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Israel is legitimising ‘piracy’ by seizing Freedom Flotilla

MEMO | July 12, 2018

An Israeli court decision to approve the blocking of humanitarian ships which aim to break the illegal siege of Gaza is a “pre-emptive attempt to legitimize Israeli piracy in international waters”, activists have said.

Israeli media reported that the Jerusalem District Court issued a temporary confiscation order yesterday for two Norwegian ships which are sailing to Gaza in an effort to break the 12-year blockade of the Strip in the coming days.

The court’s decision allows for the boats to be towed to an Israeli port where their value, thought to be $87,600, will be donated to Israeli “terror victims and their families as compensation”.

Read: Israeli navy intercepts humanitarian flotilla from Gaza

Organisers of the flotilla say that if they succeed in reaching Gaza they will donate the ships to civilian organisations and local fishermen.

Responding to the decision, head of the International Committee for Breaking Gaza Siege and founder member of Freedom Flotilla Coalition, Zaher Birawi, said:

This decision is a dangerous precedent and a pre-emptive attempt to legitimise Israeli piracy in international waters, but this will not absolve the occupying state of its legal responsibility in the event of attacks on ships carrying peaceful activists demanding the breaking of the illegal and immoral blockade of Gaza.

“We confirm that the decision of the central court in Jerusalem will not affect the plan of the fleet of freedom alliance and the programme of the voyage of ships which plans to sail from Italy to Gaza in a few days.”

July 12, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | 1 Comment

USS Liberty Survivor Named US Delegate on Gaza Flotilla

By Joe Lauria | Consortium News | July 9, 2018

Joe Meadors, a survivor of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty,  has joined the 2018 Gaza Freedom Flotilla as the delegate from the United States. He will board the Al Awda (The Return), which left Corisca Sunday night for  the final 1,000 miles to Gaza.  Al Awda is one of four boats on the 75-day voyage from Scandinavia.

Meadors was a signalman on the bridge of the USS Liberty, a surveillance vessel operating in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea near Gaza during the 1967 Six-Day Arab-Israreli war.

Meadors: From the Liberty to Al-Awda

Israeli war planes and torpedo boats attacked the vessel, killing 34 U.S. sailors and wounding 174 crew members.

A 2003 U.S. commission led by Admiral Thomas Moorer found:

“1. That on June 8, 1967, after eight hours of aerial surveillance, Israel launched a two-hour air and naval attack against USS Liberty, the world’s most sophisticated intelligence ship, inflicting 34 dead and 173 wounded American servicemen (a casualty rate of seventy percent, in a crew of 294);

2. That the Israeli air attack lasted approximately 25 minutes, during which time unmarked Israeli aircraft dropped napalm canisters on USS Liberty‘s bridge, and fired 30mm cannons and rockets into our ship, causing 821 holes, more than 100 of which were rocket-size; survivors estimate 30 or more sorties were flown over the ship by a minimum of 12 attacking Israeli planes which were jamming all five American emergency radio channels;

3. That the torpedo boat attack involved not only the firing of torpedoes, but the machine-gunning of Liberty‘s firefighters and stretcher-bearers as they struggled to save their ship and crew; the Israeli torpedo boats later returned to machine-gun at close range three of the Liberty‘s life rafts that had been lowered into the water by survivors to rescue the most seriously wounded;

4. That there is compelling evidence that Israel’s attack was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill her entire crew; evidence of such intent is supported by statements from Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Undersecretary of State George Ball, former CIA director Richard Helms, former NSA directors Lieutenant General William Odom, USA (Ret.), Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, USN (Ret.), and Marshal Carter; former NSA deputy directors Oliver Kirby and Major General John Morrison, USAF (Ret.); and former Ambassador Dwight Porter, U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon in 1967;

5. That in attacking USS Liberty, Israel committed acts of murder against American servicemen and an act of war against the United States;

6. That fearing conflict with Israel, the White House deliberately prevented the U.S. Navy from coming to the defense of USS Liberty by recalling Sixth Fleet military rescue support while the ship was under attack; evidence of the recall of rescue aircraft is supported by statements of Captain Joe Tully, Commanding Officer of the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga, and Rear Admiral Lawrence Geis, the Sixth Fleet carrier division commander, at the time of the attack; never before in American naval history has a rescue mission been cancelled when an American ship was under attack… .”

Dean Rusk, U.S. Secretary of State at the time of the incident, wrote: “I was never satisfied with the Israeli explanation. Their sustained attack to disable and sink Liberty precluded an assault by accident or some trigger-happy local commander. Through diplomatic channels we refused to accept their explanations. I didn’t believe them then, and I don’t believe them to this day. The attack was outrageous.”

Meadors and Seaman Francis Brown, who was later killed in the attack, hauled up a second American flag from the bridge after the first was shot down early in the air assault. Meadors remained on the bridge throughout the 25-minute attack and was one of several eyewitnesses to the Israeli machine-gunning of the ship’s life rafts.

Meadors has described the Israeli attack in detail on the USS Liberty Veteran’s Association website:

“I watched some jets pass us, then turn left after they passed our ship, then they started strafing us. The attack lasted 90 minutes, during which we got a message off to the Sixth Fleet asking for assistance. We learned later that Joe Tully, commanding officer of the USS Saratoga, launched aircraft within minutes of the attack, but he told us later they were recalled before they reached the horizon. We found this out 20 years after the attack.

“The most frustrating thing has been a lack of reaction from the U.S. government. On June 8, 2005, we filed a war crimes report, and they are required to investigate these allegations. They’ve created reports about our mission, but they never did conduct an actual investigation of the attack itself.

“It was an illegal attack. We were on the high seas conducting legal activities. They admitted that they closed the area for military purposes but we tried to find out the boundaries of that area and they wouldn’t tell us.

“The Israelis break international laws with impunity and the U.S. government is not going to hold them accountable, nobody is. There is no doubt that the Israelis were committing piracy on the high seas against the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla and used deadly force against unarmed humanitarians.”

Meadors was aboard the Sfedoni in the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla. He was in Greece for the 2011 and 2015 Freedom Flotillas.  Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, Meadors is a past president of USS Liberty Veterans Association, founded in 1982.

The Flotillas aim to bring attention to the illegal blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza since 2007.


Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for the Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, Sunday Times of London and numerous other publications. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and on Twitter @unjoe .

July 9, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 4 Comments

Medical Aid for Palestinians founder, Dr Swee Chai Ang, to join Freedom Flotilla

Founding Trustee of Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) Dr Swee Chai Ang
MEMO | July 9, 2018

Founding Trustee of Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) Dr Swee Chai Ang is set to board the Freedom Flotilla boat Al-Awda next week in an effort to break the 12-year siege of the Gaza Strip.

In a statement sent to MEMO, Ang said: “I am highly honoured to be invited on board. It is important to explain to you why I chose to do this. A doctor, a surgeon is a human being with a conscience and a compassionate heart, much more than just a skilled technician.”

“The very fact that I can do operations and fix broken bones will not stop me from losing my humanity. A robot might turn the other way, but a child of God does not.”

“The Flotilla brings hope to the besieged Palestinians,” she added.

“This summer marks the thirty-sixth year of my journey with the Palestinians. It began in 1982 when as an ignorant Pro-Israel Christian doctor I first stepped foot as a volunteer surgeon in Gaza Hospital in Beirut’s Sabra Shatilla Palestinian refugee camp,” she explained.

“There I fell in love passionately with a generous, kind, honest and gentle people – the Palestinians. They were forced out of Palestine in 1948, and found themselves refugees.”

“Most of you know that I am going to seventy come the end of the year and I would like to make this my birthday present to the people of Gaza and Palestine.”

You can read Dr Ang’s full statement below:

When invited to come on board Al-Awda, the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza, I know I must join them. This summer marks the thirty-sixth year of my journey with the Palestinians. It began in 1982 when as an ignorant Pro-Israel Christian doctor I first stepped foot as a volunteer surgeon in Gaza Hospital in Beirut’s Sabra Shatilla Palestinian refugee camp.

There I fell in love passionately with a generous, kind, honest and gentle people – the Palestinians. They were forced out of Palestine in 1948, and found themselves refugees. Despite the dispossession, persecution and injustice they remained human.

About 3 weeks after my arrival, more than 3,000 of them were cruelly massacred. My heart was broken and trampled on, and would have remained dead and buried in the rubble of their bulldozed homes. But the survivors even while burying their own loved ones nurtured me back to life with their tears and love. The children filled with courage, hope and dignity inspired me and gave me strength to walk on with them.

“We are not afraid Doctora come with us.” It is now 70 years since the Palestinian Nakba and Diaspora in 1948. When will their journey home begin? Today, six million Palestinians dispersed in various refugee camps are denied the right of return to their ancestral Palestine; the other six million lived under occupation in Gaza and West Bank.

For 12 years, two million Palestinians have been imprisoned under a brutal land and sea military blockade in Gaza. During this time there were three major military assaults where Gaza was relentlessly bombed for weeks. Recently, since 30 March 2018, unarmed Gaza demonstrators calling for the Right of Return are shot at with high grade military assault rifles leaving more than 124 dead and 13,000 severely wounded with hundreds of amputees and potential amputees.

The Flotilla brings hope to the besieged Palestinians. They are praying for us in their mosques and churches in the Gaza Strip. They know we are making this journey for them. Even if we are to be abducted, imprisoned and deported, may we remain faithful in solidarity and love for the people of Palestine and Gaza.

Dr Swee Ang

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon; author From Beirut to Jerusalem

July 2018

See also:

Swedish Freedom Flotilla: ‘The people of Gaza need us to act’

July 9, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | 2 Comments

Bahar: Gaza will not pay political prices for humanitarian aid

Palestine Information Center – July 8, 2018

GAZA – MP Ahmed Bahar, first deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, has affirmed that there will be no political price for any humanitarian assistance provided for the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

In press remarks on Saturday, Bahar stated that the recent decision that was taken by US president Donald Trump to suspend millions of dollars in aid to UNRWA was part of steps to end the issue of the Palestinian refugees and the Palestinian cause in order to pave the way for his deal of the century (the ultimate deal).

The lawmaker underscored that the Palestinian people have the right to defend their rights, their land and holy sites by all available means, including the armed struggle against the occupation.

“Our people have the right to establish a seaport and an airport and to receive humanitarian aid, but all this would never be in exchange for giving up anything of our people’s rights, and we will not pay any political price for it,” he said.

“We cannot accept any plan to exchange any part of our land for another land as part of US or regional projects in the area. Our people are resisting in order to restore their Palestinian land and not to exchange it for any other land,” he added.

He also called on the Palestinian Authority to lift its blockade on the Gaza. “How can the Palestinian Authority claim that it is against the deal of the century while it is imposing a siege on Gaza, persecuting the resistance through its security coordination with the occupation, and suppressing marches calling for lifting the siege on Gaza.”

July 8, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hamas rejects any plan to separate Gaza from West Bank

Palestine Information Center – July 7, 2018

GAZA – The Hamas Movement has reiterated its rejection of any plan to separate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank.

In Twitter remarks on Saturday, member of Hamas’s political bureau Mousa Abu Marzouk said that his Movement rejects the US-backed deal of the century that seeks to separate Gaza from the rest of Palestine.

Abu Marzouk added that his Movement wants a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza with Jerusalem as its capital, and wants a durable Palestinian reconciliation based on political partnership and unity in the face of the occupation.

He also said that Hamas wants to see Israel’s blockade and the Palestinian Authority’s sanctions on Gaza lifted and all the problems which the population suffer from solved.

For about 12 years, the Israeli occupation state have been imposing a tight siege on Gaza, while Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has slapped, for politically motivated reasons, economic sanctions on Gaza for over a year.

Abbas and his government in Ramallah refuse to respond to all Palestinian factions’ calls for lifting their inhumane sanctions on Gaza.

July 7, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 3 Comments

Russia will not let US ‘deal of the century’ go ahead

MEMO | June 27, 2018

Senior Hamas leader Mousa Abu-Marzouk said on Monday that Russia has promised not to let the US’ “deal of the century” go ahead, a statement published on Hamas’ website said.

In an interview with Al-Mayadeen TV Abu-Marzouk said: “We agreed with the Russians that the ‘deal of the century’ will not be allowed to go ahead.”

On Monday, a senior Hamas delegation headed by Abu-Marzouk wrapped up a visit to Moscow where they met the Russian president’s envoy to the Middle East and the deputy foreign minister.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported a Hamas official from Gaza saying that the visit was arranged to coincide with a US delegation’s trip to the Middle East.

The Hamas official said that Russia is a considerable player in the Middle East which has direct relations with all the players in the region, including Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas also said that its delegation discussed the humanitarian situation in Gaza and said that the Russians promised to work to end the Israeli siege and alleviate the suffering of Palestinians in the enclave.

June 27, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Young protesters are defying Israel’s blockade with scraps of paper and plastic

By Jonathon Cook | The National | 24 June 2018

First Israel built a sophisticated missile interception system named Iron Dome to neutralise the threat of homemade rockets fired out of Gaza.

Next it created technology that could detect and destroy tunnels Palestinians had cut through the parched earth deep under the fences Israel erected to imprison Gaza on all sides.

Israel’s priority was to keep Gaza locked down with a blockade and its two million inhabitants invisible.

Now Israel is facing a new and apparently even tougher challenge: how to stop Palestinian resistance from Gaza using flaming kites, which have set fire to lands close by in Israel. F-16 fighter jets are equipped to take on many foes but not the humble kite.

These various innovations by Palestinians are widely seen by Israelis as part of the same relentless campaign by Hamas to destroy their country.

But from inside Gaza, things look very different. These initiatives are driven by a mix of recognisably human emotions: a refusal to bow before crushing oppression; a fear of becoming complicit through silence and inaction in being erased and forgotten; and a compelling need to take back control of one’s life.

Palestinians encaged in Gaza, denied entry and exit by Israel via land, sea and air for more than a decade, know that life there is rapidly becoming unsustainable. Most young people are unemployed, much of the infrastructure and housing are irreparably damaged, and polluted water sources are near-unpotable.

After waves of military attacks, Gaza’s children are traumatised with mental scars that may never heal.

This catastrophe was carefully engineered by Israel, which renews and enforces it daily.

The kites have long served as a potent symbol of freedom in Gaza. Children have flown them from the few spots in the tiny, congested enclave where people can still breathe – from rooftops or on Gaza’s beaches.

Five years ago, the film Flying Paper documented the successful efforts of Gaza’s children to set a new world record for mass kite-flying. The children defied Israel’s blockade, which prevents entry of most goods, by making kites from sticks, newspapers and scraps of plastic.

The children’s ambition was – if only briefly – to retake Gaza’s skies, which Israel dominates with its unseen, death-dealing drones that buzz interminably overhead and with missiles that can flatten a building in seconds.

A young girl observed of the kite’s lure: “When we fly the kite, we know that freedom exists.” A message scrawled on one read: “I have the right to pride, education, justice, equality and life.”

But the world record attempt was not only about the children’s dreams and their defiance. It was intended to highlight Gaza’s confinement and to issue a reminder that Palestinians too are human.

That same generation of children have grown into the youths being picked off weekly by Israeli snipers at unarmed protests at the perimeter fence – the most visible feature of Israel’s infrastructure of imprisonment.

A few have taken up kite-flying again. If they have refused to put away childish things, this time they have discarded their childish idealism. Their world record did not win them freedom, nor even much notice.

After the snipers began maiming thousands of the demonstrators, including children, medics and journalists, for the impudence of imagining they had a right to liberty, the enclave’s youths reinvented the kite’s role.

If it failed to serve as a reminder of Palestinians’ humanity, it could at least remind Israel and the outside world of their presence, of the cost of leaving two million human beings to rot.

So the kites were set on fire, flaming emissaries that brought a new kind of reckoning for Israel when they landed on the other side of the fence.

Gaza’s inhabitants can still see the lands from which many of them were expelled during the mass dispossession of the Palestinian people in 1948 – under western colonial sponsorship – to create a Jewish state.

Not only were those lands taken from them, but the Jewish farming communities that replaced them now irrigate their crops using water Palestinians are deprived of, including water seized from aquifers under the West Bank.

The kites have rained fire down on this idyll created by Israel at the expense of Gaza’s inhabitants. No one has been hurt but Israel claims extinguishing the fires has already cost some $2 million and 7,000 acres of farmland have been damaged.

Sadly, given the profound sense of entitlement that afflicts many Israelis, a small dent in their material wellbeing has not pricked consciences about the incomparably greater suffering only a few kilometres away in Gaza.

Instead, Israel’s public security minister Gilad Erdan called last week for anyone flying a kite, even young children, to be shot. He and other ministers have argued that another large-scale military assault on Gaza is necessary to create what Mr Erdan has termed “durable deterrence”.

That moment seems to be moving inexorably closer. The last few days have seen Israel launch punitive air strikes to stop the kites and Palestinian factions retaliate by firing significant numbers of rockets out of Gaza for the first time in years.

The Trump administration is no longer pretending to mediate. It has publicly thrown in its hand with Israel. It withdrew last week from the United Nations Human Rights Council, accusing it of being a “cesspool of political bias” after the council criticised Israel for executing Gaza’s unarmed demonstrators.

On a visit to the region last week, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, urged ordinary Palestinians to rebel against their leaders’ refusal to accept a long-awaited US peace plan that all evidence suggests will further undermine Palestinian hopes of a viable state.

Mr Kushner is apparently unaware that the Palestinian public is expressing its will, for liberation, by protesting at the Gaza fence – and risking execution by Israel for doing so.

Meanwhile, Prince William is due in Israel on Monday, the first British royal to make an official visit since the mandate ended 70 years ago. While Kensington Palace has stressed that the trip is non-political, Prince William will meet both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in an itinerary that has already been claimed by both sides as a victory.

From the vantage point of the Mount of Olives, from which he will view Jerusalem’s Old City, the prince may not quite manage to see the kite battles in Gaza’s skies that underscore who is Goliath and who is David. But he should see enough in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem to understand that western leaders have decisively chosen the side of Goliath.

June 25, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , | 3 Comments

Hamas: Our people will bury US plans under their feet

Hazem Qasem
Palestine Information Center – June 23, 2018

GAZA – The Hamas Movement has said that the massive presence of citizens in the March of Return rallies on Friday, June 22, has reflected that the popular struggle in Gaza will continue until all goals are achieved.

In a press release, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem said the ongoing popular uprising on the Gaza border aims to entrench the Palestinian people’s right to return to every part of their land, including Jerusalem, and their right to live in dignity and with no blockade.

“Such ongoing rallies prove that the [Israeli] occupation’s attempts to terrorize our people into not participating in them have failed,” Qasem affirmed, pointing to the exposure of protesters to aerial attacks during the past week.

“These marches have sent a message to the US administration, which is trying to impose plans or projects aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause, that our revolutionary people on the border will bury such schemes under their feet and will not allow any party to detract from their rights,” he underlined.

June 23, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , | 2 Comments

UN General Assembly condemns Israel for ‘excessive use of force’ on Gaza border

RT | June 13, 2018

The UN General Assembly has adopted a nonbinding resolution condemning Israel’s use of ‘excessive force’ against Palestinian protesters in Gaza. A US amendment to condemn Hamas did not get enough support.

The resolution condemns Israel for “excessive use of force” against Palestinian demonstrators on the Israeli-Gaza border and calls for the “protection of the Palestinian civilian population” in Gaza. It was adopted with 120 votes in favor and eight votes against, with 45 abstentions.

The amendment offered by US envoy Nikki Haley sought to condemn Hamas, which runs the elected government in Gaza, for firing rockets at Israel. The amendment received 62 votes in favor, with 58 nations opposed and 42 abstaining. It needed a two-thirds majority to pass, however, so it was not included in the final resolution.

The nearly identical resolution proposed by Kuwait was vetoed by the US in the Security Council on Tuesday. Unlike the Security Council resolutions, those adopted in the General Assembly are non-binding.

Haley condemned the adopted resolution as “morally bankrupt.”

“The resolution is one-sided, makes not one mention of Hamas which routinely initiates violence,” the US envoy said during the debate preceding the vote, adding that “What makes Gaza different is that attacking Israel is their favorite political sport.”

Israeli ambassador Danny Danon slammed the resolution as “empowering Hamas” and the countries that support it as “colluding with a terrorist organization.”

“I have a simple message for those who support this resolution. You are the ammunition for Hamas’s guns, you are the warheads for its missiles,” he said.

Over 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces during the protests along the border with Gaza that began on March 30. The deadliest day so far has been May 14, when the US embassy officially moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“We cannot remain silent in the face of the most violent crimes and human rights violations being systematically perpetrated against our people,” said Riyad Mansour, Palestinian envoy to the UN.

June 13, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Dalia Al-Najjar Discusses Her Cousin’s Murder by Israeli Snipers

By Robert Inlakesh | 21st Century | June 12, 2018

An interview conducted by Robert Inlakesh with Dalia Al-Najjar, the cousin of a 21 year old volunteer medic who was executed by Israeli sniper.

Dalia Al-Najjar and Robert Inlakesh discuss the murder of Razan Al-Najjar and Gaza’s demonstrations against the illegally occupying Israeli regime.

Donate to the campaign here

June 12, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Youngsters “Disabled for Life” by Israel’s Shoot-to-Cripple Policy in Gaza

By Stuart Littlewood | American Herald Tribune | June 10, 2018

Writing in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) the Head of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Gaza, Dr Nafiz Abu-Shaban, reports that the death and injury toll by sniper fire, as at 18 May, was 117 dead, including 13 children, and 12,271 injured, of whom 6,760 had been hospitalised, including 3,598 with bullet wounds. The numbers will be considerably higher by now.

Worse still, according to Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) who operate in Gaza, the Israelis have been using ammunition that causes fist-sized wounds of “unusual severity”.

In a press release dated 19 April MSF surgeons in Gaza report “devastating gunshot wounds among hundreds of people injured during the protests over recent weeks. The huge majority of patients – mainly young men, but also some women and children – have unusually severe wounds to the lower extremities. MSF medical teams note the injuries include an extreme level of destruction to bones and soft tissue, and large exit wounds that can be the size of a fist.

“Half of the more than 500 patients we have admitted in our clinics have injuries where the bullet has literally destroyed tissue after having pulverized the bone,” said Marie-Elisabeth Ingres, Head of Mission of MSF in Palestine. “These patients will need to have very complex surgical operations and most of them will have disabilities for life.”

She is reported saying that she hadn’t seen these kind of injuries before. The wounds appeared to be caused by ammunition with an expanding ‘butterfly’ effect.

“Mass lifelong disability now the prospect for young Gazans who merely gathered in unarmed protest”

Abu-Shaban says the hundreds of high energy compound tibial fractures from Israeli live fire are the most difficult of all open fractures to treat. They may require between 5 and 7 surgical procedures, each operation taking 3-6 hours. “Even with state-of-the-art reconstruction, healing takes 1-2 years. Most of these patients will develop osteomyelitis. A steadily increasing toll of secondary amputations is inevitable. They will also need intensive rehabilitation, but the only rehabilitation hospital in Gaza was destroyed by Israeli bombing in 2014 and has not been re-built. Mass lifelong disability is now the prospect facing Gazan citizens, largely young, who were merely gathering in unarmed protest about Israeli occupation and siege that has rendered their political and social futures impossible.”

Reconstructing such injuries is far beyond the capabilities of Gazan medical services, now severely run down after 12 years of Israeli siege. Shifa is swamped and has no beds let alone the dedicated Limb Salvage Teams necessary for this work. Even London hospitals, which are fully resourced, would be stretched if confronted with mass casualties of this kind, says Abu-Shaban. “How are we here in Gaza to manage this situation? Why has no European government spoken out about events which if they had happened elsewhere would surely have been called an international outrage and probable war crime?”

Good question. The sniveling international community does nothing to stop the vile crimes perpetrated by the self-styled ‘most moral army in the world’.

“I understand there is now the question of an investigation by the International Criminal Court,” says the good doctor hopefully.

Well, not quite. The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva has adopted a resolution to set up an independent, international Commission of Inquiry to investigate all violations of humanitarian and international human rights law in the occupied Palestinian territory, with a particular focus on recent events in Gaza.

The resolution passed with only two states opposing (the USA and another of Israel’s poodles, Australia), 29 in favour, and 14 abstentions. The UK was one of those abstaining, alongside the EU states of Croatia, Germany, Hungary, and Slovakia.

“Gazans did all the dying and the Israeli soldiers did all the killing”

Trying to explain its abstention, the UK Mission in Geneva called the resolution “partial and unhelpfully unbalanced” for not “explicitly call[ing] for an investigation into the action of non-state actors such as Hamas.” The UK Government then issued this feeble statement: “In addition to abstaining on today’s resolution, we call directly on Israel to make clear its intentions and carry out what must be a transparent inquiry into the IDF’s conduct at the border fence and to demonstrate how this will achieve a sufficient level of independence. This investigation should include international members. The death toll alone warrants such a comprehensive inquiry. We urge that the findings of such an investigation be made public, and if wrongdoing is found, that those responsible be held to account.”

Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem had called the already-announced internal Israeli military probe “part of the whitewashing toolkit”. And the British Government was sharply criticised in parliament for its limp-wristed attitude and reminded of Israel’s self-exoneration over the killing of four boys playing on a beach during the 2014 military offensive on Gaza.

Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, former Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, asked: “Given that Gazans did all the dying and the Israeli soldiers did all the killing, how does the Minister expect an internal Israeli inquiry…. to be less partial and less unhelpfully unbalanced than the inquiry mandated by the UN Human Rights Council?”

“Systematic failure by Israel to carry out genuine investigations”

The preamble to the UNHRC resolution states the reasons for action brilliantly and is worth highlighting here….

Convinced that the lack of accountability for violations of international law reinforces a culture of impunity, leading to a recurrence of violations and seriously endangering international peace,

Noting the systematic failure by Israel to carry out genuine investigations in an impartial, independent, prompt and effective way, as required by international law, into the violence and offences against Palestinians by the occupying forces, and to establish judicial accountability for its actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Emphasizing the obligations of Israel as the occupying Power to ensure the safety, well-being and protection of the Palestinian civilian population under its occupation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Emphasizing also that the intentional targeting of civilians and other protected persons in situations of armed conflict, including foreign occupation, constitutes a grave breach of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and poses a threat to international peace and security,

Recognizing the importance of the right to life and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association to the full enjoyment of all human rights…

Despite all that, avid Israel admirer Theresa May, barmy Boris Johnson and the insufferably gutless spivs now populating the Foreign Office still couldn’t bring themselves to support the resolution.

“To live is to resist”

Another voice from Gaza, which I shall not name, reports:

“As you know we don’t have enough supply of electricity which means lots of hurdles and difficulties on all aspects of life. The conditions in Gaza are the most difficult ones in terms of the Zionist killings and aggression against the Great Marches of Return. I myself went there to the borders with my family three times and saw how their evil soldiers shooting innocent children and women. I heard some of the guys shouting that they have got nothing to loose. To live is to resist. That’s what we also teach to our students and young generations. The oppressed and occupied have got the right to resist by all means available.

“It is a pity and tragic as well that the injured could not find enough medical care and nursing due to the shortage of medical staff and equipment. Can you imagine? So many causalities were sent home after receiving only first aid and some sort of dressings to their wounds as there were no enough beds and treatment for them. That’s why many have lost their legs (amputations) where the enemies are using high velocity bullets.”

Boys’ legs the target

The shoot-to-cripple policy by Israel is nothing new. Retired trauma surgeon David Halpin, who has often worked on a voluntary basis in Gaza hospitals, drew attention to it in January 2011: “The deliberate injury of the limbs of 23 boys by high velocity weapons has been logged and described by Defence for Children International Palestine Branch (DCI-P) since March 2010.”

He pointed to the extreme poverty of large extended families which had forced boys and men to scavenge for broken concrete (‘gravel’) in the evacuated Eli Sinai ‘settlement’ and in the industrial zone by the Erez border control post at the northern end of the Gaza Strip. “The factories of the industrial zone have been progressively demolished by Israeli shelling etc…. A donkey and cart, shovel, pick, sieve, muscles and courage are the tools. The rubble is used to make blocks and poured concrete with the cement that is imported largely through the tunnels. Many dozens of men and boys do this work for precious shekels in the shadow of manned watch towers and under ‘drones’ above.”

A leg was the target in most cases, says Halpin. And where the leg was not the target it is likely the sniper was ‘aiming up’ so the flank, elbow etc was hit instead. “No weapons were being borne by the gravel workers so they posed no threat to the Israeli Occupation Force personnel. Instead they were bending their backs to their menial work within their internment camp.” In many cases those hit were likely to have lifelong disability. That, it seems, continues to be the Israeli regime’s sickening aim.

And to think that its chief degenerate, Netanyahu, was allowed to set foot in London earlier this week in his never-ending quest to demonize those who stand in the way of Israel’s warmongering and expansionist ambition – namely Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah.

June 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Medical Aid for Palestinians attacked by pro-Israel lawyers’ groups

MEMO | June 7, 2018

UK charity Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) has described allegations of anti-Semitism made by two pro-Israel advocacy groups as an “appalling smear”.

According to a report in the Jewish News, UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) and the US-based Lawfare Project this week submitted a 17-page complaint against MAP to the Charity Commission.

The complaint claims that the respected humanitarian NGO is guilty of “racial hatred of Jews”, and claims MAP has “links to Palestinian terrorist groups”.

A MAP spokesperson told the paper: “This appalling smear appears to be part of a wider pattern of attacks on legitimate NGOs. Should the Charity Commission raise points with us, we would be pleased to respond.”

The article says that the pro-Israel activists accuse MAP of giving a “false impression” about the health of Palestinians. UKLFI’s Jonathan Turner said: “Readers of its misleading website would no doubt be surprised to hear that life-expectancy in Gaza in fact compares favourably with Glasgow.”

Turner added that MAP was “abusing its position as a charity to spread false information about Israel”, and using “the halo of its status as a charity to disguise its racial hatred of Israelis and Jews.”

Lawfare Project direct Brooke Goldstein said “it is incumbent on the Charity Commission to take action against MAP’s sinister abuse of charitable funds”.

The timing of the attack on MAP is no coincidence, coming after an appeal by the charity raised more than £1 million following Israel’s mass killing of Palestinian protesters.

MAP medics have been on the ground in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip, and the charity’s social media accounts have given vital insights into Israel’s brutal crackdown.

June 7, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment