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First Palestinian child killed by Israeli forces in 2019 was struck in head with tear-gas canister

Abdel-Raouf Ismail Mohammad Salha (13) succumbed to wounds sustained during Great March of Return on 11 January 2019. [Twitter]
MEMO | January 17, 2019

The first Palestinian child killed by Israeli occupation forces in 2019 was struck in the head by a tear-gas canister during the suppression of protests in the Gaza Strip.

According to Defence for Children International-Palestine (DCIP), Abdel-Raouf Ismail Mohammad Salha – just 13-years-old – was “struck on the left side of his head by an Israeli-fired tear gas canister that caused a brain injury on the afternoon of January 11”.

The child was pronounced dead from his injuries three days later in Gaza City’s Shifa hospital.

“Crowd control weapons such as tear gas canisters can become lethal weapons when fired at children, especially if the point of impact is on a child’s head or torso,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director for DCIP.

In 2018, the NGO documented “three cases where children died after tear gas canisters fired by Israeli forces struck them”.

On the day in question, Abdel-Raouf was “participating in a weekly protest in the Abu Safia hill area, southeast of Beit Hanoun”. At around 4pm, while the boy was “standing approximately 150 meters (492 feet) from the perimeter fence with a group of other protesters”, Israeli forces in military jeeps from the other side of the perimeter fence “fired tear gas canisters at the group”.

“The witness saw Abdel-Raouf collapse and a wound bleeding from his head”, DCIP added.

Doctors told DCIP that “the force of impact caused a skull fracture and fragments of bone to enter the boy’s brain”.

In 2018, DCIP “independently verified the deaths of 57 Palestinian children at the hands of Israeli forces or settlers across the Occupied Palestinian Territory”, including 49 killed in the Gaza Strip.

READ ALSO:

Israel killing of Palestine children in Gaza protests amounts to ‘war crimes’ 

January 17, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 6 Comments

Gaza, A look into the eyes of barbarism

El Retorno Producciones | December 28, 2018

GAZA short documentary, nominated for the Goya 2019. It tells the human rights violations suffered by the Gaza Strip after Israel’s latest attack.

January 3, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Nineteen Palestinian Journalists Are Still Imprisoned By Israel

IMEMC News – December 31, 2018

The Palestinian Information Ministry has reported that there are nineteen Palestinian journalists who are still imprisoned by Israel, in direct violation of various treaties and International Law.

In a press statement Monday, the Ministry said that the Israeli occupation and its military courts are ongoing with their serious violations against the journalists and various media outlets in occupied Palestine.

It said that many journalists have also been forced under house arrest, others were forced out of their towns, in addition to facing high fines by the Israeli military courts for performing their duties.

The Ministry also said that some of the abducted journalists were shot and injured, while others are sick, in need of specialized medical treatment but are denied that right.

The soldiers also invaded and violently searched many media outlets across the West Bank, and confiscated equipment.

The Information Ministry stated that Israel’s violations are ongoing attempts to silence the Palestinian media outlets and the journalists, and urged the International Federation of Journalists, Reporters Without Borders, and various related organizations around the world to intervene and stop the escalating abuses against the media and the Freedom of the Press in occupied Palestine.

It is worth mentioning that the soldiers have also killed Palestinian Photojournalist Yasser Mortaja, and journalist Ahmad Abu Hussein, in the Gaza Strip, in addition to wounding dozens of journalists, during the Great Return March processions.

January 1, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The UN’s vision of ‘peace’ for Palestine excludes ordinary Palestinians

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | December 27, 2018

The UN is now adamant that the Palestinian Authority should return to govern the Gaza Strip. In the aftermath of Israel’s 2014 Operation Protective Edge, this hypothesis was raised by the US and has seldom been questioned, ostensibly due to other pressing factors such as delivering the necessary humanitarian aid to displaced and injured Palestinians in the besieged enclave.

Since the Palestinian cause has become fragmented into separate issues to prevent national unity, the PA — through decisions taken by its leader Mahmoud Abbas — has slowly imposed its own sanctions on Gaza, bizarrely in the name of unity. This facade was dropped swiftly, though, to reveal the real reason for the sanctions; the Fatah-led PA wants to force Hamas to relinquish its political power in the enclave. Hamas, remember, won the last Palestinian elections in 2006, but has never been allowed to govern both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as it was entitled to.

Protests in the occupied West Bank expressing solidarity with Gaza have been met with excessive violence from the PA’s security forces, which basically exist to protect Israel, not the people of Palestine. Criticising Abbas’s collaboration with Israel and the international community is a dangerous endeavour for ordinary Palestinians.

None of this is of any concern to the UN. In the past months, the organisation’s officials have specifically expressed a preference for the PA under Abbas to return to Gaza. It was UN Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov who reiterated this demand in his briefing to the UN Security Council: “Ultimately, reuniting Gaza and the West Bank under a single, legitimate and democratic Palestinian Authority and putting an end to the occupation will ensure long-term peace.” Abbas’s own term of office as President was supposed to end in 2009, by the way; he has refused to hold a presidential election that he knows he will lose.

Mladenov also attempted to conflate resistance in Gaza and the occupied West Bank. “It is critical that events in the West Bank do not lead to reigniting the Gaza fuse,” he insisted. “The people in Gaza have suffered enough and must not be made to pay the price for violence elsewhere.”

Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are suffering varying degrees of oppression, yet there is one consistent omission from the narrative: both civilian populations are victims of collaboration between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. If the people of Gaza have “suffered enough”, to quote Mladenov, why is the UN insisting that the instigator of a large part of their oppression return to the enclave as part of a solution that is nowhere in sight?

How long will it take, I wonder, for the UN to move from expressing opinions about its preferred Palestinian government, to imposing yet another demand upon the Palestinians in Gaza which will also be detrimental to those in the occupied West Bank?

If the UN really wishes the PA to return to Gaza, and there is no reason to doubt its officials’ statements, it is advocating the elimination of Gaza’s elected political representation — albeit with an expired term in office — in favour of a hierarchy that was created and backed to implement the international plan for Palestine’s destruction.

The UN is implementing a new degree of impunity allocated exclusively to the PA. There will be no voices at an international level clamouring against this human rights violation, though. On the contrary, a future collective chorus seeking PA rule in Gaza will do so from within the loose interpretation of human rights advocated by the UN. There is no logic in seeking the return of an entity that has itself contributed to crippling Gaza as a step towards peace. If this is what the UN wants, then it must be clear that the international community’s vision of peace excludes ordinary Palestinians, which is tantamount to supporting Israel’s plans for a complete colonial takeover of historic Palestine.

 

December 31, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Remembering Israel’s 2008 War on Gaza

By Rebecca Stead | MEMO | December 27, 2018

What: Israel waged a three-week military offensive against the Gaza Strip, killing almost 1,400 Palestinians and wounding thousands more.

Where: The Gaza Strip

When: 27 Dec 2008 – 18 Jan 2009

What happened?

On 27 December 2008, Israel launched a massive military offensive against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The Strip had been placed under an Israeli-led siege a year earlier, subjecting the 360 square-kilometre-enclave to a land, air and sea blockade. Codenamed Operation Cast Lead, this offensive began at 11am on a Saturday morning, with Israeli Air Force jets firing on targets across the territory. Ynet reported at the time that “80 jets, warplanes and helicopters dropped over 100 bombs on dozens of targets [during] the initial strike.” Among the targets were the small fishing port and the main police compound in Gaza City.

Aerial campaign

Throughout the first week of the assault, Israel relied on aerial attacks to pound Gaza. A report by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights for the week 24–31 December 2008 (cited in the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, sometimes known as the Goldstone Report) found that Israel “launched at least 300 air and sea strikes against the Gaza Strip. These strikes targeted 37 houses; 67 security and training sites; 20 workshops; 25 public and private institutions; seven mosques; and three educational institutions.”

Police stations in particular came under deliberate attack across the Strip. The “Arafat City” police headquarters in Gaza City, as well as three other stations, were attacked within the first few minutes of the assault on 27 December. The UN report states that, over the course of Israel’s military operations, 248 members of the Gaza police force were killed, which means that more than one out of every six fatalities was a police officer.

Israel’s Defence Minister at the time, Ehud Barak, claimed that there were three objectives for launching the offensive: “Dealing Hamas [which, since winning the 2006 Palestinian elections, had governed the Gaza Strip] a forceful blow; fundamentally changing the situation in Gaza; and bringing the rocket attacks against Israeli citizens to a halt.” Barak ordered a “special situation on the home front” for all Israeli communities within a 13-mile radius of the nominal border of the coastal enclave, which was quickly expanded to include the southern Israeli cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon.

Israel also drafted around 6,700 army reservists, in case it decided to widen the operation. Given that the assault was launched during election season, all contenders halted their campaigns in a show of support for then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who had also launched a war on Lebanon just two years earlier.

READ: Former Israel PM ordered targeting densely populated areas in 2008 Gaza war

Escalation and ground invasion

On the eighth day of the war – 3 January 2009 — Israel launched a ground invasion of Gaza. Israeli infantry entered the enclave from the north, supported by artillery fire and fighter jets. The Palestinians in Gaza, it must be remembered, have no artillery or other heavy weapons, no tanks, no air force and no navy. They faced the full might of one of the world’s strongest and best equipped armed forces.

The UN report details how Israel tried to cut the Strip in two – bisecting the territory from Karni (Al-Muntar) Crossing in the east, through Al-Nuseirat south of Gaza City, to the coast – before focusing troops in the north. For a further five days the northern towns of Al-Atatra and Beit Lahia came under heavy attack, with the UN report detailing “[Israel’s] alleged use of human shields, the alleged widespread mistreatment of civilians, including detentions, and transfers of large numbers to Israeli prisons in unlawful circumstances.”

Israel’s use of chemical weapons

In the later stages of the war, reports began to surface claiming that Israel had used white phosphorous — a chemical which creates a smokescreen for offensives but which causes severe burns and organ failure — during its attack on the people of Gaza.

Israel initially denied these reports, but investigations by several human rights organisations documented evidence to the contrary. A 2009 Amnesty International report found that “Israeli forces made extensive use of white phosphorus, often launched from 155mm artillery shells, in residential areas, causing death and injuries to civilians.” Among the targets were the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) headquarters and Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City; an UNRWA primary school in Beit Lahia, north of Jabalia; and numerous residential areas.

Amnesty explained that:

[quote] “White phosphorus is extremely dangerous for humans as it causes deep burns through muscle and down to the bone, continuing to burn until deprived of oxygen. It can contaminate other parts of the body, or even people treating the injuries, poisoning and irreparably damaging internal organs.”

The rights organisation added: “Although using white phosphorus as an obscurant is not forbidden under international humanitarian law, air-bursting white phosphorus artillery shells over densely populated areas of Gaza violated the requirement to take necessary precautions to protect civilians.”

Human Rights Watch (HRW) agreed with Amnesty’s assessment, claiming that the manner in which Israel used the chemical could constitute a war crime. HRW’s “Rain of Fire” report argued that while “white phosphorus munitions did not kill the most civilians in Gaza […] their use in densely populated neighbourhoods […] violated international humanitarian law (the laws of war), which requires taking all feasible precautions to avoid civilian harm and prohibits indiscriminate attacks.”

READ:Israel has failed to initiate prosecutions relating to Gaza war crimes, NGO tells UN

Ceasefire

On 8 January 2009, the UN Security Council approved resolution 1860 calling for a ceasefire in the Strip by a 14-0 margin. The United States abstained in the vote. The resolution called for an “immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.” It condemned “all violence and hostilities directed against civilians and all acts of terrorism”, calling for “the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment.”

Both Israel and Hamas declared the resolution invalid. The war continued for another 10 days, only coming to a close after a brutal 22 days. “The ferocity of the attack was unprecedented in the more than six-decade-old conflict between Israelis and Palestinians,” the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) observed.

According to figures from Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem, 1,390 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead. Among those killed were 344 minors and 110 women. B’Tselem estimates that 759 of those killed in Gaza were Palestinians who did not take part in hostilities, and yet were still killed by Israeli forces.

What happened next?

Donald Macintyre, former Jerusalem bureau chief for the Independent, said in his book Gaza: Preparing for Dawn that following Operation Cast Lead, “It was impossible to ascribe ‘victory’ to either side.” He argued that Israel’s “bellicose pre-war talk of ‘crushing’ or ‘removing’ Hamas” proved to be “little more” than talk, while Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh’s claim of victory was “at least as hollow”.

Gaza, however, has never recovered from the 2008 war. While acknowledging that its economy was already being strangled by the siege, the UN report found that Israel’s military operation “destroyed a substantial part of the Gaza Strip’s economic infrastructure and its capacity to support decent livelihoods for families.” The figures speak for themselves: 700 businesses were damaged or destroyed, with direct losses totalling approximately $140 million; the agricultural sector suffered direct losses worth $170 million; and over 3,354 houses were completely destroyed, with a further 11,112 partially damaged, according to figures from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). A separate UN report estimated the cost of Gaza’s losses and damage at $1.1 billion.

In the years since, Israel’s siege of the Strip has prevented the reconstruction of infrastructure destroyed during its 2008 offensive. To add insult to injury, Gaza has also since been the target of two more wars at the hands of Israel: the 2012 war, dubbed Operation Pillar of Defence, and the 2014 war, dubbed Operation Protective Edge. Almost 4,000 Palestinians were killed during these three offensives. Today, 54 per cent of Gaza’s almost 2 million-strong population is unemployed, while 53 per cent live under the poverty line in what has been described as one of the worst humanitarian situations in the world.

A decade later, Israel continues to shirk responsibility for its actions. Earlier this month, an Israeli court ruled against Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian doctor who lost three of his daughters during an Israeli air strike on his home in Jabalia, in the north of the Strip. Abuelaish’s story was made famous after he discovered that his children — 13-year-old Bessan, 15-year-old Mayar and 20-year-old Aya – had been killed while he was speaking to an Israeli TV channel; his suffering was broadcast live across the country and later shared widely around the world. Despite Abuelaish’s grief and the international attention his story received, the court still ruled that Israel bore no responsibility for the girls’ deaths, instead calling it an “unfortunate side effect” of the war.

READ: Israel killed Gaza teens with ‘warning’ missile then published misleading video, investigation reveals

December 27, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Dahlan slams US ‘deal of the century’, prefers one-state solution

MEMO | December 13, 2018

The Palestinian Authority (PA)’s ex-Security Chief Mohammed Dahlan has criticised the US’ “deal of the century” claiming he would prefer to see a one-state solution prevail in Israel-Palestine.

In an interview yesterday with Russian state TV channel Russia Today, Dahlan argued that “the ‘deal of the century’ that the Americans speak of as a solution to the Palestinian problem is a total disaster,” Ynet reported. Dahlan added: “I [also] do not see the two-state solution happening. That is why I come with a new proposal: to establish one state, where Palestinians can run their lives without being dependent on Israel.”

While acknowledging that “our [Palestinians’] bigger dream is, of course, an independent Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza,” Dahlan argued this option was unlikely to be accepted by Israel or its main ally the United States. “Instead of nurturing illusions that will never be fulfilled,” he explained,

We should start internalising the notion of one-state for two nations, and demand full rights for the Palestinians.

Dahlan also criticised PA President Mahmoud Abbas, with whom he has been engaged in a feud since resigning as the PA’s Security Chief in 2007 and going into exile in the UAE. Dahlan told Russia Today that: “[Yasser] Arafat’s death marked the end of the era of great leaders in the Palestinian Authority. Abbas is nothing but a manager of a civilian authority in Ramallah. Nothing more. I suggest he pays a visit to the Gaza Strip, to pacify and encourage the people there, because the Gaza citizens are paying a very heavy price.”

This is not the first time Dahlan has called for Abbas to visit Gaza. Addressing an event in the besieged Strip via video link in November, Dahlan said: “I am calling for Abbas to visit Gaza and announce a national unity government,” referring to the split between Hamas – which governs the Gaza Strip – and Fatah – which dominates the PA in the occupied West Bank – that has been ongoing since Hamas won the last Palestinian elections in 2006.

Though Abbas has also criticised the so-called “deal of the century” – touted by US President Donald Trump as a solution to the situation in Israel-Palestine – his response has been meek. This has drawn condemnation from numerous parties and claims that the PA president has “lost his legitimacy”. Abbas has also seemed unable to counter the US’ repeated measures against Palestinians, from halting UNRWA funding to closing the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington.

This inaction has heightened tensions with Dahlan, who is often mentioned in discussions of who will succeed Abbas as PA president. Yet Dahlan is not without controversy, having grown close to the Emirati establishment and formed ties with Israel and Saudi Arabia. In October it emerged that Dahlan had arranged for US mercenaries to carry out targeted assassinations in Yemen on behalf of the UAE, meeting with an Israeli security contractor to arrange the deal. In November, Dahlan’s security team was revealed to have helped cover up the brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, using fake passports to travel to Istanbul carrying tools and chemicals to hide any traces of the killing.

See also:

Israel settlers call for Abbas’ assassination

Dahlan: Bin Salman will remain in power for the next 50 years

December 13, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Seeking protection for the Palestinians at the UN empowers the criminals

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | December 11, 2018

The debate on whether Palestinians should be granted international protection continues. Adalah’s November 2018 Report to the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 Protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territories says that, since Israel “failed to exercise its criminal jurisdiction over those responsible for the violation of such serious crimes”, thus upholding impunity, there is a “pressing need for international actors to take action to provide remedies and accountability for Palestinian victims of the 2018 protests.”

As Israeli snipers killed and maimed Palestinians participating in the Great March of Return protests, calls for international protection increased. In June, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on protecting Palestinian civilians which required the UN Secretary General to submit a report within 60 days with proposals on how to implement the resolution. Much more than 60 days have passed and the Palestinians still have neither António Guterres’s proposals nor international protection.

While the theory might sound in order, the reality reveals how macabre it is to trust in UN institutions. There are many discrepancies between human rights and institutions which have trapped many NGOs concerned with such rights into playing a role that is dissociated from the people they are supporting. Some have aligned with the UN’s interests, preferring the rhetoric of allegations rather than outright allegations that Israel is committing war crimes for all to see.

Other NGOs are attempting to secure the protection of Palestinian rights within a framework that is already corrupted. The result is that the recommendations, although made in the best interests of the people of Palestine, are likely to go unheeded or, if implemented, will still be detrimental to those they are meant to help due to the international community’s upholding of Israel’s colonial agenda.

If human rights serve the institutions’ purposes and not the people, reaching out to the international community for the protection of Palestinians is as farcical as expecting Israel to demonstrate its accountability. The UN created the foundations for Israel’s impunity and the truth is simple; upholding Palestinian rights will unravel the organisation’s stability due to the fact that it will have to face its trajectory of violence inflicted upon the Palestinian population.

There is thus no international protection for Palestinians. If NGOs and activists continue to look towards the international community for help, they will be maintaining another cycle of complacency in which the echelons that can make a difference will continue to pass defunct resolutions to add to the UN archives. Human rights violations have continued in part precisely because the world has been coerced into looking towards the privileged to allow rights to trickle down. The UN and human rights are synonymous, so it is important to dispel that narrative and expose the organisation’s role in maintaining the cycle of human rights violations.

One way to do this is to refrain from seeking international protection that will in any case never be forthcoming. If the international community really wanted to protect Palestinians, it would have done so years ago. Moreover, looking for solutions from the same entities that encouraged the colonisation of Palestine in the first place (and continue to do so), does not empower the Palestinians.

The only way forward is to shatter the façade encouraged by the UN and find ways of supporting Palestinians from within. If the UN really cares about human rights, it should step down off its pedestal and, for a change, follow the meaning of liberation from within the Palestinian narrative, not Israel’s. Until it is ready and willing to do that, seeking protection for the Palestinians from the international organisation only empowers and emboldens the criminals.

December 11, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Senior Israeli Lawmaker: “The Israeli army has enough bullets for every Palestinian”

IMEMC News & Agencies – December 10, 2018

Chairman for the Defense Committee of the Israeli Parliament of the Knesset, Avi Dichter, recently made an underhanded remark expressing favor for killing all Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

As he was commenting on the protests of the Great March of Return, taking place along the eastern fence of the Gaza Strip, he said: “The Israeli army has enough bullets for every Palestinian.”

Dichter is a senior member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling right-wing Likud Party.

A former director of Shin Bet internal security service and Minister of Internal Security, Dichter said that the Israeli army is prepared to use all means, including lethal force to deter the Palestinians protesters.

Since March 31, thousands of peaceful Palestinian protesters have been staging protests along the eastern fence of the Gaza Strip, calling for lifting the 12-year-old Israeli siege and reinforcing the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan repeatedly referred to the protesters killed in Gaza as “Nazis,” saying that there were no demonstrations, just “Nazi anger.”

He later added, according to Days of Palestine : “The number [of peaceful Palestinian protesters] killed does not mean anything because they are just Nazis, anyhow.”

December 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 8 Comments

Hamas calls on UN to support Palestinians’ right to bear arms against Israel

Head of the Political Bureau of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh makes a speech during a conference on 18 September, 2018 in Gaza City, Gaza [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]
MEMO | November 29, 2018

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh has called on the United Nations to recognise and support the Palestinian people’s right to bear arms against Israel in self-defence.

Haniyeh wrote to UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Maria Fernada Spinosa in advance of the organisation’s debate regarding Hamas rocket fire into Israel.

“We reiterate the right of our people to defend themselves and to resist the occupation, by all available means,” wrote Haniyeh, “including armed resistance, guaranteed by the international law.” He based the demand on international law drawn up and implemented by the UN, which gives states and peoples the right to defend themselves with arms if necessary, in the case of an external attack. “The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted dozens of resolutions that affirm the right of peoples to independence, self-determination and struggle by all available means, peaceful and non-peaceful, for that right. The UN singled out the Palestinian people for dozens of relevant resolutions, including 2621, 2649, 2787 and 3236,” he said.

After condemning the US for adopting Israel’s narrative of the conflict and justifying Israel’s aggression towards the Palestinians, Haniyeh insisted that “the last of these efforts is the attempt by the United States Ambassador to the United Nations… to submit a draft resolution condemning the Palestinian resistance and the right of our people to defend themselves against this racist and continuous occupation for more than seven decades.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, commented on Haniyeh’s letter, saying that Hamas “going to the UN for assistance is like a serial killer asking the police for assistance. Israel and the United States will continue to mobilize the countries of the world into a united front against the terrorism that Hamas engages in.”

The debate held in the UN today coincides with the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which is held every year on 29 November. It comes two weeks after the latest Israeli assault on Gaza, which broke out after an undercover Israeli special forces operation in the strip was botched and compromised by Hamas. Days later, a ceasefire was declared, which was again broken by Israel the following morning when Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian fisherman off the coast of Gaza.

READ: US lobbies for vote against Hamas at UN General Assembly

November 29, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel and the international community are normalising the forced displacement of Palestinians

The remains of a building smoulders and smokes in the aftermath of Israel’s air strike on Gaza on 12 November 2018 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | November 15, 2018

A Washington Post editorial sums up the mainstream aftermath of Israeli aggression against Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is credited with purportedly “choosing peace” in the enclave: “The ceasefire and humanitarian respite that Mr Netanyahu has accepted are far better than another war.” The Post is wrong. Netanyahu has not chosen peace; he has opted for opportunistic political engagement to safeguard his interests while knowing that whatever decision is taken, Palestinians will remain at a political and humanitarian disadvantage.

Despite claims to the contrary, there is no indication of any humanitarian respite through Netanyahu’s decision. EuroMed Monitor’s analysis of the recent bombing of Gaza shows that nine residential buildings were destroyed and 80 other houses were affected directly, resulting in the displacement of 100 Palestinian families in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Last April, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories revealed that more than 22,000 civilians in Gaza remained displaced following Israel’s military offensive Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Every act of Israeli aggression against the enclave has contributed to the forced internal displacement of Palestinian families.

There is no humanitarian relief in any form of displacement. In this case, while the ceasefire obviously postponed even more destruction, it also contributed to the normalisation of forced displacement. The families displaced by Israel within just 24 hours this week have no visibility in terms of humanitarian relief, not least because their plight is shared by almost the entire population, if one takes into consideration the fact that most Palestinians in Gaza are long-term refugees from the 1948 Nakba. Despite this, contemporary discourse about forced displacement is always tied to latest events. The historical forced displacement that altered Gaza has long since been forgotten by the international community which speaks of the enclave as an aberration. It is only within the Palestinian narrative that refugees are at the forefront due to shared experiences and memory.

Once the definitions depart from the source, there is ongoing fragmentation of the displaced population depending upon the aggression. Conversely, Palestinian refugees are also marginalised collectively in terms of visibility. Four years ago, the UN was speaking about meeting the needs of the displaced Palestinians in Gaza and setting up mechanisms which shifted control back to Israel to determine the pace of building new dwellings.

This time, however, the perpetual exposure and exploitation of Gaza’s humanitarian situation will take precedence. The recently displaced families will be woven into a discourse of “additional hardships” and their plight, like that of other Palestinians, paraded as one of the reasons why control of the enclave should be entrusted to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Such an agreement would not solve the political and humanitarian problem of the displaced families but it would provide the foundations to constrain any possible solution within the so-called international efforts at peace building.

There is a major problem with relying upon international organisations, in particular the UN, to determine the parameters of Gaza’s situation. Israel is blatantly pushing those parameters and the international community acquiesces to its violations. In doing so, global bodies lower their human rights standards while simultaneously being complicit in the abuses of the very rights which they claim to uphold.

November 15, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Israel court rules state not liable for killing 15-year-old in Gaza

MEMO | November 15, 2018

An Israeli court has ruled that the state is not liable for damages for killing a 15-year-old Palestinian in Gaza, setting a precedent which means Israel will be immune from further legal action.

Fifteen-year-old Attiya Fathi Al-Nabaheen was shot by Israeli forces on 11 November 2014 in the wake of the 2014 war on Gaza. He was standing on his family’s property near Al-Bureij, in the centre of the besieged Gaza Strip and close to the fence with Israel, when he was shot at close range.

Attiya’s case was brought to Israel’s Beersheba District Court by two NGOs – Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights and the Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (known as Adalah) – in an attempt to achieve justice for his shooting and injuries.

Yet the court ruled against Attiya and his family, citing Article 5/B-1 of Amendment 8 of the Civil Wrongs Law (State Responsibility) of 1952. The article in question states that “residents of a territory declared by the Israeli government as “enemy territory”—as Gaza was declared in 2007—are not eligible to seek compensation from Israel,” Wafa reported.

Citing a press release by Adalah, Wafa added: “By upholding the constitutionality of this new law, enacted in 2012, all Gaza residents are now banned from redress and remedy in Israel, regardless of the circumstances and the severity of the injury or damages claimed.”

Adalah explains that Israel has repeatedly used this law to dismiss hundreds of cases similar to that of Attiya, often setting criteria which are impossible for Palestinians from Gaza to meet. These criteria include declaring Gazans who suffer wounds during Israeli military operations ineligible to seek compensation, requiring thousands of dollars in court guarantees and needing to give power of attorney in person – a feat which is virtually impossible given Israel’s control over Gazan’s freedom of movement and closing of all pedestrian crossings into Israel.

Even though Attiya’s case could not be blocked by the first criteria – since his injuries were not sustained during an Israeli military operation – and the two NGOs assisting his family were able to overcome the other obstacles, the court ruled that his status as a resident of Gaza was sufficient to deny him compensation or damages.

Israel regularly kills and maims Palestinians in Gaza with impunity. This weekend Israel killed seven Palestinians and wounded scores more during a botched operation near the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis. The operation sparked two nights of intense bombardment, with the level of destruction compared to the 2014 Gaza war.

This year has also seen thousands of Gazans wounded by Israeli live fire for participating in the “Great March of Return” protests. As of 4 October, 205 Palestinians have been killed and 21,288 more have been wounded by Israel, according to statistics from the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHAoPt). Many of these were subsequently denied permission to travel to the occupied West Bank or abroad for medical treatment.

November 15, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Removing Billboard “Honoring the First Responders of Gaza” is Attack on Free Speech

By Palestine Advocacy Project | Dissident Voice | November 15th, 2018

Nearly 3 weeks into its planned 4-week run, an electronic billboard honoring first responders in the Gaza Strip was pulled November 13th because the billboard company received phone calls and email complaints calling their staff terrorists and anti-Semites, and threatening a boycott.

The Palestine Advocacy Project sponsored the billboard on Interstate 93 near Boston to highlight the desperate situation in the Gaza strip, and to emphasize the humanity and agency of the people of Gaza, who are often portrayed as terrorists or victims. The billboard included a photo of deceased Palestinian medic Razan al-Najjar and text reading: “Honoring the First Responders of Gaza. Saving Lives. Rescuing Hope.” It was estimated to be viewed by over a half million motorists each week of its planned 4-week run, beginning 24 October. The billboard was met with positive media coverage.

This week, a coordinated, aggressive campaign was launched against the billboard company with accusations of anti-Semitism, intended to damage the company for hosting this billboard. Sarah Gold, a volunteer with the Palestine Advocacy Project, said, “This campaign is neither engaging us nor our perspective. Instead it is attempting through intimidation to eradicate the avenues of free speech we have endeavored to use; to silence us.”

The billboard is another casualty in an ongoing attack on free speech. Palestine Legal states in their 2017 report “The Israeli state and its proxy organizations in the U.S. are investing heavily in punitive measures to intimidate and chill the free speech of those who wish to express criticism of Israeli policies.” The report documents 308 attacks on U.S.-based Palestine-related free speech in 2017 alone.

Razan al-Najjar and other Gazan first responders were doing their best to attend to wounded civilians; yet celebrating them is construed as an act of “hate & anti-semitism.” One complaint reads in part: “A billboard glorifying those who try to kill and destroy our People and Homeland! Anti Semitism is as old as time itself, Hate of Israel is hate of Jews, completely unacceptable!” This negative campaign appears to be based on the erroneous notions that all Gazans are anti-Semites intent on murdering Jews, that Gazans are not entitled to basic human rights, and that any display of solidarity with them equates to a call for the destruction of Israel.

Richard Colbath-Hess, founder of the Palestine Advocacy Project, remarked that “The billboard was extremely positive and does not even mention Israel. Instead it was a celebration of Palestinian heroes. Apparently, there cannot be Palestinian heroes without some advocates of Israel feeling attacked.”

November 15, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 2 Comments