnel carrier firing machine guns at protesters.

Rachel Corrie lies on the ground fatally injured by an Israeli bulldozer driver. Rachel’s fellow activists are trying to keep her neck straight due to spinal injury. Photo by Joseph Smith. Credit: ISM

In March 2009 Tristan Anderson, a 37-year-old from Oakland, California, suffered permanent brain damage when Israeli soldiers shot him in the face with a tear gas canister as he watched a protest in the West Bank village of Nilin.

Another American citizen, Furkan Doğan, an 18-year-old born in Troy, New York, was killed aboard the Turkish flagged Mavi Marmara in the Mediterranean Sea in May 2010 as a flotilla of international activists attempted to break Israel’s illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip to deliver humanitarian supplies. The United Nations’ General Assembly Human Rights Council determined that Doğan had been killed by Israeli naval commandos through an “extra-legal, arbitrary and summary execution.” He was shot five times, including once in the face from “point blank range.”

Furkan Doğan

The same day that Israel murdered Furkan Doğan, 21-year-old Emily Henochowicz of Potomac, Maryland, was protesting the attack on the flotilla at the Qalandiya checkpoint near Jerusalem, when an Israeli soldier shot her in the face with a teargas cannister, resulting in the loss of an eye.

And then there was in October 2014 the shooting by Israeli soldiers of Orwa Hammad, a 14-year-old Palestinian-American from Louisiana. The Israeli army claimed that Hammad was throwing a Molotov cocktail at the time of his death, but witnesses stated that he was among a group of children throwing rocks at the heavily armed and armored soldiers.

And most recently, there is the case of Florida-born 16-year-old Palestinian-American Mahmoud Shaalan who was shot repeatedly at an Israeli check point on the West Bank on February 26, 2016 while he was walking to a nearby village to visit his aunt. He was still alive after the shooting, but Israeli soldiers denied him any medical treatment for three hours and he died before an ambulance was allowed to approach him.

Arrest of Palestinians and others without probable cause under “administration detention” guidelines followed by torture has also become a hallmark of Israel’s occupation of Arab land. Torture methods used by Israel include stress positions, severe beatings, sleep deprivation, emotional blackmail, threats of torture of family members and the transfer of detainees to secret prisons where torture is constant. In one case reported to a Human Rights Association “The harsh beating was committed with the intention to kill the detainee.”

In another reported case of torture, nineteen-year-old Mahmoud Zakarner’s testicles were smashed by soldiers in front of his uncle to force the man to provide the names of Palestinian resistance members. Mahmoud is now paralyzed and unable to speak as a result.

Israeli expertise in torture is in demand from authoritarian regimes worldwide, creating a growth industry for the specialized “advisers and technicians.” Many are currently working with right wing regimes in South and Central America. Several even showed up at Abu Ghraib as trainers for U.S. interrogators and were able to suggest refinements like the “Palestinian chair.”

Inside Israel torture of Palestinians is routine on the grounds of “necessity” and absurd “ticking-bomb” scenarios. The courts and the medical profession aid and abet the practice. Over 1,200 complaints regarding the torture of Palestinians in Israeli prisons have not resulted in even a single indictment of the torturers.

So, killing Americans as well as many others and torturing prisoners are all in a day’s work for the Jewish state. What is disgraceful, of course, is the fact that the United States government, which has the power to do something about it, instead chooses to do nothing to stop the bleeding or even to demand inquiries to find out who is to blame. Instead, Washington lavishes money and praise on Israel, reportedly America’s best friend and closest ally, while it also avoids looking at the horrors that are evident to most of the rest of the world.


Philip M. Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who served nineteen years overseas in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. He was the CIA Chief of Base for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and was one of the first Americans to enter Afghanistan in December 2001. Phil is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a Washington-based advocacy group that seeks to encourage and promote a U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East that is consistent with American values and interests.

February 15, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Palestinian Minor Reveals Harrowing Details in Israeli Custody

Palestine Chronicle | February 13, 2020

In a testimony made through his lawyer to the Committee of Prisoners and Former Prisoners Affairs, Palestinian teenage prisoner Mahmoud Thawabteh revealed details about the difficult conditions inside Israeli prisons.

Thawabteh, 17, was arrested from his house in Beit Fajjar in eastern Bethlehem when Israeli occupation soldiers stormed the neighborhood at dawn, the boy’s lawyer told the Committee. 

According to the testimony, Thawabteh was harshly interrogated in the street, before army dogs were unleashed at him.

The boy revealed that he was brutally beaten and he had several dog bites on his legs.

 “They beat me up on my head and back using their rifles and sticks”, Thawabteh said, as reported in Quds News Network.

After a harrowing journey in an Israeli army jeep, the teenage boy was taken to the notorious Etzion interrogation center, where dozens of Palestinian minors were held and reportedly tortured over the years.

Conveying Thawabteh’s testimony, his lawyer went on to say that the teenager was allowed to see a doctor just before his interrogation commenced. However, the Israeli doctor did little to stop the bleeding or to treat the bruises and bite marks, aside from taking Thawabteh’s blood pressure.

Thawabteh was held in the Etzion facility for three days, during which he was interrogated, assaulted, and beaten repeatedly, before being moved to the Ofer military jail, near Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank.

On January 13, Thawabteh was one of 34 Palestinian minors who were relocated from the Ofer prison to the Damon prison, inside Israel, without being accompanied by their adult overseers, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).

Commenting on that experience, Thawabteh told his lawyer that the children were placed in a squalid section of the prison that was infested with insects. They were left largely alone, as the Israeli prison guards refused to provide them with basic services or needs. 

The Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network Samidoun had reported earlier that “every year, around 700 Palestinian children are brought before Israeli military courts after being arrested, detained and interrogated.”

“The vast majority report some form of torture and abuse, including kicking and beating in military jeeps as well as psychological torture during interrogation, including threats to arrest family members.”

February 13, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment