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Report: Egypt plan to lift siege requires disarmament of Gaza

MEMO | March 22, 2019

An Israeli report said that Egypt has put forward a plan for a settlement between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, led by Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. Israel Hayom newspaper reported on Thursday that “according to security sources in Egypt and Palestinian officials in Gaza and Ramallah, Israel and Egypt have become convinced that Hamas’s control in Gaza is a self-evident fact.”

Israel Hayom quoted Egyptian security sources and Palestinian officials in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It explained that the Egyptian proposal stated that they would disarm the factions – except for light weapons – in exchange for lifting the siege on the Gaza Strip.

According to this plan, all internal affairs will remain in the hands of Palestinian organisations headed by Hamas or a unified political entity for all organisations in the Strip. The internal security of the Gaza Strip will be based on “Hamas National Security Forces, which are currently operating.” The arms that will be in possession of the Internal Security Forces will be light weapons, in small quantities and subject to a strict control system.

In turn, the Israeli and Egyptian siege on the Gaza Strip will be lifted, according to the newspaper. Also, projects in the areas of infrastructure, employment, economy, health and education, financed by the United Nations, the European Union and Arab countries, “led by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE,” will be implemented. The plan calls for the opening of a maritime route to the Gaza port, which will allow in the first stage the export and import of goods directly to the Gaza Strip.

The newspaper asserted that “these parties have succumbed to the fact that the Palestinian Authority will have difficulty in regaining control in the Gaza Strip, whether after an internal Palestinian reconciliation, or because of the collapse of Hamas rule against the backdrop of the grave humanitarian situation, or because of the continued military confrontation with Israel.”

According to the newspaper, Egyptian sources stated that the Israeli policy towards the Strip is “soft,” and that this stems from Israel’s unwillingness to allow the “Hamas regime” to collapse and in anticipation that in the event of Hamas’s collapse, “extremist groups loyal to Iran or Salafist groups similar to Daesh will enter” to fill the vacuum.

The newspaper further said that estimates in Israel and Egypt indicate that “such a settlement can be implemented within three to five years, but the main obstacle is that Hamas and other Palestinian armed factions will oppose disarmament.”

Quoting sources it described as officials in Ramallah, the newspaper added that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO leadership would agree to “overthrow” Hamas and the factions in Gaza “only in case it led such a process when the control of Gaza is in the hands of the Palestinian Authority.”

The newspaper asserted that US security bodies obtained a draft of the plan which was formulated by Israeli and Egyptian crews. It quoted an Egyptian security official saying: “We are currently waiting for the new government to be elected in Israel to speed up the process; while the goal after the Israeli elections is the entry of other influential Arab countries, such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UAE.”

The Egyptian security official added that “if Abu Mazen and the leadership in Ramallah do not put obstacles, the plan can be put into effect with the full cooperation of all the regional actors and through providing guarantees and assistance by the international community. But, it is estimated that there will be strong opposition to the disarmament plan of the Gaza Strip by the PLO and mainly by the armed factions in Gaza.”

March 22, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel kills Palestinian at checkpoint in West Bank, fourth to be killed in 24 hours

26-year-old Ahmad Manasra from the local village of Wadi Fuqin [Twitter]

26-year-old Ahmad Manasra from the local village of Wadi Fuqin [Twitter]
MEMO | March 21, 2019

Israeli forces have shot dead a Palestinian man in the occupied West Bank near the city of Bethlehem; the fourth such killing in 24 hours.

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that one of its crew treated a man with two bullet wounds near an Israeli military checkpoint near Bethlehem yesterday. The man was identified by the Palestinian Health Ministry as 26-year-old Ahmad Manasra from the local village of Wadi Fuqin.

According to the ministry, Manasra was shot in the chest, shoulder and hand by a checkpoint at the southern entrance of Al-Khader village, while another Palestinian was also shot and critically wounded.

The Israeli soldier who shot Manasra allegedly did so by accusing him of throwing stones, but eyewitnesses at the scene reported that Israeli forces at the checkpoint fired live bullets into the car of a Palestinian family consisting of a man and his wife and children. The man, identified as Alaa Ghayatha from the village of Nahalin, was shot in the abdomen and is said to be in critical condition. Manasra was in the car behind Ghayatha, and when the latter was shot Manasra came out to help him and was also shot at as he returned to his car.

The Israeli military issued a statement hours later claiming that the soldier stationed at the post had “identified rocks being thrown at Israeli vehicles” and “in response, he fired his weapon”. The statement did not, however, identify the soldier’s intended target, and the military said that “Details regarding the incident are being reviewed and the incident will be examined.”

Manasra’s death marks that of the fourth Palestinian killed by Israeli forces within 24 hours in the occupied West Bank, having closely followed another two incidents. On Tuesday night, Israeli forces killed 19-year-old Omar Abu Leila near the city of Ramallah, after he stabbed and killed an Israeli occupation soldier.

In another incident on Tuesday, two other Palestinians – Raed Hamdan, 21, and Zaid Nouri, 20 – were killed by Israeli soldiers as they were driving their car near the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank after hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed Joseph’s Tomb in the city.

The Governor of Bethlehem, Kamel Hamid, told local news that what happened was a direct execution of a young man, calling on the international community to intervene and put an end to the Israeli occupation.

March 21, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

The Media & the WWF Torture Scandal

News organizations have turned their own journalists into WWF cheerleaders

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | March 20, 2019

Click for source

Earlier this month, BuzzFeed published a three-part exposé about violent goons, funded and equipped by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), who persecute indigenous communities. In the words of the BuzzFeed journalists, the WWF

works directly with paramilitary forces that have been accused of beating, torturing, sexually assaulting, and murdering scores of people. As recently as 2017, forest rangers at a WWF-funded park in Cameroon tortured an 11-year-old boy in front of his parents…

UK politicians have called on the government to respond to these “appalling and deeply disturbing” allegations. US senator Patrick Leahy has likewise demanded an “immediate and thorough review” of the support the WWF receives from American authorities.

BuzzFeed reports that the UK Charity Commission will be asking the WWF “serious questions.” Also in the UK, explorer Ben Fogle has stepped away from his public relationship with this organization, due to these “very serious human rights allegations.”

Longtime WWF supporter, actress Susan Sarandon, says she expects an “in-depth investigation” to take place.

Likewise, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has called on the WWF to “provide the public with a full and transparent accounting of their findings.” (In 2016, DiCaprio – who sits on the WWF’s Board of Directors in the United States, symbolically ‘shared‘ his 2016 Golden Globe award “with all the First Nations peoples represented in this film and all the indigenous communities around the world.”)

Despite the celebrities, the prominence of the WWF brand, and the serious nature of these allegations, much of the media has chosen to ignore this story. Could that have anything to do with the fact that news organizations have spent the past decade turning their own journalists into WWF cheerleaders?

Here in Canada, our largest circulation newspaper, The Toronto Star, has served as an official sponsor of the WWF’s annual Earth Hour (see this 2008 discussion, and this from 2012).

Think about that cozy, inappropriate relationship – and then ask yourself why The Star has yet to tell its readers about the WWF torture scandal.

Since its Australian beginnings, Earth Hour was a deliberate media creation. Rather than reporting neutrally on current affairs, rather than applying an equally skeptical eye to all large multinational entities (WWF, come on down), news organizations instead promote certain events, certain entities, and certain environmental perspectives.

The flip side of that pathological arrangement is that these same news organizations also have the power to decide what isn’t news. Every single day, they decide what not to tell the public.

March 20, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Shoot the Dogs: The Growing Epidemic of Cops Shooting Family Dogs

By John W. Whitehead | Rutherford Institute | March 19, 2019

The absurd cruelties of the American police state keep reaching newer heights.

Consider that if you kill a police dog, you could face a longer prison sentence than if you’d murdered someone or abused a child.

If a cop kills your dog, however, there will be little to no consequences for that officer.

Not even a slap on the wrist.

In this, as in so many instances of official misconduct by government officials, the courts have ruled that the cops have qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that incentivizes government officials to engage in lawless behavior without fear of repercussions.

This is the heartless, heartbreaking, hypocritical injustice that passes for law and order in America today.

It is estimated that a dog is shot by a police officer “every 98 minutes.”

The Department of Justice estimates that at least 25 dogs are killed by police every day.

The Puppycide Database Project estimates the number of dogs being killed by police to be closer to 500 dogs a day (which translates to 182,000 dogs a year).

In 1 out of 5 cases involving police shooting a family pet, a child was either in the police line of fire or in the immediate area of a shooting. For instance, a 4-year-old girl was accidentally shot in the leg after a police officer opened fire on a dog running towards him, missed and hit the little girl instead.

At a time when police are increasingly inclined to shoot first and ask questions later, it doesn’t take much to provoke a cop into opening fire on an unarmed person guilty of doing nothing more than standing a certain way, or moving a certain way, or holding something—anything—that police could misinterpret to be a weapon.

All a cop has to do is cite an alleged “fear” for his safety.

As journalist Radley Balko points out, “In too much of policing today, officer safety has become the highest priority. It trumps the rights and safety of suspects. It trumps the rights and safety of bystanders. It’s so important, in fact, that an officer’s subjective fear of a minor wound from a dog bite is enough to justify using potentially lethal force.”

The epidemic of cops shooting dogs takes this shameful behavior to a whole new level, though.

It doesn’t take much for a cop to shoot a dog.

Dogs shot and killed by police have been “guilty” of nothing more menacing than wagging their tails, barking in greeting, or merely being in their own yard.

For instance, Arzy, a 14-month-old Newfoundland, Labrador and golden retriever mix, was shot between the eyes by a Louisiana police officer. The dog had been secured on a four-foot leash at the time he was shot. An independent witness testified that the dog never gave the officer any provocation to shoot him.

Seven, a St. Bernard, was shot repeatedly by Connecticut police in the presence of the dog’s 12-year-old owner. Police, investigating an erroneous tip, had entered the property—without a warrant—where the dog and her owner had been playing in the backyard, causing the dog to give chase.

Dutchess, a 2-year-old rescue dog, was shot three times in the head by Florida police as she ran out her front door. The officer had been approaching the house to inform the residents that their car door was open when the dog bounded out to greet him.

Payton, a 7-year-old black Labrador retriever, and 4-year-old Chase, also a black Lab, were shot and killed after a SWAT team mistakenly raided the mayor’s home while searching for drugs. Mayor Calvo described being handcuffed and interrogated for hours—wearing only underwear and socks—surrounded by the dogs’ carcasses and pools of the dogs’ blood.

Chihuahuas, among the smallest breed of dog (known as “purse” dogs), seem to really push cops over the edge.

In Arkansas, for example, a sheriff’s deputy shot an “aggressive” chihuahua for barking repeatedly. The dog, Reese’s, required surgery for a shattered jaw and a feeding tube to eat.

Same thing happened in Texas, except Trixie—who was on the other side of a fence from the officer—didn’t survive the shooting.

Let’s put this in perspective, shall we?

We’re being asked to believe that a police officer, fully armed, trained in combat and equipped to deal with the worst case scenario when it comes to violence, is so threatened by a yipping purse dog weighing less than 10 pounds that the only recourse is to shoot the dog?

If this is the temperament of police officers bred by the police state, we should all be worried.

Clearly, our four-legged friends are suffering at the hands of an inhumane police state in which the police have all the rights, the citizenry have very few rights, and our pets—viewed by the courts as personal property like a car or a house, but far less valuable—have no rights at all.

It’s time to rein in this abuse of power.

Ultimately, this comes down to better—and constant—training in nonviolent tactics, serious consequences for those who engage in excessive force, and a seismic shift in how law enforcement agencies and the courts deal with those who transgress.

Many states are adopting laws to make canine training mandatory for police officers. After all, as the Washington Post points out, while “postal workers regularly encounter both vicious and gregarious dogs on their daily rounds… letter carriers don’t kill dogs, even though they are bitten by the thousands every year. Instead, the Postal Service offers its employees training on how to avoid bites.”

The Rutherford Institute is working on a program aimed at training police to deescalate their interactions with dogs rather than resorting to lethal force, while providing pet owners with legal resources to better protect the four-legged members of their household.

Yet as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, there will be no end to the bloodshed—of unarmed Americans or their family pets—until police stop viewing themselves as superior to those whom they are supposed to serve and start acting like the peace officers they’re supposed to be.

March 19, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , | 1 Comment

Costa Rican Indigenous Rights Defender Shot 15 Times, Killed

teleSUR | March 19, 2019

A Costa Rican Indigenous Bribri land rights activist was shot and killed late Monday night in his home in Salitre territory.

Indigenous land rights defender Sergio Rojas was assassinated by armed gunmen who shot the activist as many as 15 times at around 11:45 pm in his home, according to his neighbors, in southern Costa Rica.

Rojas was President of the Association for the Development of the Indigenous Territory of Salitre and coordinator of the National Front of Indigenous Peoples (FRENAP) in Costa Rica and was a staunch defender of the Bribri of Saltire Indigenous people who have been fighting for years to regain their rights to over 12,000 hectares of land in southern Costa Rica pledged to them by a 1938 government agreement, according to a 2014 teleSUR report.

The Bribri and other Indigenous have managed to recuperate control of some of their native lands but have become targets of violence from those who oppose their rights and sovereignty. Last December men armed with guns and machetes held hostage two Bribri women and eight minors on land they had recuperated in Salitre territory.

According to the women, they called 911 but when police arrived they spoke “aggressively” toward them and asked for their land deeds, which the authorities claimed were invalid. The police made no effort to arrest the hostage takers who escaped the scene, according to the testimonies given to Tree People Program.

This wasn’t the first time Rojas’ life was threatened. In 2012, shortly after the Bribri gained back some of their lands, the FRENAP coordinator was shot at eight times by armed men, but escaped the shooting unscathed.

March 19, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

In Israel normalising violence takes precedence over targeted assassinations

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | March 14, 2019

One outcome is certain when it comes to the forthcoming Israeli elections – Gaza will remain a top target for the new government. Amid the sparring between contenders for the elections, former IDF chief Benny Gantz declared he would implement Israel’s policy of targeted assassinations against Hamas leaders if elected, and if necessary.

His comments sought to counter Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s remarks over “Operation Protective Edge” in 2014, in which the latter used derogatory language to criticise Gantz’s decisions which, according to Bennett, endangered the lives of Israeli soldiers. Bennett alleged that Gantz would be Hamas’ preferable leadership option. This claim is also being supported by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has stated that Gantz’s party would make “significant concessions to the Palestinians.”

Both Gantz and Netanyahu have increasingly focused on Gaza in their electoral campaigns, with “Operation Protective Edge” and the Great March of Return providing premises for their arguments. Gantz, who was in charge of the aggression against the enclave, has compared the 2014 aftermath to the ongoing protests and Netanyahu’s response, which was to order snipers positioned at the border to kill and injure Palestinians participating in the demonstration.

Gantz described Netanyahu’s strategy as a “tired policy”. The alternative in such a scenario, according to the former army chief, is to “return to a policy of targeted killings.”

In June 2018, Israel’s Security Minister Gilad Erdan advocated for the targeted assassinations of Hamas leaders and Palestinians launching the “incendiary kites” from Gaza’s border.

A return to targeted killings, however, is not accurate. Israel has a long history of assassinating Palestinian leaders from Hamas and other Palestinian political factions. Only last year, a Palestinian scientist affiliated to Hamas was gunned down in Malaysia, in an operation which raised speculation about Mossad’s role even in Israeli media, although there was no forthright confirmation of the agency’s involvement.

Gantz, therefore, will not be “returning” to a policy of targeted assassinations but embarking upon a continuation of Israel’s policy. Yet, speculation on targeted assassinations alone is just a deviation from the damage which both Netanyahu and Gantz have the power to inflict on the enclave in terms of political and humanitarian related violence.

Following “Operation Protective Edge”, Netanyahu adopted a strategy that prolongs violence for Israel’s benefit. The Great March of Return is one such example. Extrajudicial killings by Israel’s snipers raised international scrutiny which, with time, mellowed down to the usual expressions of concerns regarding what is deemed as routine violence. Distancing Israel from targeted assassinations in Gaza during this period provided Israel with the opportunity to normalise its ongoing violence on the border.

Gantz is no stranger to strategy. Targeted assassinations cannot be attributed to one single leader but to the existence of the colonial state and its policies of elimination. What Gaza will face under the new Israeli government is more likely to be a continuation of measures which maintains Palestinians’ deprivation in the enclave. Electoral campaign rhetoric aside, an outright endorsement and implementation of targeted assassinations contradict the intentional ambiguity which Israel has employed against leaders or individuals who have the potential to challenge its existence.

March 14, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Palestine cuts staff pay over Israeli tax deductions

MEMO | March 10, 2019

The Palestinian government will pay civil servants half of their salaries after Israel withheld tax money collected on its behalf, according to the Palestinian finance minister.

“The government will pay 50 per cent of the salaries,” Shukri Bishara told a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday.

He said the government has also applied a host of austerity measures, including halting the appointment of new civil servants, promotions and additional allowances.

“The government needs to borrow around $50-60 million a month from the local market to meet its obligations towards its employees and state institutions,” he said.

Last month, the Ramallah-based government refused to accept deducted tax revenues collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The move came after the Israeli government decided to deduct some 502 million Israeli shekels (roughly $138 million) from the Palestinian tax money, citing that the amount was being paid by Ramallah to the families of Palestinians involved in attacks against Israeli targets.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has decried by the Israeli measure, saying his government would continue to pay monthly stipends to the families of Palestinian prisoners and martyrs.

Israel collects around $175 million each month in taxes on Palestinian imports and exports on behalf of the PA, for which tax revenue represents the main source of income.

March 10, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 1 Comment

French ophthalmologists demand Macron ban rubber bullets as eye injuries spread like ‘EPIDEMIC’

RT | March 10, 2019

France is experiencing an “epidemic” of eye injuries as police repeatedly deploy golf-ball-sized rubber bullets, France’s top ophthalmologists say, urging President Macron to halt use of the projectiles.

As the Yellow Vest protests enter their 17th consecutive week, the debate around the government’s alleged use of excessive force continues to gain momentum. On Saturday, the French newspaper Journal du Dimanche published a letter to President Macron written by the country’s 35 leading ophthalmologists, in which they asserted that the police’s use of rubber bullets has led to an “epidemic of serious eye injuries.”

Many people risk losing their vision, doctors say, hinting that the current dismal developments are no coincidence as rubber balls fly with great force and are often directed inaccurately. The letter, which demands “a moratorium” on using rubber bullets, was actually written in early February but only made public a month later to make sure the recipient gets the message, according the newspaper.

French riot police have become notorious for using hand-held guns, locally known as defence-ball launchers or Flash-Balls, during the protests that been ongoing since November.

The currently deployed model – named LBD 40 – fires 40mm foam projectiles, roughly the size of a golf ball. Rubber bullets have apparently become the police’s primary means of combating unruly crowds, and have been deployed more than 13,000 times, according to local officials.

The controversial weapon has landed the French government in hot water as reports of people losing their eyes in skirmishes with police began to surface. More than 20 protesters have lost eyes, five hands have been partially or entirely torn off, and one person lost their hearing as a result of a TNT-stuffed GLI F4 stun grenade.

The legal status of rubber-ball guns has been repeatedly questioned by human rights associations and politicians in France and abroad. In early February, France’s top administrative court, however, refused to ban the police from using the hand-held launchers.

Meanwhile, the country’s interior security code allows police to use force to dispel violent crowds but only when no other means suffice.

On Wednesday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called for a “full investigation” of France’s excessive use of force towards the Yellow Vests who, according to her words, demand a “respectful dialogue.”

Government figures show that over 2,000 protesters and over 1,000 police officers have been injured since protests broke out in November.

March 10, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

Did Israel Just Lie About a Car Ramming to Kill Two Palestinian Teens?

By Robert Inlakesh | 21st Century Wire | March 5, 2019

On Sunday, two Palestinian teenagers were shot dead by Israeli soldiers following, what the Israeli military called, an attempted car ramming ‘terrorist’ attack in the West Bank village of Kufr N’ima.

The Israeli, as well as Western press that covered it, framed the incident as if it was a closed case terrorist attack. The two soldiers injured during the collision of a civilian car and Israeli military vehicle, were described as heroes and their recovery was welcomed. Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, even weighed in on the incident, calling for the immediate demolitions of the homes of the “terrorists”.

But what really happened and was this a complete cover up, simply justifying the murder of innocent Palestinians?

Firstly we have to establish as clearly as possible what actually transpired, out of the details available.

The incident occurred late on Sunday night, during/following illegal Israeli military raids on civilian villages. The weather was reportedly bad and caused for dangerous driving conditions, especially on the underdeveloped roads of West Bank villages.Three boys, Amir Darraj, Yousef Anqawi and Haitham Alqam were driving and approached a quick corner turn, before colliding with the soldiers.

According to eyewitnesses, the Israeli jeep had no lights on and was not identifiable, a very typical thing for the soldiers to do during late night raids.

The corner was a slippery surface in the rain according to witnesses. I can also personally testify, as someone who has been in cars that have almost lost control at this very spot, to the validity of this claim. However we will never see an investigation as the Israeli occupation soldiers destroyed cameras, refuses to release its own videos and quickly took away the vehicles involved.

The Israeli claim is that they acted quickly and killed the “terrorists”, however, eye witnesses claim that there was a 5 minute gap between the crash and the shooting, this would mean that arrests could have been resorted to instead of executions. Israeli troops also refused to allow medical assistance to the teens they shot, firing tear gas at those that attempted to approach them.

A point made by a local journalist and photographer from the nearby village of Bil’in, Hamde Abu Rahmah, was that the three boys – two of which he knew very well – were not from Kufr N’ima and most likely would have had no idea that the soldiers were there. Hamde Abu Rahmah also verified in a Facebook post yesterday, that the two boys have no direct connection to any political groups or resistance factions.

Another point made by Hamde Abu Rahmah, was that car rammings almost never involve more than one operative, let alone three. Hamas and Islamic Jihad would normally announce instantly their involvement in these acts, but didn’t.

An article published in the Israeli newspaper ‘Haaretz’, repeated the Israeli claim of the boys possessing molotov cocktails, despite the fact that Israel has provided no evidence of this. Any journalist who covers the West Bank is familiar with Israel displaying all evidence it claims to have immediately, so why not in this case?

Let’s take a deeper look at this argument of the molotov cocktails. Would this be the rational weapon of choice following a car ramming? If they did have them in the car, as the Israeli military claims, but didn’t attempt to use them, does this justify the usage of live ammunition against the teens? The Israelis don’t claim the molotov cocktails were used against them following the car collision and couldn’t possibly have discovered them until after the incident occurred, so why does the media include the molotov cocktails in their accounts of what happened?

Then we have the other issue of international law and who was in the wrong. According to the 4th Geneva convention and more specifically UNGA Resolution 37/43, Palestinians have the full legal right, under international law, to armed resistance. The only legal right those Israeli soldiers had during this Sunday nights incident, was to pack up and leave.

Even if this was somehow a car ramming attack on Occupation Soldiers, the attack is not classed as terrorism under international law. If you are arguing that Israeli soldiers, illegally raiding villages, on illegally occupied territory are in the right for shooting dead two teenagers and believe this to be a terrorist attack, you are quite literally on the side of the Israelis over International Law.

The result of all this, is that Amir Darraj and Yousef Anqawi were both shot dead, their bodies have been taken by Israel’s soldiers and now the Israeli policy of collective punishment, demolishing “terrorist” homes, will now be enforced.

So not only will the families of these two dead teenagers mourn, but will mourn on the ruins of their demolished homes and will be seen all over the world as the family members of terrorists.

Author Robert Inlakesh is a special contributor to 21WIRE and European correspondent for Press TV. He has reported from on the ground in occupied Palestine. See more of his work here

March 5, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

From Qana to Gaza, Israel issues denials and smears investigations of its crimes

By Professor Kamel Hawwash | MEMO | March 5, 2019

I wrote recently about an EU report on the growth of illegal Israeli settlements and argued that the EU was diligent in documenting Israel’s-breaches of international law but that it has singularly failed to bring it to account, even when it has demolished EU-funded projects.

A more recent report commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) investigated the actions of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) at the nominal border with Gaza since 30 March last year, which marked the beginning of the Great March of Return protests. For almost 50 weeks, Israeli snipers have gunned down, with deliberate, chilling precision, Palestinian men, women and children.

The “Report of the independent international commission of inquiry on the protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory – A/HRC/40/74” acknowledges that the peaceful protests “were civilian in nature, with clearly stated political aims.” The protesters asked to be allowed to return to the homes from which they have been expelled from 1948 onwards, and for a lifting of the siege on Gaza. Instead of meeting their peaceful and legitimate demands from the outset, Israel has killed over 200 Palestinians, including journalists and medics, and maimed dozens of young men, who now have to face life as amputees, rather than sportsmen.

The irony here is that Israel complained about Malaysia’s decision to ban the Israeli Paralympics team from competing in the country, while the IDF was making its own sickening contribution to future Palestinian Paralympics teams.

The UNHRC’s report makes for gruesome reading. Israeli soldiers are accused of “intentionally firing on civilians, who were neither directly participating in hostilities, nor posing an imminent threat.” The report warns that, “These serious human rights and humanitarian law violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.”

Israel’s reaction was predictable and follows a long line of denial and smearing of any report which accuses it of wrongdoing. According to a Foreign Ministry spokesman, “This report was born in sin, in a politically biased, one-sided resolution that determined the outcome before the investigation even started.” He went on to lay the blame on Hamas: “[Hamas] has declared war on Israel and calls to kill Jews. Hamas is orchestrating the attacks and using civilians in Gaza as human weapons to assault Israel and Israeli civilians. Hamas exploits the civilians in Gaza as human shields for terrorists.” As usual when such allegations are made, no evidence is produced to back them up, nor is the legitimate right to resist military occupation ever mentioned.

The spokesman went on to smear the UNHRC and the report’s three authors: “The HRC becomes an accomplice of a terrorist organisation, supporting Hamas’s aggression against Israel and the oppression of the people of Gaza.” The three individuals, he alleged, lack any understanding in security matters, without a relevant professional background.

Israel’s apologists came out in force to condemn the report, including US President Donald Trump’s Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt. “This COI report is another manifestation of the UNHRC’s clear bias against Israel,” he tweeted, “which remains the only country that the Council dedicates an entire standing agenda item to targeting.”

Such condemnation of investigations into Israel’s crimes and smearing of investigation teams and the bodies that form them is not new. The UNHRC set up an investigation into Israel’s 2014 military offensive against the Gaza Strip which lasted for 50 days, resulting in over 2,000 Palestinians being killed and causing extensive destruction.

The Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict – A/HRC/29/52 accused both Hamas and Israel of committing war crimes. “Israel does not commit war crimes,” claimed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he rejected the report. “Israel defends itself against a terrorist organisation that calls for its destruction and carries out many war crimes.” He accused the commission of being “notoriously biased” against Israel.

Following an escalation of violence in November 2012, a UN report criticised armed Palestinian groups and the IDF. The latter, it insisted, “did not consistently uphold the basic principles of conduct of hostilities, namely, the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions.” The report documented a number of cases, including one which took place on 18 November, in which an Israeli air strike targeted without prior warning a three-storey house belonging to the Al-Dalou family in Al-Nasser neighbourhood, in central Gaza City. The strike killed 12 people, including five children and four women. Again, Israel brushed aside criticism and no individual Israeli was held accountable.

Following the 2008/9 Israeli military offensive on Gaza, the UN published the Goldstone Report on the devastating events which took place between 27 December 2008 and 17 January 2009 and which resulted in over 1,300 Palestinians being killed. The report accused both Israel and Palestinian armed groups of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Israel’s reaction was predictable. The Foreign Ministry said that, “Israel rejects the one-sided resolution adopted in Geneva by the UN human rights council and calls upon all responsible states to reject it as well… [The resolution] provides encouragement for terrorist organisations worldwide and undermines global peace.” It also accused the UNHRC of anti-Israel bias.

Israel’s siege and attack on the Jenin refugee camp in April 2002, which lasted for 10 days and killed dozens if not hundreds of Palestinians (the figures are disputed) again brought accusations of war crimes against Israel. The Israeli government refused to allow a UN team to carry out a field investigation, resulting in the UN producing a report based on available evidence. “In sum, the Israeli occupying forces have, without a doubt, committed serious violations of international humanitarian law,” the report concluded. “Also, without a doubt, war crimes, including grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, have been committed by Israel, the occupying Power, in several Palestinian cities, including in the Jenin refugee camp.” However, the report disputed the Palestinian claim of a massacre, a decision which was welcomed by the Israeli government. Furthermore, the report was judged as “seriously flawed” by human rights organisations and Britain’s Independent newspaper, which were able to corroborate many of the allegations against the occupation state. No Israeli has ever been held accountable for any violations.

It is possible to go back further in time to another Israeli atrocity to demonstrate the lack of accountability for crimes committed by the IDF. On 18 April 1996, Israeli forces shelled a UN compound in Qana, in Southern Lebanon, where 800 Lebanese civilians had taken refuge; 106 people were killed in the attack. Israel claimed that this was due to technical issues rather than deliberate targeting of a UN facility. However, the subsequent UN investigation concluded, “While the possibility cannot be ruled out completely, it is unlikely that the shelling of the United Nations compound was the result of gross technical and/or procedural errors.” The UN also found that “Contrary to repeated denials, two Israeli helicopters and a remotely piloted vehicle were present in the Qana area at the time of the shelling.” Amnesty International called for an independent investigation arguing, “It is not enough that the Israeli army investigates themselves. Israel has a history of either not investigating civilian deaths, or conducting similarly flawed inquiries.”

Now here we are, 23 years on and the UN’s most recent report again calls on Israel to investigate its own crimes, even though everyone knows that Israel never finds its own people guilty; always dismisses reports carried out by independent investigators as biased and one-sided; denies entry to the investigation teams; and refuses to cooperate. It claims to apply the highest standards of self-regulation but no one has ever been held fully accountable for any crimes, despite the thousands of deaths, the tens of thousands of injuries and the tens of thousands of homes that have been destroyed by Israelis since Qana, never mind the other massacres which have occurred since 1948.

It is time for Israel to be held to account for its actions, for the sake of those who have suffered at its hands. If international law is to have any credibility at all, we need to ensure that all UN member states pay due respect to human rights and the quest for justice through due legal process.

March 5, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Four Young Palestinian Lives Snuffed Out Every Month for The Past Year at The Hands of Israeli Soldiers

By CJ Werleman | American Herald Tribune | February 28, 2019

Last Friday, Yousef a-Dava, a 15-year old Palestinian boy was shot and killed by Israeli snipers, becoming the 48th child slain in Gaza by Israeli security forces since the Great Return March began nearly 12 months ago.

“He was peacefully protesting for a better future, raising the Palestinian flag, is the Palestinian flag a weapon?” asked his grief-stricken sister, Nariman al-Daya, in an interview with Middle East Eye.

His death was every bit as gruesome as it was unjustifiably atrocious, with eyewitnesses explaining how he “tried to stand up, walk a couple more steps” before falling to the ground again, after the bullet fired by an Israeli sniper “entered Yousef’s body, exploded hear his heart, exited from his back” and injured another man who was standing behind him.

Less than one hour later he was pronounced dead at al-Shifa Hospital after an emergency operation failed to revive him.

What other democratic ally do we allow 48 unarmed children to be shot and killed for flying a flag or kite in an open field, one that is ring-fenced by high-voltage electric currents, spot-and-strike machine gun posts, armored tanks and dozens of the world’s most lethal military marksmen?

If this were happening in Poland, Spain, or Portugal, both the United States and United Nations would’ve moved quickly to impose economic sanctions, while calls to invade and bomb would be heard far louder than a mere whisper, but this is Israel, the “Middle East’s only democracy,” so the entirely erroneous propaganda tagline goes.

48 murdered children equates to four young lives snuffed out every month for the past year at the hands of Israeli soldiers, who in no way felt threatened by these now slain youngsters. Unless, of course, you think children throwing rocks from inside a cage at armored vehicles positioned hundreds of meters away on the other side fortified fences and barricades is a threat to anyone or anything, which it clearly it isn’t!

Thus these deaths are to be identified for what they truly are: the cold-blooded murder of innocent and non-threatening children.

Of course, nowhere in the Western media is this reality framed in this accurate way. Instead we are fed headlines, or rather footnotes from the likes of The New York Times that read, “15-year-old boy killed in Gaza today,” without identifying the benign circumstances that led to his death, with newspaper editors doing their very best to falsely portray flag waving and rock-throwing protesters to be on equal footing to the most sophisticated military force in the Middle East.

It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, that if a population of 2 million predominately Jews or Christians were held in an open-air prison, which is precisely what Gaza is, and then bombed, strafed, droned, and shelled periodically, with children shot dead by snipers wearing the flag of a Muslim majority country, then there’d be no other issue the Western media would be talking about.

On Thursday, the United Nations published a report concluding, “Israeli soldiers committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian law,” adding that “some of those violations may constitute war crimes of crimes against humanity.”

“Many young person’s lives have been altered forever,” contends the United Nations Human Rights Council. “122 people have had a limb amputated since March 30 last year. Twenty of these amputees are children.”

Moreover, these deaths scratch only the surface of Israel’s savage war on Palestinian children. When Israel invaded Gaza in the summer of 2014, Palestinian children represented 25% of all civilians killed, with human rights groups documenting the deaths of 504 are under the age of 18.

Then there are the 500-700 Palestinian children who are detained each year in the Israeli military court system, some indefinitely, with most held and prosecuted on the charge of stone throwing.

It is in these Israeli military detention centers where some of the most egregious crimes against Palestinian children take place, with two-thirds reporting Israeli soldiers subjected them to violence and physical abuse.

Several years ago, UNICEF published a report that documented Israel’s systematic and systemic abuse of detained Palestinian children, concluding that “the ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process, from the moment of arrest to indictment of the child, the conviction and issuing of the verdict.”

The authors of the report also observed how child detainees were often arrested in the middle of the night, denied access to a lawyer or parents prior or during interrogation, denied right to remain silent, alongside credible claims Palestinian children were raped or threatened with rape or execution.

Ultimately Israel gets away with these atrocities because its violence and crimes against the Palestinian people takes place inside a media vacuum, with mainstream networks and publications giving a head glance towards the occupation and conflict only in moments where Palestinians, who are denied the right to resist Israel’s violence and illegalities peacefully, respond with violence of their own.

Until such time the world’s media and international community holds Israel accountable for its violations of international law and denial of human rights to the Palestinian people, it’ll continue to murder children as young as 2 years of age with total and complete impunity.

February 28, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Belfast Collusion: Supreme Court Rules Finucane Murder Inquiry Failed Miserably

Sputnik – 27.02.2019

The official investigation into the 1989 murder of Belfast solicitor Patrick Finucane, one of the most notorious killings of the Troubles, was ineffective and failed to meet human rights standards, the UK Supreme Court has ruled.

In a unanimous judgment, five justices said the investigation carried out by Sir Desmond de Silva in 2011 was frustrated by his inability to compel witnesses to testify about the killing. However, the court did not order a public inquiry, and left it to Whitehall to decide whether a new investigation should be conducted.

Under Article Two of the European convention on human rights, states have a duty not to kill, and an obligation to carry out an effective investigation into deaths.

“If [de Silva] had been able to compel witnesses; if he had been able to probe their accounts; if he had been given the chance to press those whose testimony might have led to identification of those involved in targeting Mr. Finucane… [then] one might have concluded all means possible to identify those involved had been deployed. Absent those vital steps, the conclusion an Article Two-compliant inquiry into Mr. Finucane’s death has not yet taken place is inescapable. It is for the state to decide… what form of investigation, if indeed any is now feasible, is required in order to meet that requirement,” Kerr ruled.

Collusion

Finucane was shot dead at his home in north Belfast 12 February 1989 by Ken Barrett and another masked man, after the pair battered down his front door with a sledgehammer and entered the kitchen, where Finucane’s family were eating a Sunday meal. They immediately opened fire and shot him twice, knocking him to the floor, before firing 12 further bullets into his face at close range. Finucane’s wife Geraldine was slightly wounded in the attack — Finucane’s three children were unharmed, having hidden underneath the kitchen table.

The Ulster Defence Association/Ulster Freedom Fighters (UDA/UFF) claimed responsibility, saying Finucane had been a high-ranking officer in the Irish Republican Army — no evidence has ever emerged to support this claim, and Finucane had represented both republicans and loyalists in high profile cases.

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) launched an investigation — Detective Superintendent Alan Simpson, who led the probe, stated a notable lack of intelligence on the murder flowed from other agencies regarding the killing. Activists and human rights groups long-suspected the RUC, or other elements of the British security state, had played a role in the attack, and in 2003, the British Government Stevens Report concluded the killing was indeed carried out with the assistance of police in Northern Ireland.

Moreover, it has emerged the loyalist paramilitary responsible for directing UDA attacks, Brian Nelson, was an agent of the British army’s notorious Force Research Unit, which provably colluded with loyalist paramilitaries in the murder of civilians. The Unit is also alleged to have carried out an arson attack on the offices of the Stevens Inquiry — the official investigation into British state collusion with paramilitary groups — in order to destroy incriminating evidence on its operational activities collected by Lord Stevens’ team.

In 2001, the UK and Irish governments agreed an international judge would investigate Finucane’s killing, among others, under the auspices of an official inquiry — but the decision was reversed in 2010 by then-Prime Minister David Cameron. In explaining his decision to Finucane’s family, he said “people in buildings all around here [Westminster] won’t let it happen”.

Nonetheless, in a public statement, Cameron acknowledged there’d been “shocking levels of collusion” between loyalist elements and the British state during the Troubles.

See Also:

UK Intel Planned Massacre at Catholic School – Former Ulster Paramilitary

February 27, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment