Gaza Celebrates!!!!

Gazans took to the streets tonight to celebrate their victory in achieving the end of hostilities and the lifting of the illegal seven-year siege. Whatever tomorrow may bring, tonight was a time to rejoice!

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New UN Special Rapporteur requests access to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

PRESS RELEASE
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights

GENEVA (26 August 2014) – The new United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Makarim Wibisono, has formally requested the Israeli Government to allow him access to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory – to gather first-hand information on the impact of current hostilities on the human rights situation.

“As a newly appointed Special Rapporteur, it is my priority to see with my own eyes the situation on the ground, to listen and to speak face-to-face with victims and witnesses, and to discuss issues of concern with officials on both sides,” said the independent expert tasked by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and report on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.

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Palestinian MOH-Gaza Update as at 1900 hrs 25/08/2014

The Ministry of Health in Gaza reports the following statistics as at 1900 hours on Monday August 25, 2014.

Total number of victims:13,196 (2,130 Martyrs; 11,066 Injured)
Distributed As
Deaths: 2,130 – 577 children, 263 women, 102 persons over 60 years
Injuries: 11,066 – 3,374 children, 2,088 women, 410 persons over 60 years

Fatima was at her front door when a drone struck, killing her niece and grand-daughter, and injuring her two sons and a grandson. She has shrapnel embedded in her head, face, neck and all over her body.

Fatima was at her front door when a drone struck, killing her niece and grand-daughter, and injuring her two sons and a grandson. She has shrapnel embedded in her head, face, neck and all over her body.

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The difference between children

By Gideon Levy
Source: Haaretz
August 24, 2014

 Palestinian mourners cry at Gaza City's al-Shifa hospital after an explosion killed at least seven children in a public playground Photo by AFP

Palestinian mourners cry at Gaza City’s al-Shifa hospital after an explosion killed at least seven children in a public playground Photo by AFP

It is human that the killing of an Israeli boy, a child of ours, would arouse greater identification than the death of some other child. What is incomprehensible is the Israeli response to the killing of their children.

After the first child, nobody batted an eye; after the 50th not even a slight tremor was felt in a plane’s wing; after the 100th, they stopped counting; after the 200th, they blamed Hamas. After the 300th child they blamed the parents. After the 400th child, they invented excuses; after (the first) 478 children nobody cares.

Then came our first child and Israel went into shock. Read more »

National Lawyers Guild urges International Criminal Court to investigate war crimes by Israeli, U.S. leaders

By Marjorie Cohn

11 story residential apartment building in Gaza City destroyed by Israeli airstrike yesterday

11 story residential apartment building in Gaza City destroyed by Israeli airstrike yesterday

August 24, 2014 “ICH” – The National Lawyers Guild (NLG), Center for Constitutional Rights, International Association of Democratic Lawyers, Arab Lawyers Union, and American Association of Jurists (Asociacion Americana de Juristas) sent a letter on Friday, August 22 to Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), urging her to initiate an investigation of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity committed by Israeli leaders and aided and abetted by U.S. officials in Gaza. Under the Rome Statute, the ICC has the power to hold individuals criminally accountable for the most serious of crimes.

“In light of the extreme gravity of the situation in the occupied Gaza Strip, in particular the large number of civilian casualties and large scale destruction of civilian property, including schools, mosques and hospitals, and the ongoing incitement to genocide perpetrated by Israeli political figures and leaders, the [NLG] and endorsing organizations strongly urge the Office of the Prosecutor to use its power under Article 15 of the Rome Statute to initiate a preliminary investigation” of crimes within the ICC’s jurisdiction. Read more »

MOH Gaza Update as at 1900 hrs on 24/08/2014

The Ministry of Health in Gaza reports the following statistics as at 1900 hours on Sunday August 24, 2014.

Total number of victims:12,974 (2,120 Martyrs; 10,854 Injured)
Distributed As
Deaths: 2,120 – 577 children, 260 women, 101 persons over 60 years
Injuries: 10,854 – 3,307 children, 2,042 women, 401 persons over 60 years

Medical Transfers outside of Gaza for treatment

Transferred
Egypt – 233
Jordan – 34
Maqased – 149
Turkey – 46
Germany – 3
Total: 465

Returned
Egypt – 58
Jordan – 0
Maqased – 12
Turkey – 0
Germany – 0
Total: 70

Died
Egypt – 26
Jordan – 4
Maqased – 13
Turkey – 1
Germany – 0
Total: 44

Ambulance carrying a Palestinian injured in an Israeli air strike through the Rafah crossing under Egyptian security scrutiny on July 12, 2014. (Photo AFP/SAID KHATIB)

Ambulance carrying a Palestinian injured in an Israeli air strike through the Rafah crossing under Egyptian security scrutiny on July 12, 2014. (Photo AFP/SAID KHATIB)

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PFLP: Draft Security Council resolution is a malicious attempt to protect the occupier

Press Release
PFLP

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Commenting on the European draft resolution submitted to the United Nations Security Council, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine rejected the draft as reflecting a deal between members of the Security Council and the occupation state.

The occupation state is engaged in a criminal aggression against our people in the Gaza Strip, rising to the level of genocide. The Security Council has a responsibility to act immediately to stop the aggression that has killed 2100 Palestinians, nearly 600 children, and including women, men and elders, and destroyed tens of thousands of Palestinian homes completely or almost completely and displaced hundreds of thousands, and to hold the occupier accountable according to Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, and to act to end the occupation and implement the UN resolutions on the rights of the Palestinian people. Read more »

Three Questions for Hamas

by Richard Falk

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There is no doubt that Hamas has exhibited extraordinary resilience under the most difficult of conditions that have bedeviled its period of political leadership in the Gaza Strip that started in 2007. It also seems clear as persuasively argued by Sandy Tolan in a valuable Common Dreams article [Tolan, “Blown Chances in Gaza: Israel & U.S. Miss Many Chances to Avoid War, Aug. 13, 2014] that Hamas pursued multiple initiatives starting in 2006 designed to achieve calm and quiet in its relations with Israel, and that these initiatives, including back channel reassurance about peaceful intentions, were rebuffed without even being acknowledged by either Israel or the United States. It also seems the case that Israel acted to provoke the three most sustained military onslaughts directed at Gaza since 2008, and in each has relied on disproportionate force, inflicted numerous civilian casualties, and acted in a manner defiant of international humanitarian law. For these reasons Israel deserves to be treated as an ‘outlaw state’ for reasons set forth by Akbar Ganji and I argued in a two-part article appearing in the online pages of AlJazeera English [“The Outlaw State of Israel,” Aug. 20,21, 2014]. Read more »

The Vampires

by Enas F Ghannam

The vampires came to our town, mommy. They were in disguise, but I knew it was them. They were hiding under black cloaks and riding huge dragons with red eyes. They were flying over us and firing balls of fires on everything. Big spiders were moving slowly on the ground and they were hitting people and houses with their dark poisoned webs. But where are you mommy? Read more »

Jewish Holocaust survivors from around the world call for justice in Gaza

Press Release
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
San Francisco, CA

August 24, 2014

40 Jewish survivors of the Nazi Holocaust and 287 descendants of survivors and victims issued a letter this weekend condemning Israel’s actions in Gaza. “As Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of the Nazi genocide we unequivocally condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and the ongoing occupation and colonization of historic Palestine.” The letter, with signatories from 26 countries representing four generations of survivors and descendants, ran on page A13 of the Saturday, August 23rd edition of the New York Times.

The letter has been reported by Ha’aretz and the BBC among others. As of 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday the Ha’aretz article had received more than 15,000 facebook likes and had been shared on twitter nearly 5,000 times. Signatories to the letter will be hosting a press conference on Monday, August 25th, 2014 at 11:00 am Eastern Time. Read more »

Israel Retracts False Allegation

Press Release
UNRWA

East Jerusalem

Israeli officials retracted this morning their earlier claim on Friday that the rocket that killed a four-year-old child in Southern Israel was launched from an UNRWA school in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli news reports that the rocket was launched from an UNRWA school were false. The same media outlets that rushed to report the incident without seeking confirmation from UNRWA are required and called upon to also report the Israeli army retraction. We also call on Israeli military spokespersons and other official sources to ensure the accuracy of their facts before going public. Read more »

MOH Gaza: Israeli ‘false pretences’ for renewal of Gaza offensive

Press Release
Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine

August 22, 2014

Rafah bomb site where 3 Qassam commanders and at least 5 civilians were killed, and more than 50 injured. Photo: AFP

Rafah bomb site where 3 Qassam commanders and at least 5 civilians were killed, and more than 50 injured. Photo: AFP

The Ministry of Health Gaza abhors the ongoing massacres of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by Israeli military forces, in which 65 people have been killed and 220 injured since the collapse of the ceasefire agreement on Tuesday – a collapse that lies squarely at the feet of the Israeli regime.

Former Israeli Attorney General Michael Ben Yair today admitted that the Israelis staged the alleged Hamas breach on Tuesday in order to assassinate Al Qassam leader Mohammed Deif.

This deceitful outrage continues to be used as an excuse to carry out massive attacks on Gazan civilians – according to Israeli news agency ynet a few tons of explosives were used to destroy the building in which Mohammed Abu Shamala, Raed al-Attar and Mohammed Barhoum were killed in Rafah, killing at least five and injuring at least 50 additional civilians and completely destroying dozens of homes, leaving a crater the size of a residential block in their place – and the Gaza health services to pick up the pieces. Read more »

How to Fix It

by Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson
Source: Foreeign Policy

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Ending this war in Gaza begins with recognizing Hamas as a legitimate political actor.

Israelis and Palestinians are still burying their loved ones as Gaza’s third war in six years continues. Since July 8, when this war began, more than 1,600 Palestinian and 65 Israeli lives have been sacrificed. Many in the world are heartbroken in the powerless certainty that more will die, that more are being killed every hour.

This tragedy results from the deliberate obstruction of a promising move toward peace in the region, when a reconciliation agreement among the Palestinian factions was announced in April. This was a major concession by Hamas, in opening Gaza to joint control under a technocratic government that did not include any Hamas members. The new government also pledged to adopt the three basic principles demanded by the Middle East Quartet comprised of the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia: nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and adherence to past agreements. Tragically, Israel rejected this opportunity for peace and has succeeded in preventing the new government’s deployment in Gaza. Read more »

Breaking the Gaza stalemate

by John V. Whitbeck

Destroyed mosque, Gaza City

Destroyed mosque, Gaza City

After the breakdown in the six-day “pause” to permit negotiations on a long-term Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire and the resumption of Israel’s onslaught against the caged people of Gaza, concerned people everywhere are wondering how the conflicting demands of the two sides can possibly be reconciled.

Each side feels a compelling need to achieve some gain to justify its sacrifices — on the Palestinian side, over 2,000 dead, over 10,000 wounded and massive destruction of homes and infrastructure and, on the Israeli side, 64 dead soldiers and two dead civilians — and not to agree to anything that its own people could view as accepting failure or defeat. Read more »

“We Teach Life, Sir”

by Rana
Source: rana “palestinian child”

“Gaza isn’t the most beautiful city. Its shore isn’t blue like some Arab cities. Gaza’s oranges aren’t the most delicious in the Mediterranean! Gaza isn’t the richest city. It isn’t the most elegant nor the biggest but it holds the vast history of a large nation even though, in the eyes of the enemy, Gaza is miserable and ugly.” — Mahmoud Darwish of Gaza.

In Gaza we lose souls day and night! Gaza is the land of Martyrs! Gaza is bleeding because the world believes in the power of Israel’s propaganda. Gaza resists in order to exist. Gaza simply asks to live in peace and Israel violates international law over and over again while continues to justify its hideous war crimes. Read more »

to live now

by Mazin Qumsiyeh

I have not written much lately and this email maybe personal and emotional.

Our days start early and end very late. Our nights are also occasionally
interrupted by calls from friends in Gaza or others who need some support.

In the past 48 hours, over 100 Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli
occupation forces. Many of those are in Rafah. Sometimes I feel guilty that
I am affected more by those I know than those who die that I did not know.

For example, I cried after I hung-up the phone with Islam, a friend in
Rafah who has four children and they can’t sleep and their house shook and
windows shattered as missiles rained on homes nearby. I cried because I
know him and his handicapped son and his dilemma at whether to try to carry
his son and run to the street or not. But then I cried some more thinking
of the many innocents who got killed and injured and who I dd not
personally know and did not cry for them earlier. Islam and his family will
be traumatized for life. Hundreds of thousands will be even more
traumatized. I can’t even imagine a life of a girl who lost all her family
members and carries emotional and physical scars for life. Read more »

Hamas is not a monster, it is a legitimate national liberation movement

By Khalid Amayreh, Occupied Palestine

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The Judeo-Nazi propaganda machine has been trying rather rabidly to demonize Hamas, the Palestinian-Islamic Liberation Movement. Irate Israeli officials used every conceivable offensive epithet in the dictionary to besmirch Hamas’s image, like calling the group “terrorist” and “genocidal.”

The truth of the matter is that Hamas is neither terrorist nor genocidal. It is rather an Islamic-nationalist liberation group, not so different from other liberation movements, past and present. Read more »

PFLP salutes the martyred resistance leaders: the occupier’s assassinations will not break our will

Press Release
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

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The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine joins the masses of our people and the Arab nation in mourning three of the most prominent leaders of the Brigades of the Martyr Izzedine al-Qassam, the martyrs Mohammed Abu Shamala, Raed al-Attar and Mohammed Barhoum, who were martyred with a number of our people on Thursday, August 21 in intensive Zionist raids which targeted a full residential block in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood in Rafah city, Gaza, Palestine. Read more »

MOH Gaza Update as at 1900 hrs on 21/08/2014

Israeli Aggression against Palestinians in Gaza Strip from 06-07-2014

Date of report:
21/08/2014 at 1900 hrs
Total number of victims:12,565 (2,083 Martyrs; 10,482 Injured)

Distributed As

Deaths: 2,083 – 561 children, 255 women, 98 over 60 years
Injuries: 10,482 – 3,189 children, 1,994 women, 388 over 60 years

Thousands farewell the three assassinated Qassam leaders at their funerals in Rafah today

Thousands farewell the three assassinated Qassam leaders at their funerals in Rafah today

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TO ISRAEL’S U.S. SUPPORTERS: PORTABLE GAS CHAMBERS, CHEMICAL WARFARE, BLINDINGS, MASS BOMBING AND SHELLING OF CIVILIANS – WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE LINE?

by Fred Branfman

Note: This message is addressed to U.S. supporters of Israel both because only U.S. pressure can bring about the political settlement which alone can save Israel and Palestine, and because it appears that most Israelis – consumed by fear, hatred and the dehumanization of even Palestinian children – are presently impervious to either reason or human decency.

Dear U.S. Supporters of Israel in Gaza,

If you believed that the IDF could destroy Hamas by employing portable gas chambers or chemical weapons to publicly gas over 1,400 Gazan civilians, including 400 children, chosen at random – or deliberately blinding them – would you favor doing so? I guess not, perhaps you even feel insulted at the suggestion that you might.

But this raises a basic question: if you would not favor gassing Palestinan civilians, how do you justify your support for blowing them to bits? The controversial issue is not Israel trying to destroy Hamas tunnels. Nor is it the attempt to destroy rockets, as if the Israelis can claim that they reasonably suspected the 46-48,000 U.N.-estimated buildings they either partially or totally destroyed of containing rockets. Nor is it rightfully condemning Hamas for rocketing civilian targets as well. As even long-term apologists for Israeli violence like the New Republic’s Leon Wieseltier acknowledge, the issue is massive Israeli bombing and shelling of he civilian infrastructure in Gaza, which is wholly disproportionate to combatting tunnels and/or rockets. Read more »