First Comprehensive Investigation of Latest Israeli Assault Documents War Crimes

PRESS RELEASE
EuroMid Observer for Human Rights

Geneva –October 30, 2014

In the wake of the 50-day Israeli assault that devastated the Gaza Strip, reconstruction must not be the only priority, according to the nonprofit organization Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights. All perpetrators of war crimes must be held to account, and Euro-Mid has taken the initial step by completing the first comprehensive investigation into Israeli actions during “Operation Protective Edge.”

“If we want young Palestinians to turn away from violent resistance in the future, they must believe that international law will be respected and enforced,” said Ihsan Adel, legal officer for Euro-Mid, a nongovernmental human rights watchdog focusing on the Middle East-North Africa region. “Our investigation documented both indiscriminate attacks on civilians by Israeli forces and their use of captured Palestinians as human shields. When the UN Human Rights Council arrives in the coming days to conducts its own investigation, our reports will already have laid the groundwork. Now it is up to the international community to demonstrate to the youth of today that the rule of law applies to everyone.” Read more »

Liberty and security: Human Rights Committee clarifies limits on detention

PRESS RELEASE
UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

DSC05112 (300 x 400)

GENEVA (30 October 2014) – The UN Human Rights Committee has issued an authoritative new commentary on one of the most important issues in international human rights law – when and how is it justified to deprive a person of their liberty, and what obligations do States have to avoid people being unlawfully or arbitrarily detained.

“Arbitrary detention is a profound threat to liberty and to the enjoyment of all other rights,” said Gerald Neuman, Committee member and rapporteur of the commentary which has now been adopted by the Committee. Read more »

“Lasting peace entails the exercise of self-determination by all peoples without discrimination” – UN rights expert

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

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NEW YORK / GENEVA (28 October 2014) – The realization of the right of self-determination is essential to maintain local, regional and international peace and must be seen as an important conflict-prevention strategy, the United Nations Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Alfred de Zayas, said on Monday. Read more »

Portents of a fresh Palestinian uprising are real

By Khalid Amayreh
Source: Palestine Information Centre

14 year old Palestinian Arwa Hammad, who was shot and killed by Israeli forces

14 year old Palestinian Arwa Hammad, who was shot and killed by Israeli forces

The seemingly totally unjustified recent killing of several Palestinian children in Jerusalem by the Israeli occupation force has already infuriated the Palestinian community in a peculiarly ominous manner.

According to reliable sources in Jerusalem, the age of the four Jerusalem boys murdered by Israeli troops and messianic Jewish settlers in the span of the past few weeks didn’t exceed 14 years. The killings didn’t occur by mistake and the lives of the murderers, whether settlers or crack soldiers, were not put at risk.

In other words, the Zionist killers murdered the four kids in cold blood, irrespective of Israeli disinformation.

But what now seems to be an evolving uprising in Jerusalem has more to do with the killing of a few more Palestinians by the Israeli killing machine. Since the beginning of 2014, Israel killed more than 2200 Palestinians, injured around 10,000, and partially or completely destroyed more than 50,000 homes, especially in the Gaza Strip. These figures caricature a genocidal onslaught by Israel against a thoroughly tormented people seeking survival in the face of relentlessly nefarious Israeli Nazism. Read more »

Donor Complicity in Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights

Nora Lester Murad
Source: Al-Shabaka Policy Brief

Home Sweet Homeless, Gaza City (Photo: Julie Webb-Pullman)

Home Sweet Homeless, Gaza City (Photo: Julie Webb-Pullman)

Overview

Donors at the recent conference on the reconstruction of Gaza pledged an unprecedented $5.4 billion. At the same time, it can be argued that violations of Palestinian rights in Gaza – and throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) – would not be possible without international aid policies that, at least since the 1980s, have actively supported Israel and offered Palestinians development projects in exchange for rights.

In this policy brief, Al-Shabaka Policy Member Nora Lester Murad examines aid through the lens of “complicity” and exposes shortcomings in current legal frameworks. She argues that regardless of the limitations of applicable law, international aid actors are fundamentally responsible to those they seek to assist and must be held accountable for the harm they cause or enable. She identifies the areas in which questions need to be asked and concludes with some of the steps that Palestinian civil society and the international solidarity movement should take. Read more »

Football no fun anymore for the Bakr boys

by Julie Webb-Pullman

Brothers Montasr (left) and Younis Khamis Bakr (Photo: Yousef Al Rantisi)

Brothers Montasr (left) and Younis Khamis Bakr (Photo: Yousef Al Rantisi)

Flashback. July 16, 2014.

Boys. Beach. Sun. Sea. Sand. Football. Fun. An ordinary summers’ day like that in any other coastal city in the world.

Bomb. Blood. Missile. Martyrs. Mayhem. Mourners. An ordinary summer’s day in Gaza 2014.

Three months later the world has all but forgotten the “Bakr Boys,” the group of cousins playing on the beach that afternoon. Four of them – Ismail, Zakaria, Ahed and Mohamed – were killed. Four more survived the horror, physically at least.

Montasr, Hamada, Sayed and Younis are all now out of hospital, and could even play football again, despite legs peppered with shrapnel scars. But they don’t. Read more »

UN expert: A drone is not a cop

PRESS RELEASE
United Nations Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights

Drone flying above Gaza City residential area

Drone flying above Gaza City residential area

A drone is not a cop – UN rights expert concerned about technologies that depersonalise the use of force

NEW YORK / GENEVA (23 October 2014) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, raised concern about the increasing use of technologies that depersonalise the use of force –including armed drones– not only on the battlefield, but also in the domestic law enforcement.

During the presentation of his report* to the UN General Assembly on the use of armed drones for law enforcement, Mr. Heyns provided examples of such technology that is for sale worldwide, to be used by the police and private security firms to control demonstrations, guard strategic buildings, and to hunt down escapees. Read more »

Under cover of reconstruction, UN and PA become enforcers of Israel’s Gaza siege

by Ali Abunimah
Source: Electronic Intifada

 Gaza Siege 2.0: Under guise of reconstruction, UN will help Israel gain even more intrusive control over Palestinian lives. (Mohammed Asad / APA images)


Gaza Siege 2.0: Under guise of reconstruction, UN will help Israel gain even more intrusive control over Palestinian lives.
(Mohammed Asad / APA images)

Details given in a confidential briefing this week confirm that the UN has agreed to become the chief enforcer of Israel’s ongoing siege of Gaza.

Under the guise of reconstruction, the UN will be monitoring and gathering private information about Palestinian households to be passed onto Israel, which will have a veto over which families get aid to rebuild their homes.

This was presented as part of an effort to try to entrench and legitimize the Israeli-backed Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza. Read more »

Cyber attacks on Palestinian Solidarity websites

The websites of Palestinian solidarity groups in France and New Zealand have been attacked overnight, rendering them inaccessible.

The Palestine Human Rights Campaign (PHRC) website in New Zealand reeported today that they “…can no longer update our website home page,” while CAPJPO-EuroPalestine in France reported that their website “was made inaccessible overnight.”

Israeli hackers are suspected of being behind the attacks.

PFLP calls for resistance to occupation attacks on Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem

PRESS RELEASE
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)

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The Popular Front for the Liberation called upon the Palestinian people in Jerusalem, in the 1948 occupied areas, the occupied West Bank, and in all locations, to take immediate and urgent action to confront the attacks of hundreds of colonial settlers and occupation soldiers since early Monday, October 13. They are attempting to impose “facts on the ground” as a step toward controlling Al-Aqsa, dividing it, and allegedly “rebuilding the Temple” in its place.

This is all part of a Zionist plan to obtain full control of Jerusalem and attempt to undermine the status of the city as the eternal capital of the Palestinian people. The PFLP said that these ongoing events are a dangerous development and escalation in the ongoing and long-time policy of the occupation forces, who stormed al-Aqsa in the hundreds, closing the area, preventing Palestinians from entering or leaving, in order to ensure a clear course for settlers to enter under the banner of the “revival of the temple.” Read more »

Palestinian NGOs, HR organizations call on Cairo donor conference to lift Gaza blockade, support reconstruction

Press Release
PNGO Network

What remains of the Italy Tower Complex in Gaza City

What remains of the Italy Tower Complex in Gaza City

Palestinian NGOs, human rights organizations, agricultural and fishing sectors as well as affected by Israeli summer war in Gaza Strip people directed an urgent appeal to the participating parties in the Gaza reconstruction conference held in Egypt’s Cairo to contribute and support the various affected sectors in the war torn Gaza Strip and accelerate the process of reconstruction and end the blockade of Gaza Strip without conditions and restrictions.

The representatives of Palestinian NGOs and Human rights organizations as well as various Palestinian sectors stressed the need for guarantees from the Israeli occupation that it won’t repeat the war in the Gaza Strip. Read more »

Donors, or enablers? Cairo’s ‘Gaza Reconstruction Conference’

by Julie Webb-Pullman
Source: Middle East Monitor

Egypt is currently blocking injured Gazans leaving the Gaza Strip, and blocking the flow of reconstruction materials to Gaza

Egypt is currently blocking injured Gazans leaving the Gaza Strip, and blocking the flow of reconstruction materials to Gaza

CAIRO’S Gaza Reconstruction Conference, you ask incredulously? And well you might – after all, Egypt is currently preventing the entry of materials to complete Qatari-funded projects in Gaza addressing the destruction of previous Israeli offensives. Building of roads, housing estates and hospitals have all ground to a halt despite being underway well before the latest Israeli war crimes in Gaza – crimes which have only further increased the need. Read more »

After Gaza, What Price Palestine’s Security Sector?

By Sabrien Amrov and Alaa Tartir

Source: Al-Shabaka Policy Brief

Overview

Israel’s 51-day assault on Gaza calls for redoubled efforts to shake off its carefully constructed system of control of Palestinian lives throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and secure Palestinian rights. A necessary first step must be to address the donor-supported creation of Palestinian security forces that primarily serve Israel’s colonial ambitions. This is increasingly urgent with the PA set to move back into Gaza in the wake of the unity deal.

Al-Shabaka Policy Member Sabrien Amrov and Program Director Alaa Tartir tackle these issues by examining the state of the security sector today, its origins and purposes, and the fast-growing authoritarianism that is turning “Palestine” into a security state. While touching on the Gaza security sector, they focus primarily on its development in the West Bank. They urge that the foundations of security sector reform be challenged as a key step towards setting the Palestinian quest for freedom, justice, equality, and self-determination back on track. Read more »

A Letter to Arabs

This poem was videoed being read by Nourul-Islam abu Huwaishel just 45 minutes before he was killed by the Israeli army.

Translation of the poem:

A Letter to Arabs

In Gaza, we are alright
Comfort us with good news about you
In war, we are alright
How about you?
Our martyrs are under rubble
Our children are living in tents
Asking about you
Where are you?

In Gaza, we are alright
Comfort us with good news about you
The sea is behind us
But we still resist
Our enemy is in front of us
But we still resist
We’ve got enough weapons, food, and promises of peace
We thank you for your “support”
Our souls
Our wounds
Our skies
Our homes
Our faces
Our blood
Our eyes
Our coffins
Protect us from your promises and your words

In Gaza, we are alright
Comfort us with good news about you.

PFLP: War criminal Netanyahu should be in front of the Hague, not the UN

Press Release
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)

Netanyahu has no place speaking before the General Assembly of the United Nations – the only place he should be speaking is before the International Criminal Court in the Hague charged with war crimes, genocide, incitement to genocide and responsibility for the horrific massacres against the Palestinian people.

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The criminal Benjamin Netanyahu is now using the arena of the United Nations to continue his deception, lies, threats, intimidation and misdirection, attempting to cover up his and his army’s terror massacres against Palestinian civilians, children and elders, who are still being killed in cold blood in full view of the world, said the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in response to Netanyahu’s speech at the UN General Assembly.

The Front noted that Netanyahu tried and failed to assume the role of the victim, marketing the Zionist narrative and attempting to discredit the Palestinian resistance factions by putting it in one basket with terror organizations created and supported by the U.S. and Western powers. Read more »

Mass Murder in the Mediterranean: Mohammed’s Story

by the Al Rantisi Family
Source: Middle East Monitor

Mohammed Al Rantisi (right) with his friend and business partner Sajed (left). Their business was destroyed by five missiles from Israeli F16s.

Mohammed Al Rantisi (right) with his friend and business partner Sajed (left). Their business was destroyed by five missiles from Israeli F16s.

Over 400 asylum seekers, including 100 children, were drowned in international waters on their way to Italy after the boat they were travelling on was rammed on 10 September, 2014 by people-smugglers angry because the migrants refused to transfer to a smaller boat.

As a report into the mass murder by human rights organisation EuroMid says, the travellers from the Gaza Strip, Syria, Egypt and Sudan had been promised a safe journey to Europe on a secure and comfortable ship.

One of them was our son and brother, Mohammed Al Rantisi, a 23 year old Management and Technology graduate heading to Europe in search of a brighter future. His favourite song was a message of farewell. Read more »

After ‘Protective Edge’: What Future for Palestine and Israel

by Richard Falk
Source: Global Justice in the 21st Century

The 50-day Israeli military operation that killed over 2100 Palestinians, wounded another 11,000, and undoubtedly traumatized the entire Gazan population of 1.7 million also took the lives of 70 Israelis, of which 65 were soldiers. This last violent encounter has ended without a clear victory for either side. Despite this, Israel and Hamas are each insisting that ‘victory’ was achieved. Israel points to the material results, tunnels and rocket sites destroyed, targeted assassinations completed, and the overall weakening of Hamas capacity to launch an attack. Hamas, for its part, claims political gains, becoming far stronger politically and psychologically in both Gaza and the West Bank than before the fighting began, refusing to give in on the basic Israeli demand of the ‘demilitarization’ of Gaza, as well as further tarnishing Israel’s international reputation. Read more »

Human Rights Group Investigates, Calls for International Action in Response to Sinking of Boat Carrying Asylum Seekers

Report
Euromid Observer for Human Rights

ship (400 x 211)

Executive Summary

On 15 September, 2014, more than 400 asylum seekers from the Gaza Strip, Syria, Egypt and Sudan were drowned in international waters on their way to Italy through the deliberate acts of unscrupulous smugglers who had promised safe passage in return for exorbitant fees.

Euromid Observer for Human Rights, a nonprofit organization based in Geneva and the Gaza Strip, conducted the first investigation of the incident and the events that led up to and followed the mass killing. The organization concludes, among other recommendations, that a comprehensive and coordinated investigation must be launched by the relevant governments, including Egypt, the origin for the ill-fated trip; Malta, whose navy was involved in the emergency follow-up to the catastrophe; and Italy, the refugees’ hoped-for destination. Read more »

Israeli drone conference features weapons used to kill Gaza’s children

by Rania Khalek
Source: Electronic Intifada

The Hermes 900 was among the drones used to bomb Gaza in the recent offensive

The Hermes 900 was among the drones used to bomb Gaza in the recent offensive

Less than one month after killing more than 2,100 Palestinians in Gaza, including more than 500 children, Israel is hosting its annual drone conference.

Organized in partnership with the US embassy in Tel Aviv, “Israel Unmanned Systems 2014” offers Israeli military firms an opportunity to flaunt the performance of their products, many of which were tested on Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip this summer.

Palestine has long served as a laboratory for Israel’s ballooning “homeland security” industry to test and perfect weapons of domination and control, with disenfranchised and stateless Palestinians serving as their lab rats. Read more »

Bring “Mediterranean mass murderers” to justice – UN Human Rights Chief

Press Release
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights


Desperate phone calls from migrants on a sinking boat (not the boat in this case) indicating that passing ships ignored their pleas for help

GENEVA (19 September 2014) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday urged Egypt and other North African and European States with relevant information to make a concerted effort to bring to justice the people smugglers who allegedly deliberately sank a boat causing the deaths of between 300 and 500 refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean last week. Read more »